Driver Education Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Montgomery College's Driver Education course is approved by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The course consists of the required 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours Behind the Wheel. Successful completion of this driver education course is one of the requirements for obtaining a Maryland driver's license.
Behind the Wheel (BTW)
Driver Improvement Lessons
About the Instructors
- About the program.
Montgomery College offers the MVA approved and Certified Driver Education Course which includes the standard 30 hours classroom, and 6 hours Behind the Wheel instruction. The first part is classroom sessions totaling 30 hours, plus 15 minute break per class. The second part is 6 hours, divided into three 2-hour sessions of Behind the Wheel (BTW) driving practice with a certified Driving Instructor.
- How long is the classroom portion?
The classroom portion of the program fulfills the state requirement of 30 hours. Evening classes will usually run for 3 hours and 15 minutes for a total of 10 sessions. Saturday classes usually run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., for a total of 10 sessions.
- How long is the Behind the Wheel portion?
The Behind the Wheel (BTW) portion of the program is divided into three lessons of 2 hours each, for a total of 6 hours. Each lesson is held separately on a different day. The six hours can usually be completed within one to four weeks after the third classroom session.
- How many students are in each class?
Classroom size is limited to between 18 and 22 students. For the Behind the Wheel portion of the program there is just one student and one instructor per car.
- Where and when are the classes usually held?
Classes are held at our Gaithersburg Business Training Center (GBTC), Rockville Campus, or the Germantown Campus. See MC maps for directions.
The Gaithersburg Business Training Center (GBTC), map, 12 South Summit Ave, 4th floor, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877. GBTC is located on RIDE ON bus route 55 (stop at Summit Ave., walk two blocks toward City Hall / Gaithersburg MARC train station) or RIDE ON bus route 54 (stop at Diamond Ave. and walk 3/4 mile east parallel to RR tracks).
See MC maps for directions to the Germantown Campus, Gaithersburg, and Rockville Campus.
- How much does it cost?
The cost for the Driver Education course is $330.00, non-Maryland residents add $160.00.
- How do I register?
See the Class Schedule for available classes. See How to Register for directions on how to register for Driver Ed classes.
- If I'm over 18 do I need to take the class?
Yes. All new drivers regardless of age are required to successfully complete the Driver Education program and comply with the Rookie Driver laws and requirements. See the MVA for complete details http://www.marylandmva.com
- Do I get a certificate if I complete the class?
Not any more. Instead of a certificate the MVA requires the results of their Driver Ed class to be electronically submitted to the MVA. If students successfully complete both parts of the program (Classroom and Behind the Wheel) they will receive a letter of completion. Please allow 3 to 4 days for the processing of your electronic certificate. Same day servicing is not accepted as it takes 24 to 72 hours for the data to be reflected within the MVA's system.
- What if the weather is inclement?
School closings due to snow or inclement weather are posted on www.montgomerycollege.edu, or listen to the radio or TV for information. If the College is closed, there are no classes or driving lessons. If the College is open, it is up to the discretion of the instructor whether or not to conduct BTW driving lessons. For further information you may check with the individual instructor, or call the Program Director.
- Am I required to have a Learner's Permit to take the class?
Yes, effective October 2008, students must have a Learner's Permit to take the class.
- May I register for the class before I have my Learner's Permit?
You may register for the course before you obtain your Learner's Permit. However, you must obtain your Learner's Permit before the course starts.
- How do I obtain a Learner's Permit?
- Learner's permits may be obtained at the MVA and require certain documents such as a birth certificate, passing an eye test, and passing a quiz, etc.
- The Rookie Driver Program has information on how to get a learner's permit.
- Montgomery College has a Learners Permit Preparatory Course that includes several tutorials to help students practice and prepare for the Learner's Permit.
- The MVA now has an online tutorial to be used as a practice guide to help prepare you for your Learner's Permit.
- Learners Permit Prep. Course
We offer a 10 hour Learners Permit Prep Course to help prepare students for the Maryland MVA learners permit test. This course is open to all students, yet designed by a Special Education Teacher to help students with Learning Disabilities. Call for more information 240-567-1895
- How long is the classroom portion?
Question: The MVA requires 30 hours of dedicated classroom instruction.
- What do I need to bring to orientation / first class?
Students should bring their learner's permit and their parent/mentor to the first class. Students will not be issued a schedule for Behind the Wheel driving lessons until they bring in their learner's permit for verification. Students should also bring their activity calendar to be able to confirm their schedules for BTW driving lessons.
- Does my parent or guardian have to come to orientation / first class?
If the student is 17 or younger, a Parent / Mentor must attend the first class session with the student for an orientation. The Orientation will acquaint parents and students with Maryland's Graduated Licensing System (GLS) Laws ( with the recent updates), Montgomery College Driver Education program policies, Parent / Mentor Rookie Driver training guidance, and Behind the Wheel (BTW) guidelines and schedules.
- What if I miss a class?
You must make up that same number session in a future class. There are a total of ten sessions. All absences need to be approved by the classroom instructor. It is important to attend all ten sessions to maintain continuity of information.
To make up the particular session you missed, you may attend it the next time it is offered. See class schedule. You should make arrangements ahead of time with the instructor to make up the class. The Instructor needs advance notice to be able to pull your file. The entire course must be completed within 18 weeks. Call if you have any questions.
Behind the Wheel (BTW)
- What do I need to do to prepare for BTW?
Effective October 2008 students must have a learner's permit to take this course. Students need to bring the learner's permit to the first class for verification purposes. Until they do so, they will not be issued a schedule for the Behind the Wheel lessons.
We recommend that parents / mentor help students prepare for the course by completing lessons 1 through 3 in the Rookie Skill Log book which focuses on basic car control. These instructions are found in lessons 1 through 3 of your Skill Log book (orange) that you were given when you received your learner's permit from the Motor Vehicle Administration. Visit www.rookiedriver.com for more information on preparing to drive in Maryland.
Make sure you are well rested, dressed appropriately (shoes, clothing, eye wear) and have taken any necessary non-drowsy medication. See BTW Guidelines.
- What are the BTW Guidelines?
BTW Guidelines are provided as a reference guide for students participating in Montgomery College's Driver Education Program. This includes guidelines for appropriate attire for the Behind the Wheel driving lessons and other helpful information such as what to do if you have to cancel or reschedule a driving session. Students must sign this document before they are allowed to participate in Behind the Wheel driving practice.
- What is the Driver Safety Agreement?
For the safety of the students, instructors, fellow motorists, and pedestrians the students must agree to the terms and conditions of the The Driver Safety Agreement. The Behind the Wheel Instructor and student will go over the Driver Safety Agreement prior to the first driving lesson. This form must be signed by the student, and parent if the student is under 18.
- Will I be able to take the Behind the Wheel portion of the program if I don't have a Learner's Permit yet?
No, effective October 2008, the MVA now requires students to have a learner's permit to participate in the 6 hour BTW driving portion of the class with a certified Driving Instructor.
- How long is the Behind the Wheel portion?
Each student is scheduled for three, 2-hour BTW sessions for a total of six hours of Behind the Wheel driving with a certified instructor. We try our best to schedule BTW sessions to be completed within the course duration and not during school hours for teens. *We schedule 10 minutes between each lesson for parent feedback opportunities.
- When do I get a schedule?
Students will get their BTW schedule during the first three classes if they brought their learner's permit to the first class. If they did not, they will not receive a BTW schedule until they can present their learner's permit to the office for verification. Please bring your activity calendar to the first class. Each student is scheduled for three 2-hour BTW sessions. We try our best to schedule BTW sessions to be completed within the course duration. The MVA recommends that we do not begin the Behind the Wheel sessions until after the third classroom session.
- When are the BTW sessions usually held?
The MVA recommends that we do not begin the Behind the Wheel sessions until after the third classroom session. Students will be assigned three, 2-hour sessions weekdays and/or weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For example, one student schedule might be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., or another student's might be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. We do take into consideration High School hours during the school year. Students may not have more than one driving lesson per day.
Lessons are held daily from:
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
10:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.
1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
3:40 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.
5:50 p.m. to 7:50 p.m.
- What if I have a schedule conflict and can't make all three BTW lessons?
Students need to make the Driver Education classes a priority. There is limited flexibility in modifying the schedule. To avoid conflicts you should bring your activity calendar to the first class. If you have a serious conflict, try the following:
1. Try rearranging your outside engagement or appointment.
2. You may try to exchange your entire three session schedule with another student in your class, the instructor will allow time for this. Be sure to notify the classroom instructor of the change.
3. If still unsuccessful, call the BTW coordinator for assistance, 240-567-1895.
4. The third class session is the last day to make any schedule changes.
- How many are in the car during BTW driving lessons?
Student to instructor ratio is always 1:1 for driving lessons.
- What type of car?
BTW session are conducted with college vehicles that have automatic transmissions, one student per lesson. Currently we use 2007 Chevrolet Cobalts for Behind the Wheel driving lessons.
- What if I miss a session?
$50 Lost Session Fee: If you arrive at your driving session without the appropriate apparel / tools, your session will be cancelled and you will be charged $50. If you must cancel or reschedule your driving session, it must be done at least 24 hours in advance to avoid the $50 fee. If you do not show for your lesson, you will be charged $50. Illness and other emergencies with documentation can be submitted to the program office for fee waiver consideration. The student should make contact with both the Driving Instructor and Program Director within 24 hours of missed session to reschedule. Driving Instructor contact information will be on the student's BTW schedule.
- What if I just need the Behind the Wheel portion of the program?
We offer the MVA 6-hour Behind the Wheel Course separately for students who have completed the classroom portion of Driver Education at another school. The MVA 6-hour Behind the Wheel course costs $225. Out of state fees apply, no tuition waivers. To register, fill out the Application Form for Additional Driving Lessons and fax documents to 240-567-1890.
- What if I don't successfully complete the BTW portion?
Students must successfully complete all 6 hours (three 2-hour lessons) of the BTW portion of the Driver Education class before a certificate of completion is issued. Success is determined by completion of all 6 hours satisfactorily. Instructor discretion is used for students earning an unsatisfactory on any of the skills. Eight out of ten Driver Education Students pass the BTW part of the class within the 6 hours scheduled
If an Instructor sees that a student may not pass the BTW portion, he may recommend that the student defer his/her 2nd or 3rd lesson in order to have more practice driving, thus having a better chance of passing. This practice may be with a parent or mentor, or they may take Driver Improvement Lessons. If a student fails the BTW portion, they must practice (this can be with the school or a parent/mentor driver) and then arrange with the school to re-take the failed lesson. Any lesson outside of the 6 hours included in the course is at an additional charge.
- What is unique about your BTW Instruction?
Students should expect to receive an uninterrupted 2-hour lesson that stays on course according to curriculum with flexibility for student skill level and driving route. We drive with one student per lesson, beginning and ending at our driving school site. Students with Learning Disabilities are scheduled with our Special Driver Educators.
Driver Improvement Lessons
- What are Driver Improvement Lessons?
Driver Improvement Lessons Need more EXPERIENCE behind the wheel? Driver Improvement Lessons, with a certified driving instructor, are designed to improve driving skills and give young drivers more experience behind the wheel. Even after passing driver education or getting a driver's license, many young drivers lack EXPERIENCE behind the wheel. Our certified driving Instructors are there to help young drivers improve their driving skills, gain more experience behind the wheel, and reduce their risk on the road.
These classes are open to anyone, not just the Driver Education students who may need a little more than the required 6 hours of Behind the Wheel instruction before they are ready to drive. Students must have a Learner's Permit or Driver's License to enroll in Driver Improvement Lessons. Driver Improvement Application form. For registration information call Maria Castro-Trujillo, Program Assistant, 240-567-1895.
- How much do Driver Improvement Lessons cost?
These lessons are available in increments of 2, 4, or 6 hours, at a cost of $100, $200, or $300 respectively. Driver Improvement Lessons are also available for periods of 10, 20, or 60 hours. Rates for 10 hours or more are found on the Driver Improvement Application form. For registration information call Maria Castro, Program Assistant, 240-567-1895.
- How do I register for Driver Improvement lessons?
Driver Improvement Application form. For registration information call Maria Castro, Program Assistant, 240-567-1895.
About the Instructors
Question: How do you choose your Instructors?
Answer: They must meet MVA requirements and demonstrate high regard for customer service and quality instruction. We interview and carefully select all Instructors/ Adjunct Faculty.
Question: Who are your Instructors?
Answer: Our instructors are all licensed by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, and have a wealth of experience and knowledge about driving safety. Instructors have been teaching Driver Education for several years in the local community and have served as police officers, military officers, or high school teachers prior to a Driver Education career. To maintain their certification they participate in state-required continuing education as well as professional development opportunities at Montgomery College. Our small group of instructors embrace the program's commitment to quality driver education.
Driver Education Instructors:
Daryl Young, BTW instructor. Driver Ed instructor for 17 years, he is also an MCPS Special Education Teacher. He believes Instructors should have integrity and be well educated and responsible. Kevin Coit, Classroom and BTW instructor. Driver Ed instructor instructor for 5 years. He also serves as MCPS substitute teacher, former MCPD officer of 11 years and MADD chapter president. Michael Bartlett-Vanderpuye, BTW Instructor. Driver Ed instructor for 4 years, he also holds occupation as a tradesman. He believes instructors should be patient, polite, and smart to best prepare students.