By Emma Kandrac
Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) offers a run-down of what parents need to look for when searching for local driving schools that they can count on for their teens.
The magical age of 15 years and 9 months may be just around the corner, and chances are your child is itching to get behind the wheel. Luckily for you, they need to go through driving school before that happens. For those parents looking to enroll their teenager in driving school, make sure they’re getting the education they need to operate a motor vehicle.
A legitimate program must be taught by an instructor that is licensed by the RMV and must provide 30 hours of classroom education, 12 hours of behind-the wheel instruction, and 6 hours of in-car observation time – all within 2 years of starting the program. Although your child can enroll in classroom education once they are 15 years and 9 months, they can only start the in-car component once they have earned their driver’s permit on or after their 16th birthday.
Driver’s education in Massachusetts is offered at public high schools and by professional driving schools licensed by the RMV. Before signing your child up for one of these programs, it’s always a good idea to visit the school’s location and speak with the school’s owner.
A few questions that are beneficial to ask are:
- What are the classroom hours, curriculum, and policies?
- Where can I find the school’s RMV issued license and instructor certificate?
- How long the school has been in operation and if their facilities are up-to-date?
- What is the cost of the program and do they offer student discounts?
- What is the average pass-rate for their students?
The RMV also suggests to ask about the condition the vehicles are in, including whether or not they have ABS brakes. It is recommended that a driving school’s vehicles should be no older than 5-10 years.
To search driving school programs in your area that are up to RMV standards, visit BBB’s list of local Accredited Businesses at http://www.bbb.org/boston/accredited-business-directory.
ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses, all available for free at bbb.org.