TEACHERS DRIVING ACADEMY
In order to get MASS DOT credit for driver's education, a student must finish all requirements within two (2) years from the initial start date. If not finished within 2 years, you will have to appeal to the RMV for them to issue a driver's education certificate.
We've tried to answer most of your questions right here on the web. This page pretty much covers everything we can think of. We aslo put a couple links if you're looking for some things more specific.
Q. Do I need to take Driver's Education to get my Driver's License?
A. If you are under the age of 18, Massachusetts requires you to successfully complete an RMV approved Driver's Education Program and have the Driver's Education Certificate issued before you can book and take your Driver's License test.
Q. What does Driver’s Education consist of?
A. Students must attend 30 hours of classroom instruction (paid directly to choice of high school attended), 12 hours of behind the wheel instruction, 6 hours of observation, and a 2 hour mandatory parent/guardian class.
Q. How old do I have to be to attend Driver's Education?
A. The minimum age required: You must be at least 15 years and 9 months by the start of the class.
Q. When can I get my Learner's Permit?
A. The minimum age to get your Learner's Permit is 16 years old.
Q. When can I get my license?
A. You must have your permit for 6 months (183 days) of incident-free driving and complete all the driver’s education requirements in order to schedule your road test. Incident-free means that you have no violations or ‘at-fault’ crashes. If so, the 6 month starts all over from the date of the incident.
Q. How do I register for the 30 hour classroom instruction?
A. You can click on the ‘classroom schedule’ link and select the high school where you would like to take classes. You can then click on an application form to send directly to the high school of choice to register. We are contracted by many high schools and each school sets their own price for the 30-hour course.
Q. Do I have to attend that specific school or live in that town in order to take driver's education there?
A. No. We welcome any and all surrounding area students to attend at whatever high school they prefer.
Q. Do I need to have my Learner's Permit to attend Driver's Education Classes?
A. No. As a matter of fact, the Driver's Education Classes will prepare you to take the Learner's Permit Test.
Q. What is a Parent Class and how much does it cost?
A. The parent class is required to teach parents about the new junior operator laws as well as the required 40 hours instruction that the parent will have to sign off on that they completed with their teen. The TDA does NOT CHARGE for this class and is included in the 30-hour classroom portion fee.
Q. Who is required to attend the Parent Class?
A. The TDA requires that both the teen AND a parent/legal guardian attend the 2 hour parent class portion. The law states that we can combine this class for parent and teen. We want you both there together to go over the many changes that went into effect. This class counts as the first two (2) hours of the teens' required thirty hour (30) program.
Q. What if my parent already took the Parent Class with another driving school?
A. The parent will NOT have to attend, however, the teen will have to attend a parent class. This is also referred to as module #1 and is required for the teen as it is the first two (2) hours of the required thirty hour (30) program. We WILL need you to get us a copy of the parent completion letter you received at the other school for our records and the RMV.
Q. What if I took my 30 hour class with another driving school; can I do my driving lessons with TDA?
A. Absolutely. We welcome you to TDA. However, we will need a copy of the 30 hour official classroom completion letter. We don't need it before you start, however, we recommend you make sure there is no 'hidden' up-charge for you to get that letter. We don't want you to have to pay a ton of money to another school just to get the letter. We WILL need you to get us a copy of the classroom completion letter you received at the other school for our records and the RMV. You can email or fax it to us..Our info is on the 'contact us' page.
Q. What if I signed up for a specific session and I can't attend that first parent class session? Can I attend another parent class session at another location?
A. Absolutely. If you can't attend the scheduled parent session you signed up for, just attend any of the other parent classes at any location. No need to preregister or call ahead. Just show up, sign in, and attend the class.
Q. Do I have to attend Parent Class for every child?
A. No, the parent class is good for 5 years from the date it’s taken. So, if you have younger teens within that range, you will not have to attend again. (Remember, the teen will have to attend.)
Q. What will I need to get a permit?
A. You will need a birth certificate with a “raised” seal and a U.S. Social Security card. You will also need parental consent on the application form. Please make sure you have all the required paperwork or you will be denied at the RMV.
Q. Do I need an appointment at the RMV for my permit?
A. No, you do NOT need an appointment at the RMV to take your permit test.
Q. What is the fee for a permit test?
A. The fee is $30 to take your permit test. You must successfully get 18 out of 25 questions correct to pass your test. If you fail, you are allowed to go pay another $30 and retake the permit test again. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you pay the additional $85 for your FIRST TIME 5 YEAR LICENSE AT THE TIME YOU PAY FOR YOUR PERMIT. Tell the clerk you want to pay these fees as well as for the permit. The total will cost you $115 ($30 permit AND $85 license). This will get credited to your permit number and you will not have to wait hours on the phone later when you are going for your road test. You are going to pay them the fee in 6 months, so you are just giving them the money now and saving hours of frustration at a later date.
Q. How do I get a Driver's Education Certificate?
A. Upon Completion of all requirements at an approved Driver's Education School and payment of the required $15 fee by the RMV, the school will send an authorization to the RMV stating you have completed the program. The RMV will then issue a driver’s education certificate. This is no longer mailed to teens by the RMV. It is electronically put on your driver history and you can verify your certificate at the www.massrmv.com website.
Q. What if I miss a class?
A. The Massachusetts RMV requires you to attend 30 hours of Classroom preparation in order to obtain your Driver's Education Certificate. The RMV has broken down the 30 hours into fifteen 2 hour modules. If you miss a specific module, you must make up the EXACT module you missed at a later date. You can check our class schedules to see what modules are running at various locations and dates.
Q. If I miss a class, can I make it up at another location?
A. Yes. You can make up classes at any of the other locations as long as you are attending the module(s) you missed. You do not need to register for this. You can just attend and make sure you sign-in and list ‘makeup’ next to your name.
Q. When can I start taking my On-Road Lessons?
A. You can start taking road lessons as soon as you have obtained your permit.
Q. How do I schedule my road lessons?
A. It’s very easy. Go to the ‘driving lesson’ link and click on the town where you will be picked up. This will bring you to a page where you select how many hours you want to drive that day. Next, you will see all the cars listed. ALWAYS select ‘NO PREFERENCE’ as this will search all the teachers and give you the most available hours to work with your schedule. Click on any of the available dates and times and fill in the information. The system will send you an immediate confirmation after booking and automatically generate a 24 hr reminder the day before your lesson. It’s that easy!
Q. What’s the maximum I can drive or observe in one day?
A. Per the RMV rules, you can only do a maximum of 2 hours per day. That means 2 hours driving, 1 hour driving/1 hour observing, or 1.5 hours driving/.5 hour observing.
Q. What is the TDA cancellation policy?
A. The TDA respectfully requests that if you must cancel a driving lesson, you provide 24 hours notice to us.
Q. Why do I have to give 24 hours notice?
A. Your teachers have set aside their schedules for you. If you don’t show for your lesson, the teacher still has to be paid. We understand emergencies arise and take this on a case by case basis. By giving 24 hours notice, we can open that spot up for other teens who want to drive that day.
Q. What if I didn’t give 24 hours notice? Will I be charged?
A. Aside from emergencies that arise, you will be charged for the lesson if you don’t provide the required notice or we can’t get another student to fill your lesson. The LAST thing we want to do is charge you for a missed lesson. Your parents won’t be happy and we want to make your driving experience with the TDA a positive one.
Q. How do I cancel my driving lesson?
A. It’s very easy. Click on the ‘cancel my driving lesson’ link and fill out the fields in their entirety. This assures that you did your part and we’ll take care of the rest. You can also send an email to email@example.com
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE HIGH SCHOOL TO CANCEL LESSONS. THE HIGH SCHOOL ONLY TAKES CARE OF REGISTERING YOU FOR THE 30-HOUR CLASSROOM PORTION.
Q. How much does 30-hour classroom portion cost?
A. Each of the high schools we teach offer different pricing for the classroom portion. The prices range between $70-$99, depending on location.
Q. How much is parent class?
A. Parent class at the TDA is FREE. There is no additional charge for attending a parent class.
Q. How much are driving lessons?
A. Driving lessons are $55 per hour (behind the wheel driving). There is no charge for observation. The total for 12 hours of driving and 6 hours observation is $660. This is paid directly to the TDA.
Q. What is the payment policy?
A. We’re not the type of school to drive away if you don’t have a check with you the day of your lesson. That doesn’t do either of us any good. All we ask is that we can please adhere to the following payment policy. You can always pay earlier and in full, but this is the minimum requirements.
Lesson #1-(payment of $180 for lessons 1-3 and state driver's education certificate)
Lesson #4-(payment of $165 for lessons 4-6)
Lesson #7-(payment of $165 for lessons 7-9)
Lesson #10-(payment of $165 for lessons 10-12)
Q. What’s the $15 Driver’s Education certificate fee?
A. This is the $15 we pay the RMV to process your drivers education certificate. There is NO MARK-UP whatsoever. This is the exact fee the RMV charges. Some schools make the teens show up on the last day with a check for $15 made out to the RMV. If we did this, we are sure some would forget and delay the RMV processing your certificate and ultimately delay you obtaining your license.
Upon Completion of all requirements at an approved Driver's Education School and payment of the required $15 fee by the RMV, the school will send an authorization to the RMV stating you have completed the program. The RMV will then issue a driver’s education certificate. This is no longer mailed to teens by the RMV. It is electronically put on your driver history and you can verify your certificate at the www.massrmv.com website.
Q. Can I pay online as well as by check/cash?
A. Yes. You can choose to pay online using a credit card if desired. We use PayPal as it is safe and secure and we do not want to have your credit card information. You do not have to have a PayPal account to pay online. We have never had a problem and consider this the safest way to pay online.
You can also give a check or cash to your teacher when you have driving lessons.
Q. So what’s my total cost going to be?
Ø Classroom Instruction: $9-99 depending on location (payable to high schools)
Ø 12 Driving hours instruction/6 hours observation: $660
Ø Driver’s Education Certificate: $15 (RMV fee but we pay it for you so we don’t hold up your license.)
Ø Parent class: FREE
Ø Optional Saturday Road test: $125
Q. When am I eligible to take a Massachusetts road test?
A. You are eligible to take a road test after you have had a permit for 6 months of incident-free driving (no at-fault crashes or moving violations). HOWEVER, the RMV will not allow you to go for an alternative road test until at least 14 days AFTER your 6 months anniversary date. You must also FINISH everything 21 days before the date you chose. Also, as of March 26, 2018, the RMV is requiring that all students pay for their 5 year license with them in order to come for a weekend test. Use the link on our homepage to pay the RMV if you failed to do so.
Q. So I want to book a road test with TDA; What is the earliest date I can pick?
A. The earliest date you can pick is at least 14 days AFTER your 6 months anniversary date of having your permit. Example: Permit issued on January 2. Your 6 months anniversary date is July 2. Now, add 14 days...The earliest date you are eligible to book is any date after July 16.
Q. When does the TDA offer road testing sponsorship?
A. The TDA offers a road test on Saturday's OR Sunday's but all testing is subject to RMV availability. The RMV will provide examiners to come to our site and conduct road testing based upon availability. The RMV dicates what day the test will be on usually the week before the test.
Q. Can I book my own road test with the RMV?
A. Yes you can. However, you will have to go during normal business hours of Monday through Friday with a sponsor that has a middle emergency brake for the examiner to grab in event of an emergency.
Q. Why would I want to take my test with the TDA on the weekend?
A. First off, you don't have to miss school and can take your test on a weekend. You will arrive about 1 ½ hrs before your scheduled test time so we can have other teachers giving you a warm-up lesson. This will familiarize you with the vehicle again and actually take a practice test and observe other students practicing their road test. Also, on weekends, there is much less traffic in the area which helps bring down the level of anxiety each teen has on test day.
****IMPORTANT: DO NOT SCHEDULE A ROAD TEST WITH THE RMV ON YOUR OWN IF YOU PLAN ON GOING FOR A TDA TEST. JUST USE THE LINK ON OUR WEBSITE TO SCHEDULE YOUR ROAD TEST (WE SCHEDULE IT FOR YOU!) THE RMV WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO HAVE TWO (2) APPOINTMENTS. THIS WILL RESULT IN THE RMV REMOVING YOU FROM YOUR TEST WITH THE TDA.*****
Q. Where does the TDA offer testing?
A. Currently, the RMV comes to one of our licensed locations to conduct testing. At this time, we are conducting testing in Mansfield. This area is rural and a geographically good area to conduct testing with minimal traffic impact.
Q. How long in advance to I have to book my road test?
A. You must have completed ALL your driver’s education requirements and be paid in full 14 (FOURTEEN) days prior to your requested weekend test. If you are not paid in full for your driving lessons and your drivers education certificate fee by lesson #10, your paperwork will be held up and will cause a delay in you obtaining your license. (Example: If your are eligible for your license on September 22, 2018, the earliest you could go with us for the test would be October 6, 2018. Remembering the 14 day rule now in effect by the RMV, you will want to have all your requirements completed by September 8, 2018.)
Q. Why did the RMV change the rules on having to be done earlier?
A. The RMV changed the process of how alternative road testing is conducted. They also charge us, the driving school, a $20 convenience fee for each student that takes a test with us on a weekend. We pay the ‘convenience fee’, not you. The RMV needs to time to process your driver’s education certificate and schedule road test examiners. Without the certificate being processed by them, you cannot schedule a road test on your own or with the TDA. That’s the reason for having to complete your requirements 14 days prior.
Q. What is the fee for taking the alternative road test with the TDA?
A. The TDA fee for alternative road testing is $125. This fee is non-refundable. This includes the sponsorship, the use of TDA vehicle, and warm-up lesson before testing. Mansfield/Foxboro area students will meet at designated location in Mansfield. (*Hopkinton/Ashland area student: also includes shuttle service from Hopkinton High School to test site and drop off back at high school. Norwood, Dover-Sherborn, Millis, Walpole area student: also includes shuttle service from Coakley Middle School, Norwood to test site and drop off back at the school.) The fee for TDA driver's ed student re-takes in the event of a previous failure with TDA is $75.
SATURDAY ROAD TESTING IS RESERVED FOR TDA STUDENTS ONLY AT THIS TIME.
Q. How do I sign up for my alternative road test?
A. There is a link ‘schedule my road test’ on our website. Fill out the form in its’ entirety and correctly. Click ‘submit’ and this will put you on our schedule for the requested weekend. You (even if its 6 months from now, sign up today and reserve your spot..don't wait till the end) We take care of notifying the RMV and putting you on the list.
Q. I’ve scheduled by road test..Is there anything else I need to do?
A. Yes. If you haven’t PREPAID the RMV for your license and road test appointment fee, you must do this immediately. You must call 857-368-8000 and state "ROAD TEST" OR PAY IT ONLINE @ https://www.massrmv.com/payroadtest. You can then use the automated system to pay the fee to the RMV. The RMV will charge your $85 FOR YOUR FIRST TIME LICENSE. You will have to pay this fee whether you go with us or go during the week on your own.
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND you pay the additional $50 for your drivers’ license and $35 road test appointment scheduling fee AT THE TIME YOU PAY FOR YOUR PERMIT. Tell the clerk you want to pay these fees as well as for the permit. The total will cost you $115 ($30 permit AND $85 First time license fee). You CAN NOW PAY THIS ONLINE...SEE ABOVE...This will get credited to your permit number and you will not have to wait hours on the phone later when you are going for your road test. You are going to pay them the fee in 6 months, so you are just giving them the money now and saving hours of frustration at a later date.
Q. How do I know what time my test will be?
A. You will receive an email from the TDA (to the email you registered with for your test) WEDNESDAY EVENING before the exam date. This will have your scheduled test time and necessary arrival time or pick-up time (*Hopk/Ash area students OR *Norwood area students).
Q. What do I need to bring to the test?
A. You will need your permit (Non-laminated and legible) and a properly and legibly completed application form in PEN that is signed by you and your parent/guardian who authorizes you to obtain your license. (link for license application: MASS RMV LICENSE APPLICATION You MUST have already paid online the $125 to book the road test.
Q. How do I make payment for the test?
A. You must pay online for the road test fee. The fee for booking an optional road test with TDA is non-refundable.
Q. Unfortunately, I failed my test. When can I go again?
A. If you happen to fail the test, you can go home and immediately email us to request another test. We will get you on the next available test possible. (THIS iS THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THE 21 DAY RULE..ALL FIRST TIME TESTERS, MUST ADHERE TO THE 21 DAY RULE**) Unfortunately, the RMV will not allow you to go for your test the following weekend. In the event of a failure, email the SAME DAY requesting another test.
***The RMV is going to charge you an additional $35 road test appointment fee. You must get on the phone the following Monday ( 857-368-8000 ) OR PAY IT ONLINE @ https://www.massrmv.com/payroadtest and prepay the RMV that $35 AGAIN (and every time if you should fail) to ensure you are 'prepaid' for the Saturday test. You DO NOT have to pay for your license fee again. The TDA fee for drivers ed students on retakes is $75. This must be paid online in advance.
Q. What should I wear for my test?
A. First impressions make a difference. Dress appropriately and show the examiner that you’re ready to have your license and responsible enough to be out on your own. No hats, pajamas, and DO NOT wear sandals or flip-flops during driving lessons and especially on test day. Let's show the examiner that you mean business and you're ready!