To become a licensed driving instructor, candidates must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, a valid state driver's license, two to five years driving experience and a clean driving record. States also require successful completion of criminal background and vision tests. Instructor driver's license requirements in some states also include completion of a driving instructor class and a minimum age of 21. Additionally, some state requirements may include physical and mental health screenings to establish eligibility.
An individual pursuing a career as a driving instructor might want to begin by confirming his state's applicable requirements. For example, the state of New York requires that instructors work for a licensed driving school and comply with eligibility requirements prior to filing an application for a driving instructor license. Once approved, applicants must satisfactorily pass vision and road sign tests, a written test, and a behind-the-wheel driving test. Some states offer or require completion of a driving instructor training program and provide provisional certification after an instructor completes the training. The state grants standard certification after an instructor has performed the job successfully for a defined period.
Many public schools and private driving schools require that instructors have both the appropriate state license and some form of instructor certification. Public schools often require a bachelor's degree as well.