The Driving Academy FAQ's

A) Driver Education - Online Course

How do I enroll in your Online Driver Ed Course - needed for a permit?

  • Use your first name +  your date of birth for the username. The password is your last name + your date of birth. For example, if John Smith was born on January 25th, 2001, his login credentials would be as follows:

Username: john012501 (all lowercase)

Password:  smith012501 (all lowercase)

  • Scroll down and select the grey box that says "Virtual Drive of California"

 

What do I need to complete in order to get an Online Driver Ed Completion certificate?

  • Please complete every activity included in the 10 modules. A checkmark will appear to the right of each activity when that activity is complete. In addition a score of 70% or better is required on each quiz and exam to successfully complete the course. IMPORTANT: THIS COMPLETION CERTIFICATE IS NEEDED TO OBTAIN A PERMIT AT THE DMV.

Why can't I see any video content when I click through the Online Driver Ed Course?

IMPORTANT: Please make sure that you either download or activate "Adobe Flash Player" if you are having difficulty seeing the videos or any content.  Please go to  adobe.com/flashplayer to download the software - if not already downloaded. 

If you have adobe flash player downloaded and the course is still not viewable, then please complete one of the following steps on a Mac to configure the flash player:

Option 1: While in the vdriveusa.com website, click the "VIEW" tab on the top left of your screen.  Then select 'RELOAD WITH PLUGINS". Please download or update "Silverlight" - IF PROMPTED.

Option 2:

Open Safari, and choose Safari > Preferences. ... 

  1. Click the Websites tab and scroll down to the Plug-ins section. ... 
  2. Click the check box to enable Flash Player. ... 
  3. Select a setting to use for Flash Player when you visit other websites.
  4. Please turn the adobe Flash Player on for vdriveusa.com

When can I take the Online Driver Ed Course?

  • You are eligible to take our online driver ed course at any age. Keep in mind, that you cannot take the written test for a permit until you are atleast 15 1/2 years old. We recommend that you start the course when you are atleast 15 years old so that you don't forget the material when your take the permit test. 
  • This course is available 24 hours a day for you to complete. You will continue where you last left off. You have 6 months to complete the course or you will need to pay a $25 fee for a 3 month extension. Please e-mail The Driving Academy at info@drivingacademyusa.com if you need a 3 month extension. 

HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO COMPLETE THE ONLINE COURSE?

Remember, you have six (6) months to complete our course from the date of purchase. If it has been more than 6 months, call us at 1-800-585-6395 or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com to get reinstatement information. The reinstatement fee is $35. 

Why don't my Driver Education hours reflect on my student center at The Driving Academy's website? Do I have to log in 30 hours to get my Online Driver Ed Completion Certificate?

  • Course progress is NOT tracked on the DrivingAcademyUSA.com website. Please don't get discouraged if you see 0 hours complete on your home page for online hours completed. All progress is for the online course is tracked on the online course's website (Virtual Drive).  In addition, your online course progress is not tracked by hours but rather the modules that you have completed and your successful completion of the exams.  

How do I get my Online Driver Ed Course Completion Certificate?

  • When you have successfully completed the Online Driver Ed Course, please contact Yolanda to request a pink online course completion certificate. Yolanda can be reached at 209-915-6689. You can also E-mail Yolanda at  yolanda.durham@drivingacademyusa.com. Remeber, this completion certificate is needed for the permit test at the DMV. 

What happens if I fail the online driver's ed. course?

Since our online course is designed to be straightforward, clear-cut, and easy to understand, it is highly unlikely that you will fail. However, in the unlikely event that does happen, then you can simply take all or any part or unit of the course, including the final exam, over again until you do pass. This benefit can also help you in reviewing for the DMV written knowledge test. Remember, you have six (6) months to complete our course from the date of purchase. If it has been more than 6 months, call us at (800) 585-6395 or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com to get reinstatement information.

What does The Driving Academy's online driver's education course consist of?

You must completely read all 10 units of the course, watch all videos, and take and pass the quiz at the end of each unit, as well as the final exam, earning an 80% passing grade or better. You must do so in sequential order; in other words, you will not be able to skip ahead to the next unit until you finish reading and passing the present unit and complete the quiz. Remember, you have six (6) months to complete our course from the date of purchase. If it has been more than 6 months, call us at 800-585-6395 or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com to get reinstatement information. The reinstatement fee is $35.

Once I sign up for your online driver's ed. program, how long will it take me to complete it?

The Driving Academy's online driver's ed. course allows you to log on from any computer, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In other words, our online driver's ed. program is self-paced. You can read as fast or as slow as you like, watch the videos, and take the quizzes and final exam at your own pace. In fact, The Driving Academy strongly recommends that you take your time to read and absorb all the materials, as this will make taking the exams much easier. Based on an average pace of reading, after watching all videos, and passing all tests, our course is designed to take at least twenty five (25) hours as the California DMV requires. However, depending on your abilities, you can complete the course much faster. 

 

What is the age at which I am allowed to start a driver's education course?

Although the California DMV does not require that you be a specific age to start taking driver's education, you are required by the State of California to be at least 15½ years old to legally obtain your learner's permit. The Driving Academy strongly recommends that you start at the age of 15, allowing you adequate time to study, learn, and comprehend the entire materials in our interactive online driver's education course. In addition, you will be able to easily remember what you've learned right before taking the written test. This online course, along with the California DMV Drivers handbook (DL-600), will significantly help you prepare and pass the DMV written knowledge test. If you are enrolled in our Integrated Program, you can start your driving lessons with one of our licensed driving coaches at 15 years and zero months of age. 

B) DMV Permit Test

What do I do when I complete my Online Driver Ed Course? What do i need to bring with me to the DMV for the Written Permit Test?

After successful completion of the Online Driver Ed Course, assuming that you're 15 1/2 years old, you will need to bring the following items to the DMV to take the written test for a learner's permit:         

  • COMPLETED DRIVER LICENSE APPLICATION (Form DL-44) -  SIGNED BY BOTH PARENTS ON PAGE 2 (PLEASE SEE FORM WITH THE HEADING "DRIVER LICENSE AND IDENTIFICATION CARD APPLICATION" in the presentation folder that we send to you a couple of days after you signed-up.) 
  • PROOF OF DRIVER EDUCATION COMPLETION (ONLINE COURSE) - PINK CERTIFICATE - SIGNED BY PARENT. NOTE: THERE IS A $50 DUPLICATE CERTIFATE FEE IF THIS DOCUMENT IS LOST BY THE STUDENT.

NOTE: PLEASE CALL YOLANDA AT 209-915-6689 OR REQUEST A COMPLETION CERTIFICATE AT yolanda.durham@drivingacademyusa.com IF YOU'VE COMPLETED THE ONLINE COURSE. YOUR COMPLETION CERTIFICATE COMES FROM THE DRIVING ACADEMY NOT VIRTUAL DRIVE.

  •  ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE 
  •  1 ORIGINAL PROOF OF RESIDENCE DOCUMENT IN PARENT'S NAME (NOTE: ONLY 1 DOCUMENT IS NOW REQUIRED) PLEASE SEE THE "PROOF OF RESIDENCY" DOCUMENT IN THE PACKET THAT WE SENT YOU A FEW DAYS AFTE RYOU SIGNED UP. 

IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THAT THE PARENT'S LAST NAME ON THE PROOF OF RESIDENCE DOCUMENT MATCHES THE PARENTS NAME ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE. OTHERWISE, AN ORIGINAL MARRIAGE CERTIFCATE OR ANOTHER ORIGINAL DOCUMENT MAY BE REQUIRED TO SHOW WHY THE PARENT'S LAST NAME IS DIFFERENT THEN THE APPLICANT'S LAST NAME. AN ACCEPTABLE PROOF OF RESIDENCE DOCUMENT IN THE APPLICANT'S NAME IS ALSO ACCEPTABLE BUT USUALLY MORE DIFFICULT TO OBTAIN.

  •  $35 - CASH, CHECK OR A DEBIT CARD ARE ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF PAYMENT

OPTIONAL: If the student wants a REAL ID, then the student should also bring an original social security card. This is a new program that was implemented on January 22, 2018 that allows the driver license to work in place of a passport on domestic flights starting in late 2020.

          

What are the consequences of failing the DMV written knowledge test? How many times can I take the DMV written test?

You simply take it again and again until you pass-as many times as it takes! However, if you fail the test three (3) times you will need to repay the DMV fee, and provide all needed documents again. If you are under the age of 18, you are required to wait at least 8 days before taking the test again.

Do I need to make an appointment with DMV to take the written knowledge test and obtain a learner's permit?

An appointment is recommended for the DMV Permit test. Otherwise, you may have to wait up to 3 or 4 hours. Please note: The DMV does not administer written tests after 4:30 p.m.; therefore, we recommend arriving before 3:00 p.m. if you don't have an appointment. The Driving Academy advises our students to always make an appointment with the DMV no matter what type of transaction. If you decide to make an appointment with the DMV, visit 
dmv.ca.gov/foa/welcome.do?localeName=en or call (800) 777-0133.

We also offer the Written Permit Test Service. We would make the DMV Appointment, pickup the student and prep them for 1 hour prior to taking the test, take them to the DMV and then return them either home or to school. Please e-mail us at info@drivingacademyusa.com if interested in adding this service. 

Technically, the DMV appointment  type would be "applying for a license". The first step in the license application process is the permit test. 

 

 

C) Driver Training - Driving Lessons

How do I log into the student center?

Please click here to login  and enter the username and password that you created when you signed-up. 

If you forgot your password, click here.

NOTE: Please e-mail us at info@drivingacademyusa.com if you need help with your username and password and we will reset it for you.

How can I take driving lessons prior to obtaining a permit?

As long as the student is 15 years old and enrolled in our online driver ed course, we can issue you a special "student license" which will enable the studentt to start driving lessons prior to obtaining a permit. Please print out the pdf of the "student license consent form" on under "resources" on the home page. Both parents must sign this form and hand it to the driving coach on the first lesson. The driving coach also must view the original birth certificate or passport to verify the student's age on the first driving lesson. The driving coach will bring all of the other required paperwork and will issue a "student license" on the first driving lesson.

WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT THE STUDENT SUCCESFULLY COMPLETES ATLEAST 4 MODULES BEFORE ATTEMPTING THE FIRST DRIVING LESSON. THIS WILL GIVE THE STUDENT SOME BASIC "RULES OF THE ROAD" KNOWLEDGE.  WE THEN RECOMMEND THAT THE STUDENT COMPLETES ATLEAST 2 ADDITIONAL MODULES PRIOR TO EACH ADDITIONAL DRIVING LESSON. 

How and why do I confirm my e-mail and text messages to book my lessons online?

  • Go to "my account" on left margin of the student center
  • Please select "confirm now" for each text and e-mail address on the account that says "confirm now". You need to open both your e-mail and your cell phone and follow instructions to complete the confirmation process. You will get an appointment reminder 24 hours prior to each lesson outlining what the student needs to bring with them on each lesson.
  • If you confirm your e-mail address, the system will also allow you to WAITLIST for any appointment that is currently unavailable.  Please just select "e-mail me if this period becomes available" for any particular appointment that is currently unavailable. You will then get an e-mail if this appointment becomes available. Please note that there may be multiple people on the waiting list for any given appointment. If you get an e-mail please login and signup for this period immediately. Otherwise, another waitlist student might reserve the open appointment before you get a chance to login to reserve the appointment. 

How do I select my behind-the-wheel (BTW) program and the Distracted Driving Workshop (if purchased) to schedule?

Behind-the-Wheel (BTW) Periods

Once in the "Student Center", please locate the program that you would like to schedule on the left margin.

  • To schedule your Behind-the-Wheel lessons (BTW) simply click on "Schedule BTW Periods" located on the left side of your Student Center home page. It will say "Schedule BTW 10…, 16…, 20… Periods "depending on the number of hours there are in the package that you are attempting to schedule. NOTE: Please enter the student's permit number where requested. IF THE STUDENT DOES NOT YET HAVE A PERMIT THEN ENTER AA1234567 WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE OF 12/31/2018 so that the booking system will allow you to schedule lessons prior to obtaining a permit. We will issue a Student License on the first driving lesson.
  • The automated system will only allow you to book up to four lessons at a time. The automated system also makes you wait 13 days between each scheduled lesson. However, we can manually override this 13 day wait period in special circumstances - Just send us an e-mail at info@drivingacademyusa.com. 

Schedule a Distracted Driving Workshop (DDWS)

  • If you want to schedule the Distracted Driving Workshop (DDWS), you would click on "Schedule DDWS" on the left side of the Student Center home page. We generally pick up the student between 12 pm and 12:30 pm and return the student home between 4 pm and 4:30 pm. These classes are generally offered on the last Sunday of every month from 12 pm to 4 pm.

 

What do I do if I am prompted to enter a permit number but do not yet have a permit?

  • IF THE STUDENT DOES NOT YET HAVE A PERMIT THEN ENTER AA1234567 WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE OF 12/31/2018 so that the booking system will allow you to schedule lessons prior to obtaining a permit. We will issue a Student License number after the first driving lesson. 

How do I register for a behind-the-wheel (BTW) or Distracted Driving Workshop appointment online?

  • Please log into your "student center" and first select the program that you would like to schedule.
  • From here you will see a large calendar with tiles of, green, red, and yellow color. The colors indicate the following:
    • Green: Lesson Vacancy
    • Yellow: No Lesson Vacancy
    • Red: Past lessons
  • To view and schedule available lessons click on a green tile. Some lessons may be already taken for that that. Continue to scroll until you reach the lesson that allows you to "register" for that period.
    • Click on the "register" tile to secure your lesson for that time and date.
    • Please select the desired pickup and drop-off location from the drop down list.

NOTE: Please call us at 1-800-585-6395 if you need to change the pick-up or drop-off locations to a special location that isn't listed on the drop down menus. Also, notify us if you need to adjust the pickup time.

  • You will then see the student's driving itinerary on the home page of the Student Center. You can print it out for your records.

 

How do I get on the automated waitlist for an appointment that's already taken?

Note: If you are interested in a lesson that has already been taken you can put yourself on "standby" by clicking the box next to "Email me if this lesson becomes available". You will need to have confirmed your email address with us to use this feature. If you have not confirmed your e-mail click the link that says "click here to confirm your email". Once you have done that check your inbox of the email account you used to register with The Driving Academy and follow the instructions to complete confirmation of your email.

You will get an e-mail notification if an appointment opens up. Please log back into the studnet center at drivingacademyusa.com and register for the period that you were waitlisted. 

How do I cancel a behind-the-wheel lesson or Distracted Driving Workshop that I have already scheduled? What is the cancellation policy and Fee?

Begin by logging into your student center at drivingacademyusa.com

  • Once logged in you will see your scheduled lessons. Click the 'X' located at the end of the lesson you want to cancel
  • click again to confirm the cancellation.
    • $190 late cancellation will be applied to your account if the cancellation occurs within 24hours prior to the lesson.

Lesson Cancellation Policy: All behind-the-wheel lesson cancellations must be received in excess of 24 hours before the scheduled lesson start time. Cancellations made within 24 hours of lesson start time will be assessed a $190 fee which must be paid before student can reschedule the missed lesson and progress in the program. 

Do I need my CA DMV issued learner's permit in my possession every time I drive?

Yes, your learner's permit is exactly like a driver's license-you must have a DMV-issued permit to drive with us or anyone else. It is illegal to drive without it, and The Driving Academy will not perform any driving lessons with a photocopy, facsimile, or faxed copy of a permit.

Where will I be picked up and dropped off once I've scheduled my behind-the-wheel lessons?

As long as you are within our service areas, we will pick you up and drop you off anywhere you like, whether it's home, school, work, or a relative or friend's house. Please let us know your preference(s) when you call to book your appointments.

Once I book a behind-the-wheel driving lesson, how do I cancel it if need be?

Begin by logging into your student center at drivingacademyusa.com

  • Once logged in you will see your scheduled lessons. Click the 'X' located at the end of the lesson you want to cancel
  • click again to confirm the cancellation.
    • $190 late cancellation will be applied to your account if the cancellation occurs within 24hours prior to the lesson.

What are the Driving Academy's service areas?

We proudly serve most of Los Angeles and some parts of Ventura County. If you are unsure as to whether we service your area, please call us at (800) 585-6395. We can service any area but an out of service are charge may apply.

D) Drive Test Appointment

What do I need in order to take the DMV behind-the-wheel road test?

Please bring the following 4  items to the DMV for the Drive Test:

 

  • GOLD BEHIND-THE-WHEEL COMPLETION CERTIFICATE

 

NOTE: OUR COACHES WILL ISSUE AND STAPLE THE GOLD COPLETION CERTIFICATE TO THE PERMIT ON THE 4TH BEHIND-THE-WHEEL TRAINING SESSION. . THERE IS A $50 DUPLICATE CERTIFATE FEE IF THIS DOCUMENT IS LOST BY THE STUDENT.

PLEASE CALL OR E-MAIL YOLANDA DURHAM IF YOU NEED OR YOU HAVE MISPLACED YOUR GOLD CERTIFICATE. HER CONTACT INFORMATION IS 209-915-6689 AND HER E-MAIL IS yolanda.durham@drivingacademyusa.com

  •   VEHICLE REGISTRATION
  •   PROOF OF INSURANCE - INSURANCE ID CARD
  •   LEARNER'S PERMIT - SIGNED BY BOTH THE DRIVING INSTRUCTOR AND A         PARENT ON PAGE 2

NOTE: THE STUDENT ISN'T ELIGIBLE FOR THE DRIVE TEST UNTIL THEY HAVE HAD THEIR PERMIT FOR AT LEAST 183 DAYS. THAT MEANS 183 DAYS AFTER THE PERMIT'S EFFECTIVE DATE. THE DMV MAY STILL MAKE THE DRIVE TEST APPOINTMENT BUT THE DMV WILL TURN THEM AWAY UPON ARRIVAL TO TAKE THE TEST.

NOTE: MOST OF OUR STUDENTS USE THE DRIVING ACADEMY'S DRIVE TEST SERVICE. WE WILL BOOK THE DMV DRIVE TEST FOR YOU! ON THE DAY OF THE DRIVE TEST, WE WILL PICKUP THE STUDENT 90 MINUTES PRIOR TO THEIR DRIVE TEST APPOINTMENT TO REVIEW. WE THEN CHECK-IN, ACCOMPANY THE STUDENT IN THE WAITING LINE AND THEN TAKE THE STUDENT HOME - HOPEFULLY WITH A DRIVER LICENSE.  PLEASE CALL RITA AT THE DRIVING ACADEMY AT 1-800-585-6395 OR E-MAIL HER AT RITA.SHUSTER@DRIVINGACADEMYUSA.COM IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN OUR DRIVE TEST SERVICE AND HAVEN'T ALREADY MADE A PURCHASE.

If you want to take them to the DMV for the drive test then you can make the drive test appointment in either of the following two ways:

 Go to the DMV website: dmv.ca.gov. Select "Appointments" found underneath the "Online Services" heading on the main page. Select "Behind-the-Wheel Test" option.

 Call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133

 

How do I setup my DMV drive test service appointment - if purchased?

Schedule a DMV Drive Test

  • Please e-mail us at rita.shuster@drivingacademyusa.com and Rita will schedule the appointment for you based on your avaiiabilty. You can also call Rita at 1-800-585-6395 between the hours of 1 pm and 5 pm.
  • NOTE: We recommend scheduliing this appointment atleast 60 days in advance to ensure DMV availability. 

 

What are the consequences for failing the behind-the-wheel road test? How many times can I take the road test?

You simply take it again and again until you pass-as many times as it takes! However if you fail the road test three (3) times you will need to repay the DMV fee, provide all needed documents, and take (and pass!) the written test again. If you are under the age of 18, you will also need to wait at least two (2) weeks before taking the road test again.

What is the next step after completing the behind-the-wheel program with The Driving Academy? Do I need to make an appointment for the behind-the-road test with the same DMV office that issued my learner's permit?

If you are 18 or older, simply schedule an appointment for the behind-the-wheel test with any DMV office. If you are under the age of 18 and have your permit for a minimum of 183 days, you are ready to take the DMV behind-the-wheel road knowledge test. Regardless of age, you can take the road test at any DMV location, and yes, an appointment is required. You can book an appointment with the DMV online at: dmv.ca.gov/foa/clear.do?goTo=driveTest&localeName=en
or call the DMV at (800) 777-0133.

Remember: We also offer a complete drive test service. We'll schedule the DMV Road test, pickup the student, prep them for the test, take them for the test and return them home. Please call us at 1-800-585-6395 for more information.

Once I pass the California DMV written knowledge test and receive my learner's permit, do I have to take another written test to get my license?

No. However, there are two instances when you will have to retake the DMV written knowledge test: first, if you let your permit expire (it's valid for 12 months from the date you applied for it), and second, if you fail the DMV behind-the-wheel road test three (3) times.

E) Miscellaneous

How do I contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV)? How can I get more information about the CA DMV and its hours, locations, and services?

That's easy! The DMV can be reached by telephone at (800) 777-0133 or by visiting CA DMV online at dmv.ca.gov.

I can't find the answer to my driving-related question. Can you help me?

Absolutely! The Driving Academy is here to help, whether you're one of our students or not. Call us at (800) 585-6395 anytime during normal business hours, or email us at info@DrivingAcademyUSA.com

Are there any exceptions to the above-mentioned restrictions?

Yes. When reasonable transportation is not available and it is necessary for you to drive, the law grants the following exceptions of minors to drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. or to transport an immediate family member(s) (including parents and siblings) unaccompanied and unsupervised. The law requires that you must carry a note explaining why you must drive and when the necessity will end.
Medical necessity: The note must be signed by your physician and contain a diagnosis and probable date of recovery when the driving necessity will end.
Schooling or school-authorized activities: The note must be signed by your school principal, dean, or his/her designee, and include a reason the school or school authorized t activity and probable date when the activity will end.
Employment necessity: The note must be signed by your employer and verify employment and probable date your employment will end.
Immediate need of family member: The note must be signed by your parent or legal guardian, and include the reason and probable date the necessity will end.
Emancipated minor: No documentation is needed for this exemption. However, you must have already declared yourself emancipated by completing a DMV form and by providing Proof of Financial Responsibility (SP1P) in lieu of your guarantors' signature when you applied for your instruction permit.

What should I do if I misplace, accidentally deface, or destroy my learner's permit?

Complete another DMV DL-44 form, schedule an appontment or go to the nearest DMV office and request a duplicate. Both parent's signatures are once again required and the social security number has to be listed on the application. The student can go without their parents as long as the DL-44 Form is signed by both parents. There is no charge for a duplicate learner's permit. No other paperwork is required. They will identify the applicant through a "live scan" performed at the DMV. 

Be aware that the issue date of your new/duplicate permit will now be different from that of your previous version. The original issue date does not automatically transfer to the new/duplicate permit. Therefore, if you are under the age of 18, you must make sure that the DMV clerk stamps, signs, or initials the original issue date of your permit. If not, all records of the original permit will be erased, and you will then be required to repeat the six (6) month wait based on the date of your new/duplicate permit.

NOTE: PLEASE KEEP AND ATTACH THE ORIGINAL PERMIT TO YOUR NEW PERMIT FOR ADDITIONAL PROOF THAT YOU'VE HAD YOUR PERMIT FOR LONGER THEN THE NEW ONE STATES. 

How many hours of behind-the-wheel instruction do I need? Do I need to record/log/keep track of my behind-the-wheel practice hours?

If you are under age 18, a minimum of 56 hours of behind-the-wheel experience-10 of those hours should be at night-is required by the CA DMV before you can acquire your driver's license. Although it is not required to keep a log of behind-the-wheel practice time, it is highlyrecommended. 

Once I received my driver's license, are there any restrictions I have to follow?

f you are a legal adult, 18 years old or older, there are no restrictions. If you are under the age of 18, for the first year (12 months) or until you turn 18, whichever is sooner, you cannot drive between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., and you cannot transport passengers under theage of 20 at any time unless you are accompanied and supervised by a licensed driver 25 years old or older. In addition, until you turn 18 (regardless of supervision) you cannot use a cell phone while driving-even with a hands-free device. And remember: Text messaging ("texting") and driving is illegal at any age in the state of California.