The District of Columbia (DC) drivers’ education program is not mandatory for residents to obtain a license. The region follows a different approach from other locations in the US, involving students and new drivers under 21 years old and at least 16 years old enrolling in a GRAD (Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers) program. Under this program you can apply for a learner’s permit and move on to driving a car while following certain restrictions. These include:
- Wearing seat belts at all times
- Always driving under the supervision of a licensed individual at least 21 years of age
- Driving only between the hours of 9am and 5pm.
Taking a drivers’ education course can help prepare you to drive more responsibly and avoid incurring any violations on your learner’s permit. DC drivers’ education will help you become more familiar with the laws applicable to all the motorists in the region, and also inform you of the penalties of violating these laws. You will also learn what the various traffic signs mean and how to use them while driving. All of this information will be covered via a series of class-based lectures spread over a total of 30 hours. This training may seem dreary, but it has certain advantages. You can use the material you learn as preparatory source for the written component of the driving test which you will have to take when you apply for a full license.
The other component of the DC drivers’ education program consists of giving you behind-the-wheel training and making you more comfortable with operating a vehicle safely. You will learn how to park a car and maintain control over it under different weather conditions. The amount of time you get behind the wheel may vary from institution to institution, but the training will equip you with the basic knowledge of how to maneuver a car safely from point A to point B.
These courses are designed for the benefit of all motorists in order to help create a safer environment for everyone by encouraging responsibility. They also ensure that everyone has sufficient practice with a car before driving independently.