How Long is Drivers Ed – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 36 hours

Drivers Ed is a program designed for people looking to receive their driver’s license as quickly as possible. The goal of this program is to take drivers through all the necessary information that is needed to operate a vehicle so that they can pass their drivers test on the first attempt. On top of being fairly costly depending on where you live it also takes a fair amount of your time and commitment as well. You need to attend every lesson and also take plenty of time practicing driving with the driving instructors.

How Long is Drivers Ed

How Long is Driver’s Ed?

Typically it takes people around a total of 36 hours to fully complete the driver’s ed course but this time period must be broken down into a very specific way in order for instructors to meet the nationwide standards.

If your driving instructor is making the claim that they can complete this in a faster time period then it is possible that they are not a legitimate business and you should look into other teaching alternatives. Although various states throughout the U.S. have different standards for how long instructors must spend with each of their students the average is around this thirty-six-hour mark.

Some drivers ed companies require that younger drivers, such as teenagers just getting their licenses for the first time, spend more time with them so that they can be certain they fully understand the responsibilities that come with operating a vehicle on their own.

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Other places may also require that the driver be eighteen-years-old because this is less of a liability for the company. The way that the thirty-six hour mandatory instruction time is divided is into different sections that cover specific learning targets.

Why Does it Take This Long?

In the first section of instruction, the student and instructor spend all of their time in a classroom environment. There they review basic driving information that is crucial to any new driver. This includes things such as basic driving rules, what to do in specific situations (such as a brake failure), and laws that surround all drivers (such as drinking and driving laws).

This period of time takes place throughout the entirety of the first thirty hours of instruction time. After this period students and their instructors get to begin the actual driving practice portion of learning. This driving period makes up the final six hours’ worth of instruction time but must be broken down further in order to meet the necessary standards.

Despite being only six hours long, it’s mandatory that you do not take more than one hour’s worth of driving practice per session. At the same time, it’s also mandatory that at least one hour of this is behind the wheel observation time. This is the time period where the student practices driving while the instructor carries a checklist, similarly to the driving test, marking off any mistakes that they need to go over.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. I had no idea driver’s ed took so long to complete, but it’s reassuring to see the focus on safety.

    1. You are better off spending the necessary time to learn to drive safely than to rush through and potentially make mistakes.

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