A: The state of California does not have a minimum age requirement to begin a driver-education program. You can sign up and take the knowledge portion of our driver-education program (Online or Classroom) at any age. You must complete the knowledge portion of the training with a DMV-licensed professional driving school before taking the Learner's Permit test. You must bring the appropriate Completion Certificate to your Learner's Permit test based on the training that you have completed:
A: The state of California has created an online portal dedicated to understanding the teen licensing process. You may find the California Parent-Teen Training Guide helpful in understanding the entire process and for logging training hours and activities.
These are the steps to become fully-licensed in the state of California:
If you are conducting your state-mandated behind-the-wheel training with us:
A: There is no minimum age requirement to begin the classroom training portion of our Driver Education Program. Since you must complete the knowledge-based portion of the Driver Education Program before you can take the Learner's Permit test, we advise that you time things so that the student will be able to sit for this test within a reasonable period of completing the Online or Classroom Training (so that the information is most fresh). In order to take the Learner's Permit test, the student must be at least age 15 years and 6 months. The student can then complete the behind-the-wheel portion of the training after the Learner's Permit is obtained. Important: The student must conduct the very first, two-hour lesson with a DMV-certified Driving School (such as I Drive Smart). The Instructor should sign the back of the Learner's Permit, allowing the student driver to train with a supervising adult driver, defined as anyone age 25 years or older with a valid California driver's license. It is best to stretch the training (with us as well as with the adult logging the supervised training) over a period of time to give each student the opportunity to absorb both the in-class and behind-the-wheel material.
A: Students are permitted under DMV guidelines to make up a missed class within a reasonable amount of time. If you miss an in-class session, you can log into your account and schedule a make-up session (choosing a location, date, and time that works best for you). We appreciate if you try to schedule make-up sessions prior to the class starting so that the instructor has an accurate roster for the class being missed and to open the seat for another student.
You can reschedule into any class, as long as there is still seating capacity. Here are the steps to change or customize your class schedule:
1. Log into your account.
2. If you wish to change an entire schedule, you can do this prior to the first unit starting by clicking on the Change button that shows above the schedule grid and picking a new class schedule from the next screen. This button disappears once the session for which you are scheduled starts.
3. If you wish to change a single class, find the class unit you wish to reschedule and click on the Status/Reschedule icon in the column to the right labeled Status/Reschedule.
a. This takes you to a page showing all future class options. The system will block you from scheduling two units on the same date (in which case you will see the word “conflict”).
4. Pick the location, date, and time that work for you and choose “Select.” You are able to makeup at any open class. There is no charge for this change unless it is into a class that has a higher location fee than you originally paid, in which case there is a $5 fee.
5. Repeat, if necessary, to customize any class desired.
Q: How do I get my certification for the Driver's Skills Test?
A: In addition to completing and logging the required 50-hours of adult-supervised training, with at least 10 hours at night, you will need to complete the Behind-the-Wheel Program with a state-licensed professional driving school. Once you have completed the three, two-hour driving lessons, the driving school will issue to you a Certificate of Completion of Behind-the-Wheel Training, Form OL 238 (Yellow Form). You must bring this with you to the final DMV-administered driving test. It is prudent to once again review the California Driver Handbook before taking the final driving test at the DMV.
Q. How do I cancel a scheduled behind-the-wheel session?
A: Students can cancel an in-car session at any point up until it is 72 hours prior to the session start time. For example, if you are scheduled for an in-car session on a Tuesday at 3:30 pm, you can cancel this session through Saturday 3:29 pm. Once the clock hits this 72-hour mark prior to the session start, the session is committed and cannot be canceled. We have this strict policy because our instructors have committed their own schedules and are required to be on-site for the session start. Because we have a stringent cancellation policy, please be very careful when scheduling your drive time. It is best to schedule each training session one session at a time rather than all at once. This will help to avoid missed sessions. We also send a courtesy reminder email five-days prior and one-day prior to the session date, but the best way to know your schedule is to visit your account which will always display your live schedule. Sessions do not expire, except that all sessions must be scheduled within two years of the purchase date.
Please Note: A client is able to cancel a session directly through his or her account 24 hours per day by clicking the "Unreserve" link and confirming the cancellation. A successful cancellation will be reflected immediately in the user account on the My Account page. If you still see the session showing on the My Account page, this means that the session is still live (not canceled). Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm EST. If you call or email outside of these hours to cancel a session, no action will be taken by us until our office is next open. This means that any effort to cancel a session with support from our office must occur during business hours and outside of the 72-hour window. An email sent to cancel on Friday at 4:35 pm EST will not result in action until Monday at 9:00 am EST. If Monday at 9:00 am EST falls within the 72-hour window, the session cannot be canceled even if the email or call had occurred outside of the 72-hour window. Our policy requires instructors to remain on-site for 30 minutes for a student who may be lost or late. We cannot wait longer as this can affect another student who is scheduled later. A late arrival may mean that the session will not qualify toward licensing requirements due to minimum training time requirements.
Q: What is the policy for inclement weather?
A: Our inclement weather policy starts with this basic premise: I Drive Smart will not put students into dangerous situations. If the weather conditions make it unsafe to drive, we will cancel the training. That said, we will not cancel training on the mere threat of bad weather or if there is a small amount of precipitation. We will only cancel if the conditions create a hazardous situation for training.
Our decisions related to inclement weather can always be easily found from any page on our website using the button/link in the upper-left portion of the screen called "Inclement Weather Updates." We will update this page whenever weather conditions warrant, so it is the first place to look if you have any questions. After updating our Inclement Weather page, we will next blast emails to those affected, to the best of our abilities. However, since our office can sometimes be affected by the very weather creating the impact, please do not rely on personal emails or phone calls. Simply check out the Inclement Weather page if you ever have any questions about the status of training.
General Inclement Weather Policy
I Drive Smart will not put students into dangerous situations.
In-class training sessions follow the relevant public school system's policy (by city/county) for emergency closings and cancellations. If the location operates on an independent policy, we will follow that policy. If the location is closed (or closes early), classes after this point will be closed. If schools are delayed, we typically will hold our classes as long as the schools allow for this. Cancelled classes(s) will be re-scheduled by I Drive Smart within a reasonable amount of time, often by simply adding another day to the schedule according to the class sequence pattern (e.g., by adding a Monday to a Mon-Fri session or a Tuesday to a Tue-Thu session). Most often, if the class session has already started, we move the postponed class to occur prior to Unit 9, producing the least disruption for those doing makeup classes.
Behind-the-wheel sessions are generally held rain or shine. However, if weather conditions warrant (i.e., snow or ice that make training risky), we will cancel training for the safety of our clients. We will rarely cancel due to rain or winds, unless the conditions are very severe. We look at less-than-ideal weather as presenting an opportunity for the client to train in adverse conditions with the safety of a professional instructor and a second, safety brake.
Q: What is the Graduated Licensing Program?
A: The program requires novice drivers (those licensing under age 18) to gain more driving experience with a supervising driver and gradually move up through the licensing process until full license status is achieved. Under the graduated licensing system, non-commercial license applicants, who have never held a driver's license, must progress through four licensing levels with certain restrictions:
Level 1 = Knowledge-Based Training with a state-licensed program. You must pass the final test and bring the Completion Certificate to the DMV written test.
Level 2 = Learner's permit (15 years and 6 months) - after passing DMV written test; must hold for six months minimum.
Level 2 = Provisional license (After Driver Education) - after passing DMV final driving test; this status lasts a minimum of 12 months and until age 18.
Level 3 = Full license - achieve this status at age 18 or after holding the Provisional License for 12 months, whichever comes last.
Q: How does the Payment Plan work?
A: If you purchase with a Payment Plan (available for most of our "packages" of services), the services that you purchase will be released on a schedule related to your payments. The following examples illustrate most of the Payment Plan situations, but please call our office if you have any questions:
Q: Where can I find the detailed terms that apply to the services offered by I Drive Smart, including key state-mandated regulations?
A: The general terms that govern your relationship with I Drive Smart, including the maximum period to complete training, our refund policy, and other relevant items, can be found on our global Terms page: https://www.idrivesmart.com/terms.cfm
Additional disclaimers and terms that relate to particular services, including state-mandated regulations which can vary from state to state, can be found via these links
To learn more about the requirements and recommendations for new or experienced drivers in California, visit:
California DMV >>