DRIVER EDUCATION OPTIONSfor Iowa Homeschooled Students
THREE OPTIONS:You have three choices when deciding how to teach your home educated child how to drive. See below to explore the options.
A law passed by the 2013 Iowa Legislature will allow parents who homeschool their children to teach driver education under prescribed circumstances. These are the required 3 steps to complete this process.
Step 1: Parent Completes and Submits Application
A parent who wants to provide parent-taught driver education must complete the application to serve as a teaching parent and submit it to the Office of Driver Services. (If you're having trouble downloading the application form from the DOT website, click here to access a PDF version that we have created.) As part of the application, a parent must select an a course approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).
Please note that the DOT currently maintains that the first step in parent-taught driver education is to receive DOT “approval” of an application to serve as a teaching parent. The DOT is currently not accepting either course instruction or driving time logged before “approval” of the teaching parent.
Also note that the application to serve as a teaching parent for Parent Taught Driver Education requires the applicant to confirm that he/she is "currently providing private instruction ... pursuant to Iowa Code section 299A.2 ... or 299A.3 and provided such instruction during the previous year."
Iowa Code sections 299A.2 and 299A.3 define Competent Private Instruction (CPI) options.
Independent Private Instruction (IPI) is defined in Iowa Code section 299A.1, which is not listed on the application form.
Applicants will need to be providing Competent Private Instruction (CPI) and either:
- have filed CPI Form A at their school district for the current and previous year (for those using CPI Option 1 or CPI Option 2 with Opt-In Reporting)
- have filed a NICHE Optional Report CPI Option 2 with Opt-Out at their school district or sent it to the DOT with the application to serve as a teaching parent.
When a parent receives “approval” to serve as a teaching parent for parent-taught driver education, the DOT will send an information packet, which includes the driving log form needed.
- Possesses a valid instruction permit
- Is age 14-21
- Is in custody & under control of the teaching parent
TEACHING PARENT REQUIREMENTS
- Provided competent private instruction to the student the previous year and continues to do so during the current year
- Possesses a valid Iowa driver's license
- Has a clear driving record for the previous two years
Step 2: Parent & Student Completes Course Requirements
After receiving the Iowa DOT's approval to teach the course, the teaching parent may purchase course material directly from the course provider and begin instruction.
When the student successfully completes an approved course, including required classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction, the parent submits to the Iowa DOT the Application for Parent-Taught Driver Education Certificate of Completion (provided in the teaching parent approval packet). The following items must be included with the application:
√ The name of the approved course completed
√ Copies of completed written tests
√ Copy of driving log
The application and additional items are submitted to:
Iowa Department of Transportation
Office of Driver Services
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306
The Iowa DOT will review the submitted materials. If requirements are met, the Iowa DOT will mail a certificate of completion to the parent and student. If the course completion material is unsatisfactory, the Iowa DOT will send a denial letter explaining the reason it was denied.
Step 3: Student Obtains Driving Privileges
After the student receives the certificate of completion, the student and parent may schedule a driving test at any driver’s license station. The student and parent should bring the following items with them to the driver’s license issuance site:
√ Proof of insurance (required for the driving test)
√ Student’s instruction permit
√ Student’s Certificate of Completion from the Iowa DOT
√ Parent's Iowa driver's license. If the parent does not accompany the minor to the driver’s license site, the student must bring a notarized parental consent form.
√ $8 for required license fees
Iowa public school districts are required by law to provide driver education programs to all resident students up to age 21. Students do not need to be enrolled -- or dual-enrolled -- in the public school district in order to access public school driver education programs. As with other driver education options, the student must hold a valid Iowa learner's permit.
Homeschooled students are to be charged the same fee that regularly enrolled students are charged.
Parents who want to enroll their children in a public school driver education program should notify the school district well in advance -- preferably in writing (email correspondence is acceptable) to maintain a record of the request.
If a child has been open enrolled into another school district, that district is responsible for providing a public school driver education program, if desired. The resident district can provide access to a driver education program, but is not required by law to do so. The open enrollment receiving district is required by law to provide driver education instruction to the open enrolled student, if it is desired.
Homeschooling parents may also utilize private accredited driver education programs for their students. As with other driver education options, the student must hold a valid Iowa learner's permit.
To view the most current list available of private driver education programs in Iowa, click here.