Driver's education

Attention icon

COVID-19: We are aware of the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on teen driver’s education across the state. Iowa law specifies that parent-taught driver’s education is only available for parents who have homeschooled their children during the previous year through the present year (Iowa Code section 321.178A). To be eligible for the parent-taught driver’s education program, the teaching parent must be providing competent private instruction pursuant to Iowa Code sections 299A.2 or 299A.3, which does not include taking classes or learning online through accredited public or private school programs.

If you are seeking options for your child to obtain driver’s education during COVID-19 school closures, we encourage you to contact your school district, or a nearby private driver's education provider to discuss the options available during this time.

Parent-taught (home-school) driver education

Parent-taught (home-school) driver education was created and authorized by the Iowa legislature for parents that home-school their children. The information below contains the requirements, process, and Iowa DOT approved courses.

For questions about parent-taught driver education, please contact parenttaught.de@iowadot.us or 515-237-3220.

Processing for each step with submitted documentation may take up to 10 – 14 days.

Step 1: Parent completes and submits application

A parent must complete the application to provide parent-taught driver education and submit it to the Office of Driver & Identification Services.

When submitting your application, please include documentation verifying that the student is currently receiving private instruction pursuant to Iowa Code Section 299A, and also received such instruction during the previous year. Possible examples of this documentation include a filed CPI Form A from both the current and previous year, enrollment forms from a Home School Assistance Program (HSAP) from the current and previous year, or a letter from your local school district administrator verifying that your student is homeschooled currently and has also been homeschooled the previous year. Please contact parenttaught.de@iowadot.us with any questions about what documentation meets this requirement.

Student requirements

  • Possess a valid instruction permit.
  • Age 14-21.
  • In custody and control of teaching parent.
 

Parent requirements

  • Provide private educational instruction to the student the previous year.
  • Possess a valid Iowa driver's license.
  • Have a clear driving record for the previous two years.
 

If the request is approved

Application is approved If the request is approved,the parent will receive an approval letter along with an approval packet from the Iowa DOT and may proceed with parent-taught driver's education.

 

If the request is denied

Application is denied If the request is denied, the Iowa DOT will send the parent a denial letter that explains the reason(s) for denial.

 

Step 2: Completing course requirements

  • After receiving the Iowa DOT's approval to teach the course, the teaching parent may purchase course material directly from the course provider and begin instruction. See the list of approved courses on the tab above.
  • Student successfully completes an approved course, including required classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction.
  • Parent submits the Application for Parent-Taught Driver Education Certificate of Completion to the Iowa DOT. Parents can request the application by sending an email to Parenttaught.de@iowadot.us.
    The following items must be included:
    • Name of approved course completed.
    • Copies or printouts of written tests.
    • Copy of driving log.
    Submit course completion information to:
    Iowa Department of Transportation
    Driver & Identification Services
    P.O. Box 9204
    Des Moines, IA 50306
  • The Iowa DOT will review the submitted materials. If requirements are met, the Iowa DOT will mail a certificate of completion to the parent and student. If the course completion material is unsatisfactory, the Iowa DOT will send a denial letter explaining the reason it was denied.
 

Step 3: Obtaining driving privileges

  • After the student receives their certificate of completion, the student and parent may schedule their driving test at any driver’s license station. The student and parent should bring the following items with them to the driver’s license issuance site: