Have a new driver in the house?I feel your pain.

Where to start???Don’t panic…here’s some help.As promised in my March 21 blog, I will be giving a play-by-play, of my own experience…a how-to, for other parents in the same predicament.

I decided to take my 15-1/2 year old daughter to our local DPS office (Department of Public Safety).There, she would have her first adult experience of waiting in line…for eternity. A good time to gauge how well she’s going to cope with road rage in rush hour traffic…but that’ll come later. I took her to the same DPS office where I had gone to renew my Texas Drivers License.For years, I had renewed my license through the mail.That youthful picture had apparently reached it’s limit. Therefore, I was now required to appear and wait in a long line for a new one.I think they make you wait in line a long time so your picture will look more like you when you actually get pulled over by the police. Kind of put-out and cranky. They’re not as dumb as they look… (well, maybe some are)…

Just as expected.We waited forever.This is a place where you can arrive, clean shaven….and leave with a full beard(truth is, a woman my age, you can grow a full beard….disturbing, isn’t it?).

I was informed that there are two options here for new drivers under 18.Your teen driver can either attend an independent drivers education course (most range around $350.00). The DPS will have a list of state approved ones.Or, you can choose to do a parent taught driver education course.

We left the office with a Form DL-92 Request For A Parent Taught Driver Education Packet.We were told to complete it, enclose the $20 packet fee and mail it off to Austin.Program requirements are listed on the form.Among them, they insist that the parent teacher must have no prior convictions, including DWI or homicide, nor mental illness…..Check! (I think).Student must be at least 14 to begin the classroom portion, but cannot test for an instruction permit until their 15th birthday and must complete the entire program prior to their 18th birthday.

We also asked for a Drivers Handbook that she could study while waiting for the packet to be shipped to us.She read that while we waited in line …the entire thing.

Here’s a little checklist of what you’ll be needing to continue on.Your teen’s Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Your Texas Drivers License, Proof of Insurance on the car you’ll be teaching in(yes, the same one they’ll be asking to borrow and eventually destroy).Put your teen on your policy prior to putting them behind the wheel.

Oh yes, and one adult diaper (check!).

To Be Continued…Look for Step 2:“We’ve Received the Parent-Taught Drivers Education Packet. What Now?”

Hang in there!Chin (and wallet) up.

Daun Thompson

( Daun Thompson is a Comedienne, Writer, Artist and soon-to-be Diaper-Wearing Driver Training Mom )