Can parents give teens their Texas driving test?

By Product Expert | Posted in Community, FAQs, Texas on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019 at 8:34 pm
A woman learns to drive with an instructor who may or not be her father.

Driver’s License Testing Regulations in Texas

With license-test facilities in Texas becoming more-and-more overloaded with traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian), some parents are looking for alternative options. One movement that’s started gaining some traction is the possibility of parents teaching and testing their own teens for their driver’s license. This practice, after all, was legal in Texas until 2009.

What is the status right now? Can parents give teens their Texas driving test?

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A young woman screams in terror while trying to drive, but maintains a smile on her face.No, parents in Texas are not allowed to give the Driver’s License test to their children. It is currently still required that prospective drivers get their license from a state-operated official facility. Though these facilities are often overwhelmed with applicants, it is considered safer for everyone on the roads to ensure that all drivers are held to the same standards before receiving their license.

However, a bill has been written and proposed by Representative James White that would allow parents in Texas to both teach and administer the driving test to their own children. This bill, titled HB 409, aims to alleviate the long lines at public testing and license issuing facilities by giving families the option to skip the facilities and do the test at home. Rep. White says it’s based on holding trust in the fact that parents will make the right decisions for their children.

When would the new law take effect?

If the bill passes, it will take effect on September 1st, 2019. Passing requires a “yes” vote from two-thirds of the members elected to each house.

Under the new law, the current system would remain, but White hopes that some of the load would be taken off of it. The current law requires 32 hours of classroom time and 44 hours of hands-on driving. That would not change under the new bill.

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Should parents be able to give kids their driving test?

Opinions, of course, vary about the value of this new bill. Many would appreciate the freedom and convenience. However, others are worried about the decrease in regulation for teaching and testing. Parents, after all, aren’t necessarily trained to instruct about driving, to correct bad behavior, or to know the exact road rules and sign meanings.

As such, their bad driving habits could be passed to their kids. Additionally, having to pass a test with an outsider is theorized by some to be more motivating to a teen to try hard than the prospect of simply facing one’s parents.