If your teenager is applying for his or her first driver’s license, they will need to complete the state Driver’s Education program as part of the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s (DOT) graduated licensing program (GLP).

What used to be an optional driver’s ed course is now required by Hawaii law. Driver education helps develop safe driving skills and attitudes in students, thereby reducing traffic crashes, deaths, injuries and property damage. It provides a lifelong skill that will give students mobility as they pursue higher secondary education or a career after graduation.

The GLP and enrollment in the Hawaii Department of Education’s (DOE) Driver Education Program are required for new Hawaii drivers younger than 18 years old. To enroll in a Driver’s Ed course in Hawaii, the teen driver must first obtain a Hawaii learner’s permit. To get a permit, he or she must be at least 15 1/2 years old.

The Hawaii DOE’s Driver Education Program is comprised of two courses:

  1. 37 hours of classroom instruction, and
  2. Six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.

New drivers who participate in the GDL system must reach various milestones before they are allowed to graduate to a less restrictive license level and eventually receive a full unrestricted license when they turn 17 years old.

Driver’s Ed, along with the steps of the graduated licensing program, will not only help them pass your Hawaii DMV tests, but will also help them become smart, safe, and responsible drivers. This includes hands-on lessons about safe and defensive driving techniques with a licensed supervisor.

High school and home-schooled students between the ages of 15 and 19 are eligible to enroll in the driver’s education program. The program is conducted primarily during after school hours, weekends and holidays. A few high schools offer the Driver Education Program as an elective semester course.

To learn more about the Hawaii DOE driver education program, go to their website by clicking here.

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