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How to Become Certified to Teach Driver Education

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Driver's education teachers aren't just people who like driving or working with students. They're certified professionals who must be licensed by the state in which they work. State licensing requirements vary slightly, so check your state's licensing requirements before pursuing certification.

Basic Requirements

All states require that driver's education instructors hold a valid driver's license, and many set additional requirements For example, Michigan requires that instructors be at least 21, have no criminal history and submit to a medical exam certifying good health. In most states, driver's instructors also must be certified teachers. Teacher certification is a lengthy process that requires, at minimum, a four-year college degree. In most cases, you'll also have to take an exam, undergo a criminal background check and apply for licensure with your state.

Your Driving Record

Driver's education instructors must be good drivers themselves, so many states establish specific minimum safety standards. As part of your application packet, you'll likely have to submit a report from your state's DMV. In Michigan, for example, driver's ed instructors must not have more than six points on their license; must not have been convicted of a driving offense that yielded four or more license points in the previous five years; and must not have three or more license denials, suspensions or revocations in the previous two years.

Driver's Education Training

Every state establishes slightly different educational requirements for driving instructors. New Jersey, for example, mandates that instructors complete a course in driver's education at an accredited two- or four-year school. Some schools offer such courses online. You can expect the training to cover safety, state traffic laws, driving safety statistics, educational and pedagogical methods, and emergency intervention protocols when a novice driver drives in an unsafe manner.

Applying for Certification

After you've met your state's educational requirements, you may apply for certification. Most states provide an online application, as well as information about what information -- such as a DMV report or college transcript -- you must submit with the application. You'll typically have to pay an application fee. In Michigan, for example, require a non-refundable fee of $45.


Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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