The requirements for becoming a driver education instructor include a high school diploma or GED, as well as a state driver's license. A state driving instructor's license is also required, as well as two to five years of driving experience, a working knowledge of motor vehicles and driving safety, the ability to both teach and communicate, good listening skills and patience. Those looking to become driver education instructors must be at least 21 years of age.
To become a driver education instructor, first get the type of driver's license required for the type of teaching involved. Those instructing new drivers should obtain a regular state driver's license. Individuals wishing to train commercial drivers must obtain a commercial driver's license, or CDL. To obtain any license, written and on-road exams are required. Many states also require licensed drivers to pass a vision test.
Driver education instructors must have significant experience behind the wheel. Depending on the level of teaching, this could include simply having and using a regular driver's license for day to day activities or working in a commercial driving field. All potential instructors should have clean driving records and be able to pass a criminal background check.
Complete an instructor training program before applying for a driver education instructor license. These programs include reviews of traffic safety procedures and motor vehicle operation, as well as a course on teaching methods. Applicants receive their licenses after passing written and practical exams testing their familiarity with traffic laws and their teaching skills. Licenses must be renewed according to state requirements, at which time applicants undergo criminal background and driving record checks.