Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
11/27/2021

Chapter 340. Regulations Governing Driver Education

8VAC20-340-5. Definitions.

The following words or terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Education.

"Correspondence school" means a school, organization, or other entity, no matter how titled, that teaches students by mailing them lessons and exercises that upon completion are returned to the school for grading. Such lessons or exercises also may be transmitted and graded by electronic means.

"Course" means the presentation of an orderly sequence of material dealing with an individual subject area, such as driver education.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Education.

"Home instruction" means the teaching of a child or children by a teaching parent in the home as an alternative to meeting the requirements of compulsory attendance as defined in § 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia and as a means of complying with § 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Parent" means any parent, guardian, legal guardian, or other person having control or charge of a child as specified in § 22.1-1 of the Code of Virginia.

"School" means a correspondence school for driver education programs.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-205 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 8, eff. January 13, 2016.

8VAC20-340-10. Driver education program.

A. In accordance with provisions of the National Highway Safety Act of 1966 (23 USC § 401 et seq.) and § 46.2-334 of the Code of Virginia, local school boards shall determine whether to offer a driver education program, and, if offered, whether it will be elective or required. School divisions offering programs that comply with the standardized program of study and regulations established by the Board of Education and the provisions of § 22.1-205 of the Code of Virginia are entitled to participate in the distribution of state funds for driver education.

B. A state-approved driver education program consists of a minimum of 36 periods of classroom instruction and 14 periods of in-car instruction. The standardized driver education program established by the Board of Education requires that:

1. Classroom and in-car instruction shall follow the standardized program of study.

2. Local programs shall have the option that classroom driver education may be taught in lieu of 36 class periods of health education or as an elective course.

3. Superintendents and heads of private schools must seek program approval from the Department of Education prior to providing instruction and certify that the proposed program meets all state-approved program requirements.

4. The length of a class period must be a minimum of 50 minutes.

5. Students must drive a minimum of 50 miles during the in-car phase of instruction.

6. In-car instruction must be limited to no more than two periods of instruction in any 24-hour period, of which at least one must be actual driving.

7. No more than four periods of actual driving and four periods of observation on a multiple-car-range can count towards the 14-period in-car requirement.

8. Combination, on-street, simulation, and multiple-car-range programs must provide at least six periods of on-street driving and observation, four periods of multiple-car-range driving and observation, and eight periods of simulation.

9. Only fees approved by the Board of Education shall be collected for the laboratory phase of driver education pursuant to the Appropriation Act.

10. Public or private schools must submit classroom and in-car driver education teachers' driver license information for driver record monitoring as required by § 46.2-340 of the Code of Virginia.

11. Local school boards must develop written policies concerning initial or continued employment of classroom and in-car teachers who receive excessive demerit points on their driving record.

12. Public and private schools must provide the Department of Education with the previous year's program data to calculate in-car basic aid reimbursement and to monitor program compliance.

13. Classroom and laboratory phases of the program must be offered concurrently at the same school, or allow only a limited amount of time to elapse between classroom completion and laboratory instruction.

14. Students who have not successfully completed the classroom phase at one school cannot begin in-car instruction at another school.

15. Successful completion of a standardized end-of-course road skills assessment must be achieved prior to the school issuing a 90-day provisional license.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-205 and 46.2-334 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0033 § 1, eff. September 1, 1980; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 23, eff. August 25, 2004.

8VAC20-340-20. Driver education vehicles.

The school division or school shall:

1. Provide a vehicle in excellent mechanical condition, equipped with dual-control brakes, a roof top sign, dual side mirrors, and safety restraints;

2. Ensure all driver education vehicles are equipped with restraint systems of the type approved by the Department of State Police in accordance with §§ 46.2-1093 and 46.2-1095 of the Code of Virginia;

3. Provide a vehicle with a current Virginia inspection sticker and license plate;

4. Insure the vehicle above the minimum amount required by state statute for liability and property damage; and

5. Identify the instructional vehicle by displaying "DRIVER EDUCATION VEHICLE" and name of school (or school division) attached to the top of the vehicle. The school name does not have to be on the rooftop sign and may appear in another visible location on the vehicle.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-205 and 46.2-334 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 23, eff. August 25, 2004.

8VAC20-340-30. Teacher requirements.

The standardized driver education program established by the Board of Education requires that teachers:

1. Hold a valid Virginia teaching license with an add-on endorsement or approved program endorsement in driver education; or, for in-car instruction, satisfy the paraprofessional training requirements;

2. Hold a valid Virginia driver's license; or, for teachers with valid out-of-state driver's licenses, provide the Department of Education with a copy of their driving record at the beginning of each semester, at the beginning of summer school, and when they receive a moving violation;

3. Have a broad background of driving experiences (two years minimum) in cities, rural roadways and highways;

4. Possess sound physical, mental and emotional qualities;

5. Have a satisfactory driving record; teachers who have accumulated six or more demerit points shall be removed from providing behind-the-wheel instruction for a period of 24 months, (no public or private school shall retain its driver education program approval by the Department of Education unless the teacher is removed;

6. Who have had their license suspended or revoked, or who have received a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrest or conviction, be immediately removed from any classroom or laboratory driver education teaching assignment;

7. Obtain parent/guardian permission to enroll a student in the laboratory phase of instruction;

8. Make every reasonable effort to protect students from injury;

9. Ensure the proper use of safety restraints by all persons occupying the driver education vehicle;

10. Ensure that the student driver has in his possession a valid Virginia learner's permit when operating a driver education vehicle;

11. Have at least two students, or no more than three students, in the car; however, when it is in the best interest of the student, and with prior written permission from the parents or legal guardians, one student may be scheduled for in-car instruction;

12. Shall not allow the driver education vehicle to be used by any student during on-street instruction without the teacher being in the vehicle providing direct instruction. If the vehicle is parked and students remain in the vehicle, the keys shall be removed by the teacher. In no event should the vehicle's engine remain running with students inside the vehicle without the teacher also being inside the vehicle; and

13. Shall not allow the driver education vehicle to be used during multiple-car range instruction without teacher supervision.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-205 and 46.2-334 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 23, eff. August 25, 2004.

8VAC20-340-40. Approval of correspondence courses for driver education.

A. Required submissions. Schools seeking approval to offer the classroom portion of a driver education program to school-age children through a correspondence program or course in Virginia shall submit the following:

1. A signed and completed copy of the department's affidavit form.

2. A catalog or other documents containing the following information:

a. A statement of ownership or control of the institution;

b. Descriptions of the driver education courses offered by the institution;

c. A description of the method used to evaluate the students' work;

d. A schedule of tuition and fees, including the school's refund policies; and

e. Copies of all application forms and enrollment agreements used by the school.

3. Verification of approval or exemption from regular oversight from the appropriate state or local government agency in the school's state of domicile.

4. Information regarding the school's accreditation status.

5. The name and publisher of the textbook required.

6. An estimate of the minimum amount of time (in hours) required to complete the course.

7. Such additional information as the board or department may deem necessary.

B. All schools must evaluate the students' work at regular intervals specified by the department and maintain a permanent record of the work.

C. Each school meeting the criteria listed in this section is required to submit the required materials for review every year concurrent with the renewal affidavit.

D. Approval criteria. Driver education courses offered by schools submitting the materials required by this section shall be approved when the following criteria have been met:

1. The school is, in fact, a correspondence school as defined in 8VAC20-340-5;

2. The courses offered are consistent with state or federal laws or regulations;

3. The school evaluates the students' progress at regular intervals specified by the department and maintains a permanent record of that work; and

4. The content of each course is accurate and rigorous and meets the requirements of the Curriculum and Administrative Guide for Driver Education in Virginia, 2010 edition, which includes the Driver Education Standards of Learning.

The school must provide evidence that at least two subject matter experts have reviewed and validated the accuracy of online content and textbook materials.

E. An application shall be complete when all required information has been submitted in the form required by the department. If the department, on behalf of the board, determines the application to be incomplete, the department shall notify the applicant of the insufficiencies in writing within 45 days of receipt of the incomplete application. The applicant must submit the required items to complete the application, to be received by the department within 45 days from the notification. If the application is not completed within the 45-day period, the case file for the request for approval as a provider will be closed. At any time prior to closure, the applicant may withdraw the request for approval. The applicant may submit a new application at any time.

F. Approval, denial, and revocation.

1. The department, on behalf of the board, shall notify applicants in writing when an application is approved.

2. Applications that do not meet the criteria required by subsections A, B, and D of this section shall be denied. The department shall notify applicants in writing of the denial, stating the reasons the application was denied and including the applicant's right to request the board to reconsider the application, pursuant to subsection G of this section.

3. An approved application may be revoked for good cause, which includes, but is not limited to, the conviction of the applicant, or any employee thereof, of (i) any felony or (ii) any offense involving the sexual molestation, physical or sexual abuse, or rape of a child.

G. Reconsideration by the Board of Education when an application is denied or when approval is revoked. A school whose application has been denied or whose approval has been revoked for good cause may request reconsideration by letter to the board. The letter of request shall include the reasons that the school believes the denial or revocation was inappropriate and shall document how it has corrected any insufficiency identified in the letter of denial or revocation. The board's decision on reconsideration shall be final on that application; however, a denial of reconsideration shall not prevent the school from submitting a new application at a later time.

H. Determination of continued compliance. Approval of the academic courses shall be renewed annually on or before August 1, provided that the school verifies that it continues to meet the requirements of this section. Forms for this purpose shall be provided by the department.

I. Disclaimer. The Board of Education's approval of a correspondence course is not an endorsement of the program as a substitute for public school programs nor is it an endorsement of the educational or operational philosophy of the school. Additionally, the approval of courses is not intended as an endorsement of the quality of the courses nor is it a conclusion that these courses meet the educational needs of the student or the assessment required by § 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Parents who choose to educate their children at home through a driver education correspondence course are directly responsible for the educational progress of their children and the adequacy of instruction. The board assumes no liability for damages or financial loss to parents using any of the approved driver education correspondence courses.

J. Restrictions. No school whose courses are approved as a driver education program shall advertise in any way that the courses have the endorsement, recommendation, accreditation, or recognition, or any other similar term, of the board, the department, or the Commonwealth of Virginia.

K. Transmitting the affidavit, documents, and other materials. The affidavit, related letters, forms, and other required application materials must be submitted to the Division of Instruction at the Virginia Department of Education by email to the Driver Education Specialist, whose contact information may be found at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/directories/index.shtml#vdoe.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-205 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 8, eff. January 13, 2016.

FORMS (8VAC20-340).

Affidavit for Approval to Provide Driver Education Programs for Parents Approved to Home School (rev. 5/2013)

Classroom Driver Education Program Approval/Renewal for Homeschool Students (rev. 5/2013)

Forms (8VAC20-340-9999)

Curriculum and Administrative Guide for Driver Education in Virginia, 2010 Edition (includes Driver Education Standards of Learning, revised January 2008), Virginia Department of Education

Program Administration

Module One – Virginia Driver Responsibilities: Licensing Responsibilities

Module Two – Virginia Driver Responsibilities: Preparing to Operate a Vehicle

Module Three – Basic Maneuvering Tasks: Low Risk Environment

Module Four – Basic Maneuvering Tasks: Moderate Risk Driving Environment

Module Five – Information Processing: Moderate Risk Driving Environment

Module Six – Information Processing: Complex Risk Environments

Module Seven – Driver Performance: Personal Factors

Module Eight – Driver Responsibilities: Adverse Conditions

Module Nine – Driver Responsibilities: Vehicle Functions

Module Ten – Driver Responsibilities: Making Informed Choices

Module Eleven – Laboratory Instruction – Behind-the-Wheel and In-Car Observation

Resource List

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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