June 7, 2010

Driver Education Requisition Form Changes

The Department of Motor Vehicles has updated forms for driver education (classroom course) and driver training (behind-the-wheel course). The DMV states the reason for the updates is to be able to track where students received their driving instruction, which will allow an assessment of the effectiveness of various kinds of programs. All certificates of completion have been updated, and the old forms are being phased out.

The old forms will continue to be honored by DMV until September 1, 2010. On that date, the DMV will begin accepting only the new 2010 forms. In the past, DMV has asked that schools plan ahead and order forms only once each year. However, because of the changes to forms, DMV will honor requests for the new forms even if a school has already ordered this year.

In order for DMV to know which forms to send, they have modified the Requisition Form (DL 396) so that schools can indicate the type of program they offer. While a “home school” is not a type of school found in California statutes, the DMV requests that all programs which offer driver instruction taught by a student’s own parent outside of a brick-and-mortar school indicate that they are a homeschool or private school satellite program. We recommend that, at this time, homeschool programs indicate “home school or private school satellite program” because we expect that the studies will demonstrate that homeschooling is a valid, if not superior, way to learn driving instruction.

One item on the Requisition Form that could cause confusion is the DMV’s use of the term “classroom” driver education. A course is a “classroom” driver education course when the teacher (who may be the parent) is at the same location as the student. In contrast, a “non-classroom” driver education course is one in which the teacher is at one site while the student is at a different site, such as occurs when a student takes a correspondence or online course. Thus, most homeschooled students being taught by their parents are participating in a classroom course even though the classroom is within their own home.

Another area that causes confusion is the section addressing instructors. A private homeschool which consists of only one family will often have the same person as administrator and instructor. This is fine so long as the administrator signs the certification (Section 6 of the form) and also signs in the instructor section (Section 5). A private school satellite program, on the other hand, will most often have an administrator who orders the DMV materials and who signs at Section 6, and a list of different instructors, each being a parent who is teaching his own child. In this case, each instructor must sign at Section 5. Finally, if a homeschooling parent has a teaching credential, the DMV requests that the parent only check the “parent or guardian” column in Section 5, even though that parent may also have a criminal background summary already completed.

As always, if you encounter problems in ordering the DMV forms, please keep us informed.

 Other Resources

Driver Education / Driver Training Forms