Commercial driver training schools may teach the following courses:

(1)           For unlicensed persons 18 years of age or older, a course as follows:

(a)           Classroom Instruction.  A minimum of six hours, including (but not limited to) rules of the road and other laws affecting the operation of motor vehicles, safe driving practices, pedestrian safety, and the general responsibilities of the driver.  No class may consist of more than 50 students.  Classroom work shall be limited to no more than six hours per day.

(b)           Behind‑the‑Wheel Instruction.  A minimum of six hours, including instruction and practice in all the basic physical skills necessary for proper control of a motor vehicle in all normal driving situations, such as starting, stopping, steering and turning, controlling the vehicle in traffic, backing, and parking.  A valid learner's permit issued by the Driver License Section of the Division is required.

(c)           A person holding a valid learner's permit issued by the Driver License Section of the Division shall not be required to take the six hours of classroom instruction set forth in Sub-item (1)(a) of this Rule.

(d)           A person holding a valid learner's permit or driver's license issued by the Driver License Section of the Division may contract for any portion of the six‑hour behind‑the‑wheel instruction.

(2)           For licensed persons a course for purposes of driver improvement, such as improving their knowledge and skill in the operation of a motor vehicle.

(3)           For unlicensed persons under the age of 18 years, a course which must be approved by the Commissioner and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction as follows:

(a)           Classroom Instruction shall not include workbook assignments or other work out of the presence of an instructor.  An instructor or employee of a commercial driver education school shall not administer a proficiency test.  No class may consist of more than 50 students.  Classroom work shall be limited to no more than three hours per day on school days and six hours per day on non-school days.  A minimum of 30 hours shall be taught, consisting of instruction in:

(i)            highway transportation: its social and economic influences upon life in America;

(ii)           drivers: their physical and mental characteristics and how their capabilities and limitations influence the traffic scene;

(iii)          the automobile: its construction, maintenance, and safe operation;

(iv)          traffic law and enforcement: laws of nature and man‑made laws; and their relationship to traffic safety;

(v)           pedestrians and bicycles: their influence upon the traffic scene;

(vi)          engineering: its influence upon automobiles, highways, traffic controls, and people;

(vii)         driving while impaired; six hours of instruction on the effects of drinking upon driving and upon accident and death rates; and

(viii)        rights and privileges of handicapped persons; their rights to use flags, placards, cards, license plates, and parking places.

(b)           Behind‑the‑Wheel Instruction.  A minimum of six hours, actually under the wheel, including:

(i)            familiarization with the automobile; the use of its controls; and the development of skills essential to safe operation in traffic; and

(ii)           driving in traffic with the instructor in a dual control car to develop abilities needed to follow the soundest course of action in responding to complex situations.

(iii)          simulators may not be substituted for any part of the six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.

(c)           Restrictions:

(i)            Behind‑the‑Wheel instruction shall be offered to a student only after he has completed the classwork section.  If a student has contracted for both classwork and behind‑the‑wheel training, behind‑the‑wheel training may begin after classwork starts and before classwork has been completed.  At no time shall a student be taken out of class to attend behind‑the‑wheel training.

(ii)           No student shall operate a motor vehicle upon any public street or highway unless such student shall have in his immediate possession a valid Restricted Instruction Permit issued by the Division.

(iii)          No more than two hours of behind‑the‑wheel training shall be given in any one day.  A written record indicating the date and time of this training shall be kept on file for each student.  The record must be signed by the student in ink after each driving session, and shall not include any hours of observation of other students, i.e. mere presence in the car while someone else is driving.

(iv)          Whether private, or a contract with a school system, an instructor may not provide behind-the-wheel training to more than three individuals.  If transporting more than three individual students the instructor shall operate the vehicle.

(d)           Other requirements:

(i)            Plans for the content of the curriculum, its organization, and presentation shall be submitted on Form SBTS‑610 for the approval of the Commissioner and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.  In addition, lesson plans for each of the 30 hours must be submitted.

(ii)           Textbooks for use in the classwork section shall be chosen from those approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(iii)          Instructors must be approved by both the Commissioner and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(iv)          All expenses incurred in offering and teaching these courses shall be paid by the persons enrolled therein or the school offering the course.

(v)           A student may enroll for either the classroom work or behind‑the‑wheel instruction, or both.  A school may accept certification of completion of classroom instruction from any school authorized to offer such a course, provided the certificate (Form SBTS‑611A) is signed by the principal of the public school, or the superintendent of the administrative unit of which it is a part, or the executive officer of a non‑public secondary school.  All SBTS‑611A forms shall be mailed or taken directly to the high school for completion by the commercial school owner or instructor.  Under no circumstances shall the form be given to the student.

(vi)          Schools offering this course shall issue to their students upon completion of either or both parts of the course a certificate furnished by the Division (Form SBTS‑611).  This certificate verifies only the training taught by the commercial school.  The student's name on this certificate must be as it appears on his birth certificate.  Schools shall be accountable to the Division for all certificates issued to them.

(vii)         The student, upon submitting certification of satisfactory completion of both parts of the driver education course, shall be eligible for licensing as provided by law.  Such certification may be from either or both a public or non‑public secondary school or a commercial driver training school.

(viii)        Schools shall submit reports to the Division, as may be required by the Division Rules and their books and records shall be open to inspection by Division representatives at all reasonable times.

(e)           A person completing the 30 and six hour course who desires additional training may contract for any portion of the six‑hour behind‑the‑wheel instruction.

(4)           For licensed persons taking a course offered by a restricted commercial driver training school, the following courses are authorized:

(a)           curriculum for evaluation and improvement for licensed adult drivers only, utilizing over‑the‑road observation in vehicles not owned by the school or equipment such as driving simulators;

(b)           professional curricula, including one or more of the following:

(i)            police pursuit driving;

(ii)           auto‑cross driving;

(iii)          emergency‑vehicle driving; or

(iv)          road and track racing.

(5)           Instructor training program, the requirements for which are:

(a)           the school must be licensed one full year prior to approval;

(b)           all work must be with an instructor licensed as an Instructor Trainer;

(c)           a proposed plan of operation must be submitted to the Division outlining the training schedule, including:

(i)            instruction in:

(A)          using effective teaching methods,

(B)          writing lesson plans,

(C)          reviewing of Rules Governing the Licensing of Commercial Driver Training Schools and Instructors,

(D)          using audio visual equipment and teaching aids,

(E)           filling out fully and properly all commercial school forms, and

(ii)           listing names of Instructor Trainers to be employed for the training program.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 20-321; 20-322; 20-323; 20-324;

Eff. July 2, 1979;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2000; July 1, 1994; December 1, 1993; November 1, 1991; April 1, 1989.