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Do You Need Drivers Ed to Get a License?

If you’re a teen approaching age 16 in Pennsylvania, or the parent of one, you might be wondering whether or not you need drivers ed to get a license in Pennsylvania. Getting a drivers license is an exciting time for a teen, but it should still be approached with the mindset of making sure the teen knows how to drive well, and not just whether they can pass their driving test.

Do you need drivers ed to get a license in Pennsylvania?

The state of Pennsylvania does not require drivers education to get a driver's license. However, putting a new teen driver on the road without proper instruction can be deadly.


For new drivers under the age of 18, Pennsylvania requires that they complete 65 hours of “adult-supervised skill building”, including no less than 10 hours of nighttime driving and 5 hours of bad weather driving, in a period of no less than 6 months from receiving their driver's permit. This requirement does not mean that a new driver has to complete drivers ed to get a license, but it still is a very good idea.


A drivers education course from a PA-certified driving school is not only very beneficial for new teen drivers, but also for all drivers out on the road. The safer each individual driver is, the safer we all are.

Teen in car recieving drivers ed from driving instructor

Advantages of Drivers Ed Before Getting Your License

One of the primary advantages of a drivers ed program is that a teen will receive intentional, planned-out instruction in all aspects of driving so that they build skills for all types of driving situations. At Safe Driving Coach, in our 10, 8, 6, and 4 driving lesson programs, we provide methodical instruction in these key areas:

  1. Vehicle Overview, Parking Lot, and Neighborhood Driving

  2. City and Local Driving

  3. Highway Driving and Parallel Parking

  4. Driver's Test Preparation and Review


In addition to teaching new drivers what they need to know to pass their driver’s test, we also coach students to be aware, attentive, and responsible drivers in real-life driving situations. The goal of our drivers education program isn’t just to pass the test, but to be responsible, defensive drivers. There are skills necessary for safe driving that aren’t assessed on the test. For example, listening in for emergency signals so that you can safely move over or aside is very important. But it’s not going to be a part of the road test. Another example is driving in inclement weather, either snow or rain. It’s critical that new drivers know what to do in these scenarios.

An additional benefit of a teen completing a drivers ed program before getting their license is that they get instruction from an adult other than their parent. Many parents don’t know how to teach their teens how to drive or are too stressed to be effective teachers, or are even too afraid to get in the car with their teen behind the wheel. We hear this very often! Teens need 65 hours of supervised driving, so if a parent is too anxious to get in the car with them or can’t do it without yelling and screaming, then someone else has to do it! A professional, certified, and licensed PA driving school instructor is the best choice. The hours spent in our driving lessons do count toward the required 65 hours of supervised driving.

Some parents opt to begin lessons with our driving school right from the start. Others will teach their teens the basics of driving and then work with us to help their teens learn the rest. Either way can be good; it’s all based on the needs of the individual teen and family. We also begin with a discussion to determine where the teen is at in their driving skills. From there, we create a lesson plan. And of course, as we progress, we can make changes to the lesson plan and focus on the needs of the new driver.


In summary, do you need drivers ed to get a license in Pennsylvania? No, however, it is still highly recommended. Teens who receive drivers education get a more thorough instruction on safe driving, learn more than just what’s needed to pass the test, and get the benefit of learning from a professional, not just their parent. Receiving training from a PA-licensed driving school can make a life-or-death difference out on the road.

Teen driver in car getting driving lesson
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