About Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Ed Online

The Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE) course provides you with everything you need to earn a Texas learner's permit online. With the help of a parent or guardian, you will complete your state-required training and learn how to become a safe and effective driver. This training program is required for all new drivers in Texas ages 14 to 17.

Our online drivers ed course is approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR). It includes 32 hours of instructional content and 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training led by a parent. The drivers ed course also comes with an online version of the Highway Sign and Traffic Law exam, which you must pass in order to earn your Texas learner's permit. Save time and money by completing your Texas drivers ed training 100% online.

Who Should Take Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Education Online?

Texas teens ages 14 to 17 are required to take a TDLR-approved drivers education course to meet state requirements for their learner's permit. You can start the drivers ed course at 14 years old, but you must be at least 15 to continue past the first module and earn your permit.

Following completion of the first module, you will take the Highway Sign and Traffic Law exam. The online exam is included with your course. You may also choose to take the exam in person at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office.

You will need to pass the exam and earn your learner's permit before you begin the behind-the-wheel portion of your training. Parents teaching the online drivers ed course must record the time spent on in-car observations and behind-the-wheel practice in the instructor logs provided.

If you are a new driver between the ages of 18 and 25, you should take the Texas Adult Drivers Education course.

Course Details

The Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Ed course contains 32 hours of instruction and 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training and driving observation led by your parent. This program is ideal for teens who want to learn how to drive with the help of a parent, guardian or another approved instructor.

Before you start the course, you must visit the TDLR website to request your PTDE Guide, which includes everything your parent or guardian needs to know to help you complete the course and earn your permit. The TDLR charges $20 for the guide, which you can receive by email or standard mail. You can begin your training after you receive your guide from the TDLR.

As soon as you complete the first module of the course, you can take the Highway Sign and Traffic Law exam. You can take the online exam that's included with the course or visit a DPS location to take the test in person. You must pass this exam to get your Texas learner's permit.

Once you pass the exam, you will receive a DE-964E form by email. You must bring this certificate to the DPS when you apply for your learner's permit. After you obtain your learner's permit, you can continue the drivers ed course and start your driving practice.

After you complete the rest of the drivers ed course, you will receive a digital certificate of completion. Next, your parent must fill out the “For Driver License Only” portion of the DE-964 form. Since this is a parent-taught course, your parent or guardian is considered the driving instructor.

You can apply for your Texas driver license six months after earning your permit. When it's time to apply for your license, you will need to bring the following documents to the DPS:

  • DE-964E Certificate for Driver License Only
  • Parent-Taught Drivers Ed certificate of completion
  • All completed forms from your PTDE Program Guide

The DPS also requires you to provide proof of vehicle registration and several other required documents.

Course Topics

The purpose of Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Ed is to teach teens about traffic laws, defensive driving habits and other vital information for new drivers. This parent-led course alternates between classroom material and behind-the-wheel training.

Course topics include:

  • Right of Way
  • Controlling Traffic Flow
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Cooperating with Other Roadway Users
  • Occupant Protection
  • Visual Attention, Mental Attention and Communication
  • Vehicle Balance
  • Vehicle Maneuvers
  • Safe Driver Characteristics
  • Aggressive Driving
  • Space Management
  • Risk Factors
  • Emotions and Driving
  • Environmental Risk Factors
  • Expressways and High-Risk Driving Environments
  • Adverse Weather
  • Reduced Visibility Conditions
  • Traction Loss
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Vehicle Insurance
  • Environmental Protection and Litter Prevention
  • Recreational Water Safety

Each module contains a timer. You may not advance to the next module until you have met the minimum time requirement for the current module.

Testing Requirements

Each of the 12 modules in the course ends with a brief, five-question quiz. You must score at least 70% on each quiz, and you have an unlimited number of attempts to pass. The course concludes with a 20-question final exam. You must earn at least 70% on the exam, and you have an unlimited number of attempts to pass.

After you complete Module 1 of the course, you will take the Highway Signs and Traffic Laws exam. The exam is split into two parts, each containing 15 questions. You have up to 30 minutes to score at least 70% on each part to pass. If you fail either section of the exam, you must wait 24 hours before trying again. If you do not pass the exam after three attempts, you will need to re-purchase the exam before you can try again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this Drivers Education Course approved by the TDLR?

Yes. This course is approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Our approval is listed under American Safety Council, who owns and operates SafeMotorist.com and TexasDrivingSchool.com.

Who can instruct me in the Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Ed online course?

Your instructor for Parent-Taught Drivers Ed must meet the following TDLR requirements:

  • Be a parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian
  • Has held a valid driver license for the past three years
  • Has not had their license suspended, revoked or forfeited in the past three years
  • Has less than six points on their driving record
  • Has never been convicted of or received a probated sentence for driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence or criminally negligent homicide
  • Is not disabled due to mental illness

Your instructor can also be designated by a parent, guardian or judge if they meet the following requirements:

  • Is at least 25 years old
  • Does not charge you for conducting the course
  • Has at least seven years of driving experience

Do I have to complete the Texas Drivers Education Course in one sitting?

No. Our system saves your progress each time you log out. When you log back in, you will be able to pick up right where you left off. This course combines an online learning component with behind-the-wheel instruction from a parent or guardian.

Will I need to take a written permit exam at the DPS?

After completing Module 1 of the Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Ed course, you can take the Highway Sign and Traffic Law exam, also known as the permit exam. An online version of the exam is included with your course, and you can complete it at home or anywhere with internet access. If you would prefer to take the permit exam in person, you can contact the DPS to schedule an appointment for a written exam.

What is behind-the-wheel training?

The state of Texas requires new drivers to complete 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training with an eligible parent, guardian or driving school instructor. By completing the Texas Parent-Taught Drivers Ed course and filling out the accompanying logs, you can fulfill this requirement.

How do I get the Parent-Taught Program Guide?

You can request a Parent-Taught Drivers Ed program guide on the TDLR website any time. You will need to fill out a request form and pay a $20 fee. The TDLR will email or mail the guide to you.

What is the Impact Texas Teen Drivers Program?

The Impact Texas Teen Drivers (ITTD) program is a free, two-hour video that explains the importance of distraction-free driving. The Texas Department of Public Safety requires that all teen drivers complete the ITTD program before they take the driving skills exam for their driver license.

What do I need to apply for a Texas learner's permit?

To apply for a Texas learner's permit, you will need:

  • DE-964E Certificate (module 1 certificate from PTDE course)
  • Verification of Enrollment and Attendance form
  • Identifying documents
    • Proof of identity
    • Social Security Number
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship or evidence of lawful presence
    • Proof of Texas residency
    • Evidence of Texas vehicle registration
    • Proof of insurance

What do I need to apply for a Texas driver license?

To apply for your driver license, you will need:

  • DE-964E Certificate for Driver License Only
  • Parent-Taught Drivers Ed course certificate
  • All completed forms from the PTDE Program Guide
  • Impact Texas Teen Drivers certificate of completion
  • Verification of Enrollment and Attendance form (or a high school diploma/GED)
  • Identifying documents
    • Proof of identification
    • Proof of Social Security number
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship
    • Proof of Texas residency
  • Proof of Texas vehicle registration
  • Proof of financial responsibility for vehicle owner

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