Frequently Asked Questions
What services do you offer?
Pacific Driver Education provides critical life-skill training at our Gresham driving school in following areas:
- Driver education for Teen Drivers
- Driver education for adult drivers
- Permit Test preparation
- DMV exam preparation
- Driver training for international students
How are Behind the Wheel lessons accomplished?
- Teens must participate in 12 hours of Behind the Wheel training. Students will take, with a partner, six two-hour lessons wherein each student will drive for one hour and observe for one hour.
- Adults may purchase private driving lessons. For information on private lessons, click the link below.
What types of cars do you use?
- Our training vehicles are dual controlled late model vehicles with automatic transmissions. The dual controls include an instructor brake and instructor mirrors. As required by DMV and ODOT, all cars are clearly marked with our company logo and the words “Student Driver.” Our vehicles are regularly inspected by certified mechanics.
What are your instructor’s qualifications? And how have they been screened?
- Oregon has very high standards for Traffic Safety Instructors. Driving school owners and instructors must pass a criminal background check and be certified by the DMV in order to teach adults. Additionally, instructors wishing to teach an ODOT-approved teen program must complete a series of Traffic Safety Education courses through Western Oregon University. Instructors must renew their certification yearly and complete a minimum 15 hours of continuing education every two years. All of Pacific Driver Education’s instructors meet, and, where possible, exceed, these criteria.
What is the difference between an ODOT and non-ODOT program?
- Traffic safety education in Oregon is divided into two categories: ODOT-approved programs and non-ODOT-approved programs.
ODOT Approved Programs
- This program must follow a set of regulations aimed at assuring students receive current best-practices education in traffic safety. The requirements mandate such things as curriculum content, instructional time in the classroom and the car, overall course length. Schools offering ODOT-approved courses are subject to regular audits and are listed on the Oregon DMV website.
- Teens completing an ODOT-approved program will receive an official certificate from the state of Oregon and are only required to complete 50 hours of practice with a parent before taking their license test.
- ODOT offers a subsidy for these programs that allow schools, like Pacific Driver Education, to offer lower tuition rates than would otherwise be possible.
- These programs are not regulated as to what content they teach, how they structure their classes or in-car instruction, or how long a course lasts.
- These programs may or may not teach current best-practice driving skills. Though students may receive a certificate of completion, it will not be issued by the state of Oregon. Teens will still be required to train with their parents for 100 hours before taking their license test.
Did you mention tuition subsidy?
- Yes, indeed. The state of Oregon, through ODOT, offers schools with a teen program meeting all the state standards to apply for a per-student tuition subsidy of up to $210. This is done so that schools can offer lower tuition rates, which will hopefully allow more people to benefit from traffic safety education courses.
- This subsidy is only available for teens who complete the course before their 18th birthday and before they obtain their license. This subsidy is already reflected in Pacific Driver Education’s posted tuition costs. If you do not meet the above criteria but still wish to participate in our teen program, tuition will be an additional $210.
Why should we choose Pacific Driver Education?
- We really are passionate about Traffic Safety Education – in fact, it’s all we do. Over the past five years, our instructors have taught hundreds of novice drivers to incorporate low-risk skills into their driving habits. Our programs are designed specifically to meet the social responsibility and the driving needs of young adults and to do so in a fun, friendly and educational atmosphere.
Will I (or my son or daughter) be safe with your instructors?
- The safety of our students is our primary concern (in fact, that’s exactly WHY we are passionate about low-risk driving!). All of our vehicles are equipped with modern safety features including anti-lock brakes and air bags, are outfitted with instructor brakes and mirrors, and are clearly marked as driver education vehicles. Each of our instructors is committed to providing the best possible instruction which starts with minimizing risk during every lesson. In addition, all instructors have been vetted and approved by the Oregon DMV and DOT, and have passed the same criminal background checks required of licensed teachers in Oregon.
- Other schools teach two-hour lessons – why are your private drive lessons shorter?
- Lesson length is a balance between having enough time to learn and practice behaviors without going so long that fatigue becomes a problem. We have found that 90 minutes provides the best balance for most students, though in some cases we may recommend a 60-minute lessons instead