Q: How old do I have to be to take driver education?
Q: How old should my student be to start the State Driver Education Program, and what is the best way to progress through the training?
A: There is no longer a minimum age requirement to begin the classroom training portion of our Driver Education Program. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and I Drive Smart, Inc. recommend that students begin with the classroom portion of the Driver Education program, consisting of 30 hours of in-class instruction, to prepare for the MVA Learner's Permit Exam which a student can take at age 15 years and 9 months. The student can then complete the behind-the-wheel portion of the training after the Learner's Permit is obtained. 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.
Q: What if I miss a class?
A: Students are permitted under MVA 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 makeup session (choosing a location, date, and time that works best for you). We appreciate if you try to schedule makeup sessions prior to the class starting so that the instructor has an accurate roster for the class being missed.
Q: How old do I have to be to get a Learner's Permit in Maryland?
A: You must be 15 years and 9 months old to sit for the Learner's Permit test. You do not have to have taken Driver Education to get a learner's permit. You must study the Maryland Driver Handbook and take a test at a full service MVA location.
Q: How should I go about scheduling my in-car training. That is, what is the recommended approach?A: We know that a student will get the most out of our program if he or she has time to practice between the sessions, implementing the suggestions provided by the instructor. For an inexperienced driver, our training should be in collaboration with private practice and guidance by the supervising driver. Providing some spacing between sessions allows the student time to integrate the coaching that we have provided with the guided instruction from a supervising driver (whether or not more time is needed for "logging" of hours). If you are working with us toward obtaining a license, please do not consider our training as something to "get out of the way." Rather, we advise clients to think of us as a partner in mastering a very complex skill where mistakes can be very dangerous and costly. For these reasons, while each client is unique, we generally recommend that clients spread out their lessons with us, allowing critical time in between for the student to practice. One approach that works well for many clients is to train relatively early in the process (for a strong foundation), train some more mid-way through your logging of hours, and train again closer to the time that you wish to conduct the MVA driving test. Important: The MVA driving test should NOT be scheduled closer than three business days after completion of all training with us. We do not require any minimum training prior to the first in-car session, but we counsel clients to have at least some practice, ideally with some residential road experience, enabling the student to get more training in the first session than very basic training while on a parking lot. The Eligibility Date (nine months after issuance of the learner's permit) determines the earliest date that someone can become fully licensed, so there is no advantage to speeding up the process of completion with us.
Q: How do I get my certification for the Driver's Skills Test?
A: The Maryland MVA no longer issues paper certificates to completed students to clear them to take the MVA Licensing Test. Certified schools such as I Drive Smart now enter the completed student's information into the MVA On-line Certification Web Interface. The MVA will have your student information in their system when you arrive on test day as long as you have completed all the required training, submitted your forms to I Drive Smart and have been cleared by I Drive Smart to schedule your test.
Once you have completed all the required course work for both the in-class training and the behind-the-wheel training, you must submit the following forms to the I Drive Smart office via the outlined submission process below:
1. Student In-class Completion Form/Record
2. Student Behind-the-Wheel Completion Form/Record
3. Student Answer Sheet (found in your student handbook)
4. Student MVA Bill of Rights Form (signed by parent or guardian)
5. Student In-car Evaluation Form
How do I submit my required Student Forms:
A: As of September 1, 2010 I Drive Smart tracks all required student forms via our on-line Event Management System. As a student progresses through both in-class and behind-the-wheel training, all data are entered by individual instructors which will automatically populate onto the appropriate form. Students only have to manage their Maryland Classroom Student Answer Sheet contained in your issued Student Manual. This sheet along with your book should be brought to all in-class training sessions so all answers, scores and instructor signatures can be documented. The answer sheet also serves as the student's receipt of attendance. DO NOT MISPLACE THIS ANSWER SHEET. All other documents are handled by the I Drive Smart Event Management System. Students and Parents can view student scores and attendance by logging into the User Account after each session.
Once a student has completed all training, he or she will be able to view all completed forms with scores and signatures showing 24-hours after their last training session via the User Account. Additionally, a completed student will receive an email instructing the student to do the following:
Step One: Once notified via the student's User Account, the student should download, print and view all forms.
Step Two: After all documents are signed by the student/parent/guardian, the forms should be submitted in one of the following methods:
Electronic Upload: Print and sign your forms, scan and upload directly into your User Account
See directions on the Upload Forms Page in your User Account.
Email: Students can scan and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: Students can fax clean copies to (800) 783-1183 (include a transmittal)
Mail: Mail the MVA white copies to:
I Drive Smart, Inc.
30 Court House Square, G-2
Rockville, MD 20850
Attention: Student Document Review
Once the student's documents have been received and approved by the office, the student will receive an email and a notice in the User Account clearing the student to schedule the licensing test at the Motor Vehicle Administration.
Q: What is the Graduated Licensing Program?
A: The program requires novice drivers 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 three licensing levels:
Level 1 = Learner's permit (15 years and 9 months)
Level 2 = Provisional license (After Driver Education)
Level 3 = Full license
Q: I have been trying to print the forms for four days from three different computers and if I am in Microsoft Explorer it kicks me out ; if I use Firefox, it says to wait (forever) for the form to download. Please advise.
A: We are sorry for your experience and share in your frustration. Occasionally, Adobe’s software has glitches in certain browsers, and this is especially a problem for people on the Apple/Macintosh platform. If you are having problems seeing the forms to print them out, there is a potential work-around solution to address your issue. Instead of trying to view the document through the browser, try to download the file to your computer. Make sure to remember where on your hard drive you choose to save the file so that you can find it later. Once downloaded, you should be able to open the PDF file with Adobe Reader software (no browser involved at this point), view the information, and print it. please follow the below steps:
While Adobe promised that they will fix the “browser bug,” we can’t just wait for them to solve it, so we are hoping that these instructions will address the challenges that you have been experiencing. If you continue to have problems downloading your form, please let us know. Good luck, and thank you for choosing I Drive Smart!
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: