Frequently Asked Questions
Behind The Wheel Driving Academy
The first step in driver education is learning the rules of the road...but if you don't have time to sit in a classroom for 30 hours like in the old days, Behind The Wheel offers a State-accredited online course that can be completed whenever and wherever you and your technology like to hang out! With the online class, you work at your own pace; there is no time limit to finish the program (although we recommend working at it steadily since we cannot schedule drives for you until you complete the online portion.) You can register for the online class only or the full program of driver education by clicking on the Get Started Here button on our home page; we partner with Driving Brilliance for online instruction (if you do not wish to do the online course through BTW, please select the "Driving Only" option in the drop-down box at the top of the registration form.) When you submit the registration form, you will be provided with program options that include Premier, Standard and Payment Plan. Once payment has been made either online or by calling the office, Behind The Wheel will complete your enrollment and will mail you the Certificate of Driver Education Enrollment (CDE) paperwork you need to take to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to obtain your learner permit (the BMV expects everyone to have all necessary documentation with them when they arrive; if you do not, there is no guarantee that they will accept an emailed or faxed copy of the CDE form; please allow sufficient time for your paperwork to arrive in the mail prior to taking the written permit test.) The CDE form is valid for 60 days from the day it is dated, per Indiana regulation. If it expires - or if you lose the form - you will need to call Behind The Wheel to request replacement paperwork; there is a $25.00 reprocessing fee. You do NOT have to complete the online course prior to attempting to get your learner permit; you may take the written permit test at the BMV whenever you feel you can pass it (we also send you a highlighted BMV manual and test review materials when you enroll to help you prepare for the test.)
The online course covers the classroom portion of driver education; the second step in the program is completing six hours of driving with a Behind The Wheel instructor in our fully-insured vehicles.
When you have gotten your permit and are 100% complete with the online course, you may start scheduling drives with Behind The Wheel. It is your responsibility to call 812-402-7058 to begin scheduling drives when you reach 100% completion; Behind The Wheel does not monitor your progress with the online course and will not contact you about driving. Please allow a minimum of two to three months to complete the driving portion (or more if you are heavily involved in sports or other activities that impact your availability); plan accordingly or contact us if you wish to discuss special circumstances.
Remember: Behind The Wheel recommends that you get your permit and complete the online course as soon as possible to ensure being able to get your license when you are eligible; but there is no official time limit and the program never expires.
When you have completed the online course and the six hours of driving, you are eligible to take the State-required drive test (there are currently no waivers for drive tests available in Indiana.) You may take the test at the BMV free of charge in your own vehicle with a BMV examiner; or if you complete the full driver education program with Behind The Wheel--and successfully pass both the online course and driving instruction with an 80% average as required by the State--we can administer your drive test for a $35.00 fee (no additional cost if you have purchased the Premier Package option.) In Evansville and contingent counties, drive tests are conducted from the BTW office on the north side of Evansville; we do not pick up for the drive test. For the outlying counties in our service area, we can arrange for you to test closer to home without having to travel to Evansville.
If you do not see the answer to your question below, give us a call at 812-402-7058!
HOW DOES DRIVER EDUCATION WORK NOW?
The State of Indiana currently requires a written test at the BMV for the learner permit; and a drive test either at the BMV or with an approved driver education school for the license. Enrolling in driver education allows a student to get a permit at age 15 versus age 16 without driver education; and completing the full driver education program (online course and six hours of driving) allows a student to get a license at age 16 and 90 days versus 16 and 270 days without driver education.
HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR YOUR PROGRAM?
Please click the "Get Started Here" button on our home page, click "Register", fill out the registration form WITH THE STUDENT'S INFORMATION, NOT THE PARENT'S and then hit the submit button; you will be directed to our shopping cart to purchase the program of your choice. You may register online for free, but must choose one of our three program options, be at least 15 years of age, and pay for your selected program; BTW will then complete your enrollment and email you instructions for accessing the online course. You may attempt to get your learner permit prior to completing the online instruction (we recommend first studying the BMV manual and other materials we provide to you when you register, and completing approximately 25% of the online course, which will cover much of the material on the test); but you may not schedule any drives with Behind The Wheel until you are 100% complete with the online course.
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE PROGRAM?
Behind The Wheel offers three program options; please visit the Program Options/Rates page for complete details. For the driving sessions, we pick you up at your home or school and return you when finished; there is no extra charge for this service. We offer a payment plan program option in addition to our Standard and Premier programs to help make driver education more affordable. If you wish to cancel enrollment, you must notify us within three days (72 hours) of enrollment; no refunds will be issued after this time or after the student has received the official State CDE paperwork signed by Behind The Wheel.
HOW DO I GET MY PERMIT?
After you register and make payment to complete your enrollment, we will accept you into the program and mail you the official forms that you will need to obtain your permit at the BMV. You will also need to take the following items to the BMV: ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, CDE FORM (which we provide) and TWO PROOFS OF ADDRESS with the student's name on them (the Proof of Registration form that we also send you counts as one proof of address.) The BMV requires you to take a written test and a vision test. The fee is $9.50 for the permit, payable to the BMV, when you pass your written test; if you do not pass the first time, you must wait 24 hours before trying again. Once you have your permit, you are then eligible to drive with any relative age 25 or over that is a licensed driver. You must hold your permit for 180 days, no matter what age you are when you get it.
ARE THERE ANY ONLINE BMV TESTING SITES THAT I CAN LOOK AT IN ORDER TO PREPARE FOR THE LEARNER PERMIT WRITTEN TEST?
Yes. Go to "GOOGLE" and type in "Indiana Permit Test." Three sample written tests will be offered. You may take the exams as many times as you wish until you feel comfortable enough to go to the BMV and take the exam. There is no charge to take the practice exams and it is NOT necessary to pay for any practice tests. You may also wish to attend our free, optional permit prep seminar offered at Behind The Wheel every other Saturday (see the Seminars page on our site for dates). If you register and pay for a Behind The Wheel program, we will also email you review sheets and a highlighted BMV manual that will help you study for the test.
WHO MAY I DRIVE WITH WHEN I RECEIVE MY PERMIT?
You may start driving immediately with a parent or any relative over the age of 25 that holds a valid Indiana Driver's License. There are some restrictions as to when you can drive on a learner permit...check your BMV Driving Manual or contact the BMV for more information.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE DRIVES WITH BEHIND THE WHEEL?
Driving is by appointment only and all drives are scheduled by phone; please call the BTW office at 812-402-7058 between 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon on Saturday (Central time). The office is closed on Sunday. Drives are scheduled based upon instructor availability within your zip code and are first come, first serve; since creating safe drivers is our top priority, we do not schedule more than three drives at a time so that we can check your progress and ensure that you are practicing and successfully applying what you are learning. Remember to plan accordingly to allow a minimum of two to three months to complete your driving sessions (or more if you have limited availability due to athletics or other activities), or you may not be able to get your license when you want it!
WHAT IF THERE IS SNOW OR ICE ON THE ROADS?
It is the policy of Behind The Wheel that if school is canceled due to weather, drives are also canceled. If school is delayed, no drives will take place prior to the revised start time; and if school is dismissed early, no drives will take place following the dismissal time. On weekends, instructors will use their best judgement about road conditions, and will contact students if they do not believe it is safe to do the drive. We do not charge a No Show fee for hazardous road conditions or inclement weather.
WHAT DO I TAKE TO THE BMV TO GET MY LICENSE?
When you reach age 16 and 90 days, have held your permit for at least 180 days, and have completed all requirements for a license, you will need to take a Certificate of Completion for the classroom portion of Driver Education and a signed Completion Form for the six hours of driving (both forms are provided by BTW); the BMV-issued 50-hour driving log; and your permit. You will take a vision test at the BMV, and the permit will then be converted to a license (no additional written test is required to obtain a license.) If you do the online course and driving sessions with BTW but are going to take your drive test at the BMV, please call us a few days in advance of that appointment to obtain the necessary paperwork.