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Parent-taught driver education

Step 1: Parent completes and submits application

Application is approved If the request is approved,the parent will receive an approval letter from the Iowa DOT and may proceed with parent-taught driverís education.


Application is denied If the request is denied, the Iowa DOT will send the parent a denial letter that explains the reason(s) for denial.

Step 2: Completing course requirements

Step 3: Obtaining driving privileges

Approved courses

The following course providers have been approved by the Iowa DOT. Please indicate which of the following courses you will use on your application. After you receive approval to teach the course, you may purchase the course material directly from the course provider.
Attention course providers: Course providers will be approved for one calendar year or for the remainder of a calendar year and must renew annually by submitting a new application and required course materials at least 60 days prior to the expiration date. Course providers that have been approved before Dec. 31, 2014, will not expire until Dec. 31, 2015.

Frequently asked questions

Teaching Parent Qualifications
Question Can anyone provide parent-taught driver education?


Answer No, Iowa Code 321.178A only allows parents (or legal guardians or custodians) who are already providing lawful private instruction to their children to conduct parent-taught driver education. Parents that are not providing private instruction and have enrolled their children full time in an accredited public or private school are not eligible under the law to conduct parent-taught driver education.

Question What is private instruction?


Answer Private instruction is commonly referred to as homeschool education.


Question What requirements does the teaching parent need to meet to be able to provide driverís education to their child?

Answer A qualified teaching parent must have provided private instruction to the student during the previous year and possess a valid Iowa driverís license, other than a motorcycle-only license or temporary restricted license (TRL/work permit), that permits unaccompanied driving as well as have a clear driving record for the previous two years.

Question What qualifies as a clear driving record?


Answer A clear driving record means that in the past two years, the parentís driverís license was not suspended or revoked, the parent was not identified as a candidate for a suspension for habitual violations, and they have not been convicted of a moving traffic violation determined to be the cause of a motor vehicle accident.

Question A teaching parent must have provided private instruction to the student during the previous year. What does ďthe previous yearĒ mean?


Answer The previous year refers to the previous calendar year. For instance, if a parent applies in November 2014 and started providing private instruction in September 2013, the parent provided private instruction in the previous year and would be eligible.

Question Can a parent teach someone elseís child (a child they donít have custody for)?


Answer No, Iowa Code 321.178A specifies that the instructor must be the studentís parent or legal guardian or custodian and must have custody and control of the student. The parent cannot instruct students that donít meet those requirements, even if the parent is providing other instruction to those students.

Question What if the teaching parent has more than one child? Can they teach all of their children?

Answer Yes, but they have to complete a separate application for each child.


Question Can both parents teach driver education to their child?


Answer Each parent must complete an application form and receive approval from the Iowa DOT to teach the course.

Question What if the parents are divorced? Can either divorced parent conduct parent-taught driver education?

Answer Yes, as long as each parent has legal custody of the student and meets the requirements to teach the student in question. If the parent does not have legal custody, they are not eligible to conduct parent-taught driver education because the student is not in the custody and control of the parent.


Course Material
Question What course material is required to be used by a teaching parent?


Answer A qualified teaching parent will select a curriculum that has been approved by the Iowa DOT. A list of the approved courses can be found on the "Approved courses" tab above.

Question Can I use my own course or another schoolís course rather than a course approved by the Iowa DOT?

Answer No, the legislation requires the teaching parent to select a course that has been approved by the Iowa DOT and is listed on the list of approved courses on the tab above.

Question How much will the course material cost?


Answer Costs are set by the approved course vendors and vary according the course selected and the type of material the parent chooses to receive (for instance, written versus online).


Student Requirements
Question How old does a student need to be to take driverís education from a teaching parent?

Answer A student must be between the ages of 14 and 21 and be within the custody and control of the teaching parent. The student must have an Iowa instruction permit before beginning driverís education.

Question How many hours of driving does a student have to complete?


Answer The student has to complete 40 hours of street or highway driving, including four hours of nighttime driving (after sunset and before sunrise) while accompanied by the teaching parent. The parent should use Iowa Department of Transportation Form 431228 Ė Driving Log for Parent-Taught Driver Education to log the required driving hours completed by the student.

Question Teens that apply for an intermediate license must complete 20 hours of supervised driving (including two hours of nighttime driving) outside driver education to be eligible for the intermediate license. Does that mean a student that had parent-taught driver education has to complete 60 hours of driving?

Answer No, Iowa Code 321.178A allows the student to use 20 of the 40 hours required for parent-taught driver education to meet this requirement. This includes the required nighttime driving.

Question Do all students that complete parent-taught driver education have to take a drive test?

Answer Yes, the legislation requires every student that successfully completes an approved parent-taught driverís education course to pass a driving test administered by the Iowa DOT at a driverís license issuance site before they can obtain their license.

Question Do all of the other eligibility requirements for an intermediate license apply to parent-taught driver education students?

Answer Yes, the legislation that established parent-taught driver education did not change any of the other eligibility requirements for students taking parent-taught driver education. (A student may also apply for a minor school license if they are receiving private instruction but taking certain classes at an accredited school or participating in extracurricular activities at an accredited school.) Find more information about driverís license eligibility requirements for minors.