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How to Start a Driving School in Texas

If you’ve got about $50,000 on hand and you’re looking to start a business, then knowing how to start a driving school in Texas could be a solid moneymaking venture. It is important to know that direct family members are authorized to teach students how to drive in the state, so not only will your business be competing against other driving schools, but with the fact that families can do it on their own for free.

There are also teen classes and adult classes that are held separately from each other. A driver’s education class is mandatory in Texas if a driver is under the age of 24, even if they have been licensed from out of state, so there are business opportunities available. You’ll need to put together $1,000 to apply to open a driver education school and then another $30 to be that school’s director. Then you’ll be ready to follow these additional steps.

1. You’ll need to secure a business name and location.

All names for driving schools in Texas must be approved by the local government. You’ll need to come up with a business name and then submit it to the county where you plan to register your business. When you do this, you’ll also need to submit a certificate of occupancy and a fire inspection from the city where the building you plan to occupy happens to be. Your commercial location must meet all training requirements in order to be approved. An unapproved location can cause the application to be denied.

2. Decide on your business structure.

Driving schools in Texas can be structured as any type of business. If you file as a limited liability corporation, however, you’ll need to file incorporation documents with the Secretary of State before you are able to continue with your application.

3. Secure your insurance.

You’ll need to have specific insurance that covers your liability and any damage your student drivers may cause while out on the road. Part of that insurance requirement is a $10,000 surety bond. You will need to provide proof that the bond has been issued to your company with the exact name that is on your application for your business to be approved.

4. Obtain your certificate to teach.

Teaching driver’s education in Texas requires every instructor and school director to have a driver education instructor license that is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. To teach teen drivers, a Driver Education Teacher endorsement must be issued with the instructor license. You’ll then need to provide evidence that you have all of the curriculum materials to teach the class according to Texas law.

5. Your training location must pass a full inspection by driver training staff.

You will have a final inspection of your training facility before your application is approved. Your facilities must have tables or desks that are appropriate for learning. Chairs must also be present, plus any additional tools that enhance the teaching process. Having a TV, DVD player, and a white erase board are highly recommended.

6. Make sure that your vehicles are all up to Texas standards.

Every vehicle that will be used for training purposes must also pass an inspection. They must have their registration current and possess the instructor controls, such as a side brake and mirror, to prevent accidents from occurring while out on the road. The vehicles must be insured in the name of the school and include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to pass inspection.

7. Deal with the waiting period.

Texas law requires that all new driver schools wait 30 days before the license can be issued. This wait period begins as soon as all of the necessary documentation has been submitted. If the entire application is in place, but the original surety bond paperwork is not submitted for three weeks, then the minimum wait time will be 51 days. The original bond is also required before an on-site audit of the training facility will be conducted.

Knowing how to start a driving school in Texas involves a lot of paperwork and some high fees. With several hundred dollars per student charged per class, however, the cost of securing a bond and the initial licenses can be immediately recouped. You will need to keep your bond current to keep your licenses active, so that will be annual fee that must be paid. Stay current and follow these steps and you’ll be in business soon.

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