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How to Be a Certified Driving Instructor in Pennsylvania

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Certified driving instructors in Pennsylvania work at driving schools and prepare new drivers to take the state driving test, as well as teach chronic traffic law offenders to refresh their knowledge of driving rules and skills. The state of Pennsylvania does not officially endorse driving schools, but requires driving instructors to complete training and earn certification.

Graduate high school or earn a GED certificate. Completing high school is necessary to enroll in a university or college that certifies driving instructors.

Obtain a valid Pennsylvania driver's license or transfer an existing out-of-state driver's license. Provide your birth certificate, passport or citizenship papers, your checkbook and your Social Security card along with two documents proving Pennsylvania residency, such as utility bills, lease or mortgage agreements, or your W-2 form. Drivers transferring their license from another state must surrender their older license. Pass all vision, road and knowledge tests as required.

Maintain a clean criminal background and driving record. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires employees of public and private schools, including driving schools, to pass a background check.

Complete a bachelor or graduate-level driver education and safety course at an accredited university or college. Confirm that the teacher education program is on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's approved list prior to enrolling (see Resources). As of 2010, the department had approved only three institutions to teach driver's safety or driver's education instructor courses.

Contact the certification officer at your school and arrange to take the Praxis test. Most schools require students to take the Praxis test prior to enrolling in a teacher education program. Completion of the test is necessary to become a certified driving instructor in Pennsylvania.

Apply for driving instructor certification with the Pennsylvania Department of Education by completing the "General Application For Pennsylvania Certificate Form PDE 338 G" (see Resources). Bring the completed form and $100 to your school's certification office in accordance with the school's fee submission policy. The certification office will submit the necessary paperwork with your Praxis test scores to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Teaching in Pennsylvania Job Search System (see Resources) to identify hiring schools and locate their contact information.

About the Author

Brad Chacos started writing professionally in 2005, specializing in electronics and technology. His work has appeared in Salon.com, Gizmodo, "PC Gamer," "Maximum PC," CIO.com, DigitalTrends.com, "Wired," FoxNews.com, NBCNews.com and more. Chacos is a frequent contributor to "PCWorld," "Laptop Magazine" and the Intuit Small Business Blog.

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