Schools are opening back up and with that comes not only more traffic but more drivers on the road, some of them newly licensed.
“We need to anticipate that there’s gonna be young drivers on the road. Those young drivers who just got their license. We’re not used to those drivers on the roadway and they’re getting used to learning the roadway so there’s gonna be a transition coming up in September, late August,” Sgt. Justin Baker said.
Sgt. Baker says, for parents who have children getting ready to begin the drivers ed process, now is the time to start planning. Look up options like drivers’ academies, or parent taught curriculum.
“The first phase is going to be enroll in one of these courses and complete 6 hours of drivers education. Then, you’re gonna go to the DPS office, you’re going to bring the proper documents, take and eye exam, and a test and you’ll be issued your learners permit,” Sgt. Baker said.
If your child is already finished with drivers ed, then getting the actual permit or license is next up. The most common mistake, bringing copies of documents, or not knowing what to bring. All of that information is online.
“When they say it has to be the original document, there’s no exception to the rule. It’s not, well I lost it so I just brought this copy. It’s not to be unfair, it’s not to try to make the process more difficult. With technology today, it’s very easy to duplicate things and to create false identification. So the department is doing everything they can to eliminate that option of creating false identification so when they say, bring the originals, birth certificates, social security cards, there’s no exception to the rule,” Sgt. Baker said.
Another issue teens and parents may have is finding appointment availability.
“Schedule those appointments as fast as you can. If you know you’re a few months out, go ahead and look online on the Texas DPS website. Get your children enrolled in advance because with COVID we’re not at full capacity so it takes longer for people to come in and get that licensing,” Sgt. Baker said.
The overall message to new drivers and parents is one of responsibility. Sgt. Baker suggests parents review drivers ed information with their teens frequently.
“For parents, that’s one of those moments where you’re having to let go a little bit and there’s a lot of responsibility for the parents and the driver all the way from the beginning of the process to the end,” Sgt. Baker said.