How Will Parent-Taught Drivers Ed Work in Iowa?
A new Iowa law recently passed allowing parents across the state to legally teach their kids Drivers' Ed in coordination with school and state programs. That option was previously just available to home-school families, but how will it work?
It's still a choice
According to the Des Moines Register, kids must still receive at least 30 hours of instruction through the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).
The difference is that prior to July 1, when only home-schooled kids had this option, they had to complete 40 hours of instruction with their parents, which has now been reduced to 30 as it opens up to all students. Also, parents must still have a valid Iowa drivers' license and be able to demonstrate a clean driving record for the previous two years. So, those under the assumption that parents can (or have to) now be the student's exclusive driving instructor have been misinformed.
It is not required but is highly recommended that parents considering going all-in on helping their student drivers gain official instruction, complete a pre-qualification application with the DOT, which can be found here. It will ensure you meet the qualifications necessary to participate.
What is the interest among families in the program so far?
The number of families signing up for the parent-taught option of drivers' ed has nearly doubled but that is likely in part simply to the fact that it was open to only home-schooled students, according to the Iowa DOT's drivers' education coordinator Steve Stonehocker. It's projected as time goes by that about 17,500 students per year will sign up for parent-taught drivers' ed which is about half the number of kids who apply for a license each year.