Driver Education FAQ
What is the difference between online and remote learning?
Online Learning vs. Remote Learning
It is important to understand the difference between online learning and remote learning. Online Driver's Education Courses are not acceptable in Minnesota, while Remote Learning Courses are.
- Online learning is self-paced, without the benefit of an instructor and is not permitted in Minnesota. Any courses offered as online learning are based out of state, do not have curriculum that is approved by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and is not licensed to offer driver's education in Minnesota.
- Remote learning is instructor led, just like the in-person class, and is held live via Zoom.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is allowing licensed driver's education courses in Minnesota to offer remote learning as a temporary alternative to in-person learning through August 31, 2023.
What Should I Know About Remote Learning Classes?
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has granted driver’s education schools in Minnesota temporary permission to offer remote learning classes. This permission ends on August 31st, 2023.
It is important to understand the difference between online learning and remote learning.
- Online learning is self-paced, without the benefit of an instructor and is not permitted in Minnesota. Any courses offered as online learning are based out of state, do not have curriculum that is approved by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and is not licensed to offer driver’s education in Minnesota.
- Remote learning is instructor led, just like the in-person class, and is held live via Zoom.
The DPS has issued strict guidelines that we must follow. We also have several guidelines that we require to help make the remote learning experience successful.
Students Must Connect Using Both Audio and Video Feeds
Video feed restrictions:
- They must be visible at all times from the waist up, including their hands.
- They may not be backlit, in a dark room or in a room lighted with color lights that prevent a clear view of the student.
- They must mute their connection unless they are speaking. Too many open mics creates a huge amount of background noise that interferes with class.
- The email containing the login information will include several attachments that need to be printed before the first day of class.
- Please make sure they have the printed material at their workstation prior to the start of class on day one.
- The Minnesota Driver’s Manual is mailed to you a week or so prior to the first day of class. Please watch for this in the mail and make sure it is at your student’s workstation prior to the start of class on day one.
Even Though They Are In The Comfort Of Their Own Home . . . They Are Still In Class.
- They need to be seated at a table or desk during class. Sitting in recliners, beds or sofas is not permissible.
- They should be in a room by themselves. Friends and family tend to be a distraction that will negatively affect the quality of their education.
- They should use the restroom before class or after class. Leaving during class for a potty break means they will miss content. It may be content that will one day save their lives.
Connectivity and Bandwidth Issues
- Please connect your teens computer to your router or modem directly using a hard-wire connection if possible. Wireless connections may cause lagging with videos.
- Please limit the other household members use of your home network during class to allow full bandwidth access for your student.
- If others in the home are online gaming, streaming movies, or surfing the web it can cause connectivity issues for class.
- Students must be logged in and ready to go no later than the start time of class. It is an excellent idea to make sure they login 15 minutes early.
- They will be placed in a waiting room and admitted to class at the scheduled time.
- Anyone who is late for class will not be admitted and will be required to make up the missed day.
- Anyone who leaves class early will not be given credit for attending class and will be required to make up the entire period.
- Anyone with connectivity issues that continuously pops in and out of the class will not be allowed back in. The entire class period will need to be made up.
- Anyone who falls asleep during class will be removed from the class and the entire period will need to be made up.
How old do I need to be to start driver's education?
You may attend classroom education at 14 years of age, but cannot take the written knowledge test to obtain your learner's permit until you are 15 years old. We do not offer driver's education for adults, 19 years of age or older.
We strongly encourage you to attend classroom education as close to your 15th birthday as is possible. Students who attend classroom education too early tend to retain less of what they have learned and struggle to pass the written knowledge test.
If you register for our bundle that includes both the classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction, attending class when you are 14 reduces the amount of time to complete your BTW instruction during the contract period. For this reason, if you plan to attend class when you are 14 years old, you may wish to consider registering for each separatley and not registering using the bundle.
What is the Parent Class?
The parent class is an optional class designed to help you get the most out of your child's driver's education.
The class is an hour and a half long. We will review the process of getting your teen driver licensed and give you plenty of tips to help make your driver's education experience good.
The Department of Public Safety gives you a little reward as incentive to attend. Parents who attend the class will only need to log 40 hours of supervised driving instead of the standard 50 hours.
If you have multiple children attending classroom education at the same time, you will only need to attend the class once. However, they attend different class room education sessions, you will need to take the course once for each child.
How do I make up a day of classroom education that I missed?
- Go to our website and do not login to your account.
- Click on the box labeled, " I want to take driver's ed in"
- Select each community one at a time and view the class schedule.
- When you have found a class that will work for you, send us an email with the following information,
- Community the class is being held in.
- Start date and time of class.
- Which day of class you missed.
We will then verify there is room in class for you and add you to the roster.
What happens if I miss a day of classroom education?
You must complete the full 30 hours of classroom education. If you miss any days, you must make them up before we can issue your blue card. At the end of the course, we will send out an email reminding you of which days you missed. You will need to look at the schedules on our website and select a class you can attend to make up the days. Let us know which class you would like to attend, and we will verify there is room in the class and add you to the roster.
You must make up the same days you missed. For example: If you were absent on day three, you must make up day three.
Can I transfer the classroom training I started with another program and complete my 30-hours of classroom education with you?
No. Classroom instruction hours are non-transferable. You may register with us to do classroom education, but you will need to start over and attend all 30 hours with us.
Can I start practice driving now that I have my blue card?
No! You may only practice driving after you have received your instructional permit. The blue card is not your permit.
The blue card is a certificate of completion that indicates to the examiner that you have completed the required 30 hours of classroom education and are enrolled for behind-the-wheel instruction. You must present the blue card to the examiner when taking the written knowledge test.
You must pass the written knowledge test and vision screening, complete an application form, have your photo taken, and pay the appropriate fees before they will issue your permit.
Do you offer driver's education for teens and adults?
We provide classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction for teens 18 years of age and younger. We offer only behind-the-wheel instruction for adults.
What qualifications do your driving school instructors have?
All of our driving school instructors are licensed by the Department of Public Safety to provide driver's education in the state of Minnesota. To represent Today's Driving School, our instructors must be fully licensed. We help our new hires through this process to assure they receive the highest level of training possible.
Becoming a Licensed Instructor
- Pass the written licensing exam and driving skills road test administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
- Pass an in-depth evaluation of both behind-the-wheel and classroom instruction skills conducted by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
After being licensed we finish their training with our own detailed in-house training for both the behind-the-wheel and classroom environment. Our instructors are not allowed to work with students independently until they are fully trained and ready.
- Job shadow with our training coordinator in the classroom for a minimum of 30 hours.
- Student-teach while being supervised by our training coordinator for a minimum of 30 hours.
- Job shadow with our training coordinator during behind-the-wheel instruction for a minimum of 6 hours.
- Student-teach with our training coordinator during behind-the-wheel instruction for a minimum of 6 hours.
Our driving school instructors are friendly and patient. They enjoy working with young people and genuinely care that all teen drivers are properly instructed in the safe use of an automobile.
Is there an audio book available for the Minnesota Driver's Manual?
Yes, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety does have an audio book available for your use.
It is not the current version of the Minnesota Driver's Manual, however, the Department of Public safety has stated that there are no questions on the written knowledge exam that are not in the the audio book. (As of 12/31/22)
You can access the audio book by following this link. https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/forms-documents/Pages/default.aspx
Is Today's Driving School a Medical Based Driving Program?
No we are not.
We do work with teens and adults with minor special learning needs, however we are not equiped or are trained to work with people that have significant specialty training needs.
We provide general driver's education instruction and training and do not provide assessments of a person's worthiness to drive. For people who require specialized education and attention it is best for you to attend a Medical Based Driving Program.
What is a Medical Based Driving Program?
The Medical Based Driving Program has instructors who are licensed specialists who work with people with special needs.
- Use knowlege of medical conditions and assessments.
- Identify at risk drivers.
- Determine fitness to drive.
- Provide driving rehabilitation and training.
These programs work with people who require special equipment and specialized needs due to physical or developmental conditions.
- Physical Disabilities
- Cerebral Palsy
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Non-Verbal Learning Disability
To find a Medical Bssed Driving Program follow this link. http://aded.net/page/725
Is there an app for tracking our driving hours?
Yes, there is. We have received positive feedback on the Road Ready App. This app meets all requirements for the printed log-sheet that you must present when taking the road test.
Download the RoadReady App for your phone and track your supervised driving hours electronically. Enter "todays" as the school code when setting up the app and you are ready to go.
- Allows multiple drivers.
- Easy to use, just press start on your dashboard page.
- You can add notes and change information for the duration, Weather, road type, time of day, and more before saving the drive.
- You can log previous drives.
- View your driving log anytime.
- Export your driving log as PDF for printing the log.
Do I need to let my teen drive while it is snowing?
Yes, there is no better time for a new driver to learn how to handle a vehicle in adverse driving conditions.
They will have an experienced driver riding shotgun that will be able to help them learn. This is much safer than letting them figure it out later, when they are alone.
The first time they drive on snow or ice, take them to an empty parking lot and let them slide around to get the feel of the car before taking them out on the road.
Here are some Winter driving tips from AAA.
- Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
- Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
- Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
- Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.
Tips for Driving in the Snow
- Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it's better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
- Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don't try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
- Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
- Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Don't stop if you can avoid it. There's a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
- Don't power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
- Don't stop going up a hill. There's nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
Tips for Long-Distance Winter Trips
- Be Prepared: Have your vehicle checked by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility before hitting the road.
- Check the Weather: Check the weather along your route and when possible, delay your trip if bad weather is expected.
- Stay Connected: Before hitting the road, notify others and let them know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
- If you get stuck in the snow:
- Stay with your vehicle: Your vehicle provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Do not try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
- Don't over exert yourself: When digging out your vehicle, listen to your body and stop if you become tired.
- Be Visible: Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna of your vehicle or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
- Clear the Exhaust Pipe: Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment of the vehicle while the engine is running.
- Stay Warm: Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps. Pre-pack blankets and heavy clothing to use in case of an emergency.
- Conserve Fuel: If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel.
Can I register for Behind-the-Wheel instruction if I live outside of your service area?
You can complete your behind-the-wheel instruction with Today's Driving School, even if you live outside of our service area.
You will need to bring your student to a drop-off/pick-up location within one of the regions we offer instruction.
To register go to our website and find a region that is near you. Once you have registered an email will be sent with important information, please make sure to read it. Reply to this email and include a note indicating that you wish to arrange a location for pick-up and drop-off.
How do I schedule my behind-the-wheel driving lessons?
Once you are registered and have paid your account in full, you will be able to schedule sessions online. Please note that we are very busy and are scheduling quite far in advance. As instructors provide us with their availability, we add those dates to the system. New openings can show up at any time. We suggest you log in daily as available drive times are grabbed very quickly.
Special Note: For your teen to get the most out of their driver's education experience, we require that you drive with your teen for a minimum of 10 hours before their first behind-the-wheel lesson. This allows us to focus on the finer details of driving instead of the basics like accelerating, braking, and steering.
When should I schedule my behind-the-wheel instruction?
We require that you drive with your parents or guardian for at least 10 hours before your first scheduled behind-the-wheel session. You do not need to complete your 50 hours of supervised driving with your parents before doing behind-the-wheel instruction.
You should schedule your sessions at least three weeks apart to allow adequate time for practice between sessions.
Please do not wait until the end of your contract period to schedule your behind-the-wheel instruction. We are very busy and may not be able to work you into our schedule on that short of notice.
Please do not schedule your road test until you have all three behind-the-wheel sessions scheduled. It is a good idea to schedule the third behind-the-wheel session no closer than a month prior to your expected test date. This will allow for rescheduling if your session is canceled due to weather, illness, or anything else.
Do I need to complete my 50 hours of supervised driving before scheduling my behind-the-wheel lessons?
No. We require that you drive with your parents for at least 10 hours before your first session. You may start your behind-the-wheel lessons anytime after this. Having some driving experience before starting your behind-the-wheel lessons helps you to get the most out of your time with a licensed instructor.
Can I do my behind-the-wheel instruction at Today's Driving School if I went to another provider for the classroom portion?
Yes. You will need to provide us with a copy of the 30-hour letter of completion issued by the driver's education program that provided your classroom education. We are required to maintain a copy of the letter of completion in our records.
Can I complete the remaining behind-the-wheel instruction with you if I started with another provider?
Yes. The hours of behind-the-wheel instruction provided by another company are transferable. We will need a letter from them stating how many hours you have completed with them and a copy of the 30-letter of completion indicating that you completed the classroom portion of driver's education.
May I use my own car for behind-the-wheel instruction?
No. As a state-approved driving school, our instructional vehicles are required to have an instructor brake and instructor rear-view mirror. The vehicles must also meet the state's strict safety standards. There is also a liability issue with insurance.
What is your refund policy?
All sales are final. No refunds will be issued for any reason, including but not limited to the following list.
- Failure for any reason to schedule behind-the-wheel sessions within the contract period.
- Failure for any reason to attend class within the contract period.
- Failure for any reason to make up missed days of class within the contract period
- Illness of any kind including pandemics.
- You have made a decision to go to another provider for the purpose of completing your driver's education for any reason during the contract period.
- You allowed the contract to expire, for any reason, without completing classroom or behind-the-wheel instruction.
- In the event of expulsion.
What is the white card?
The white card is the certificate of completion for behind-the-wheel instruction. It proves that you have completed both the 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction required to get your Minnesota Driver's License. You must present this card to the examiner in order to take the road test.
What is a blue card?
The blue card is the certificate of completion for the classroom portion of the driver's education. The blue card proves that you have completed the required 30 hours of classroom education and are registered with a licensed driver's education program for behind-the-wheel instruction. This card must be presented to the examiner in order to take the written knowledge test. The examiner will take possession of the blue card and not return it.
Your student may not practice driving before they pass the written test and receive their instruction permit.
How do I schedule a farm work driver's license road test with the DMV?
For scheduling a test to get a Farm Work Driver's License, you must call (651) 284-1234. The current online registration system does not accommodate registration requests for the Restricted Farm Work Driver's License.
Please note that you must download the Farm Work License Affidavit. and present that to the examiner on the day of the road test. Your must also present valid forms of identification, a copy of the tax statement listing the land as agricultural, and a copy of the lease if the farmland is rented.
You may find more information in the Minnesota Driver's Manual (p. 11 for the restricted farm work driver's license.)
How do I schedule a knowledge or road test with the DMV?
You must schedule your test online using the DPS/DMV online registration system. If you need assistance in scheduling an appointment, call (651) 284-1234.
May I rent or borrow a driver's education car to take my road test?
Sorry, no. There are liability issues and then there is the fact that we need them to provide behind-the-wheel education for other students.