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Driver Education

North Carolina law requires anyone under 18 to complete Driver Education before obtaining a driver license. Driver Education classes are taught at Crest HS three separate sessions each school year. Students are exposed to many topics during the classroom phase such as basic rules of the road, motor vehicle law, procedures for basic maneuvers, natural laws, and attitudes for being a safe and responsible driver. The BTW (behind-the-wheel) phase awards students the opportunity for actual hands on training on the streets and highways. Again, in the time allotted only basic maneuvers are taught. Once a student successfully completes Driver Education and obtains a limited learners permit they are able to drive and gain valuable experience under the close supervision of their parents. This training coupled with the driving experience provided by their parents will generally result in a safe and responsible teen driver.

State Requirements for Driver Education
  • Must be enrolled in school or some state approved program of study
  • Must be 14 1/2 years old
  • Successfully complete 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a certified Driver Education Instructor

Summary of the North Carolina Graduated Driver Licensing Law

Level 1

  • Must be 15 or older, complete driver's education and obtain limited learners permit.
  • For at least 12 months, the Level 1 driver must be supervised by parent, guardian or other approved licensed driver who has been licensed at least five years.
  • All people in vehicle driven by Level 1 driver must wear a seat belt, and only the supervisor can ride in the front seat.
  • For the first six months, a Level 1 driver may only drive from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm with his or her supervisor.
  • For the second six months, a Level 1 driver may drive at any time with his or her supervisor.
  • The Level 1 drive must have no violations to graduate to the next level.

Level 2

  • Unsupervised driving is allowed between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm or when driving to or from work.
  • Unsupervised driving is also allowed to or from an activity of a volunteer fire department, volunteer rescue squad or volunteer emergency medical service if the driver is a member of the organization.
  • Supervised driving is allowed at any time.
  • All people in a vehicle driven by a Level 2 driver must wear a seat belt.
  • The Level 2 driver may not have more than 1 passenger under 21 at any time unless:  a)supervising driver is present; b) all passengers reside in the same household; or c) are members of the driver's immediate family.
  • The Level 2 driver must have six months of violation-free driving to graduate to the next level.

Level 3

  • Unsupervised driving is allowed at any time.
  • Level 3 driver is subject to all other conditions of provisional license.
Classwork Schedule

The Fall class will begin on September 18, 2017 and conclude on Sept 29, 2017 at Crest High School in the Little Theater.  You must be 15 by March 18, 2017 to take this class. The make up day for this class will be October 2, 2017 .  Class times will be 3:15 p.m. until 6:15 p.m.


The Winter class will begin on December, 4, 2017 and conclude on December 15, 2017 at Crest High School in the Little Theatre.  You must be 15 by June 4, 2017 to take this class. The make up day for this class will be December 18, 2017.  Class times will be 3:15 p.m. until 6:15 p.m.


The Spring class will begin on March 5, 2018 and conclude on March 16, 2018 at Crest High School in the Little Theatre. The make up day for this class will be March 19, 2018.  You must be 15 by September 5, 2018 to take this class.  Class times will be 3:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. 


The Summer class will begin on June 14, 2018 and conclude on June 27, 2018 at Crest High School in the Little Theater. The make up day for this class will be June 28, 2018.  You must be 15 by December 14, 2018 to take this class.Class times will be 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.


The cost of the class is $65.  To register download and turn this form into the office at Crest High School main office. If you are on Free or Reduced Lunch, see Mr. Bolton or Main Office for application for reduced pricing ($50). 

Click Here to access the Driver and Traffic Safety Education Class Registration Form.

Roadwork Completion


Once a student has successfully completed the classroom instruction(consists of 30 hours) they are then eligible to complete the BTW phase of Driver Education which consists of 6 hours of actual driving behind the wheel. The permits of all the students that are taking P.E. and stayed after class to bank their P.E. time are arranged by 1-the period they have P.E., and 2-their date of birth. By banking their P.E. during the 2 weeks of class I am able to take them out of P.E. to complete their driving. This is probably the quickest way for a student to complete the BTW phase and receive their Driver Education Certificate.

All other permits of students who are not taking P.E. will be placed into another stack, arranged by date of birth, and will be distributed to part-time Driver Education instructors who will contact the student individually to schedule their driving. These instructors drive primarily before and after school, on weekends,

Teacher workdays, and holidays. This is how the process works.


A student who is in P.E. can probably estimate when he/she will drive simply by counting days. I start a new group of drivers each period approximately every 8 days. An example would be: if your student has 4 students ahead of them in their P.E.class, then it would be approximately 3 weeks(16 school days) before they would be called to drive.

A student who is not in P.E. will have a difficult time estimating when he/she will drive. They are driven by part-time instructors who are either retired or work a full-time job. They have their own schedules and drive when they can. Please understand that it is virtually impossible to tell you when your child will drive. This is the number 1 question I receive a phone call about. Because of so many variables I cannot give anyone a definite date of when their child will start and complete this phase of Driver Education. Be assured that students are being driven by date of birth and as swiftly as possible.


Driver Eligibility Forms

Once a student completes the BTW phase of Driver Education, they need to obtain a driver eligibility form to show they have passed enough subjects to apply for their learners permit at DMV.  They can obtain this form from any Assistant Principal at Crest High School.  There are several items they must have with them when they go to see an Assistant Principal:

  • Social Security Card
  • Original Birth Certificate
  • Driver Education Certificate
  • Parent signature


Note:  Home school students must obtain their forms from their state approved program of study.



How are students selected to get into class? There are always more students wanting the class than are seats - so how is the selection made? Students are notified by various means that the classes are to be held & they are told where to go to register. One of the significant problems recently is that there are many students registering that never attend. Seating and the number of available books limit the classes. If there are more interested in taking the class than there is space available, there is a waiting list started. Students on the waiting list are encouraged to attend the first day to fill in spaces available by those signing up & not showing up. In the last few classes, there have been more sign up than space available, but there were so few show up that those on the waiting list that were present were able to be served.

Is there special consideration for older students who have not taken the class? For the classroom session, no. They are driven on the road by birth date, so the oldest are served first. One of the keys to getting students driven & eligible for permit by their 15th birthday is that they take the class when first eligible at age 14 1/2.

If a student misses the first class does he miss his chance to take the class? No, the student may take the class at any time or age.

How many classes can a student miss and still earn credit? Is there a make-up procedure? The state requirements are that a student must complete 30 hours of classwork instruction. Most classes schedule one make-up session to make-up no more than 3 hours(the maxiimum amount of time that can be missed).

How do we handle non-Crest students taking driver education(home schoolers, Burns students, private schoolers, etc.)? The state funds our program for enrolled public school students + 5%, so we are obligated to serve any student under 18 years old. The key is that they must be a student. Students (especially in the summer are allowed to register at the high school other than the one they attend if space is available.

If a student does not get into a class due to any reason(detention, lack of interest, etc.), are they given high priority at the next class? Are they given low priority? Is there any difference? Our classes are arranged on a first come, first served basis. A student who attempts to register when the class is full is put on a waiting list and encouraged to show up the first day of class with the chance they may get in. If they do show up and are not successful in getting in, they will be assured of a spot in the next class. Note, however, that at the last few classes at both schools, students who were on a waiting list & did show up were admitted.

If a student is currently taking Health/PE and will not drive until spring, then does that student need to stay to make-up PE time? Yes.

Most of the above questions also apply to the road/driving portion of the class. Who drives first? What is the priority? If a student refuses the opportunity to drive a particular week, does he become the next in line, or does he go to the end of the list? Students from Health/PE are driven by age/birthday from the particular class period they are enrolled in. Other students are driven after school and on weekends by age/birthday. If a student is sick or has a legitimate excuse(dr. appointment, sports event) they do not lose their place in line. If they are just lazy or don't want to be bothered at the time, they are put at the end of the list and will be driven when the others are completed.

If a student goes to register for the class on the day directed and the class is filled, what should a student do?

The student will be placed on a waiting list and encouraged to show up the first day with the possibility of being enrolled. If the student does show up on the first day and is not admitted as a waiting list candidate, they will be guaranteed a spot in the next scheduled class.

If a student is absent on the day to register, what should he do? If the class becomes full before they return to school to register, they will go on the waiting list like the others.

If a student or parent has questions, who should they address them to & how? Most of the questions involve when students will drive. They are instructed in class verbally, and in writing to the parents, that calling is unnecessary & most time , a date cannot be given. Other questions should be directed to the full time driver education teacher at each high school by phone, personal contact, or in writing to the teacher's mailbox.

Are copies of the rules, regulations, and procedures given to students when they register for class-or ever given to the students? A copy of the legal requirements, policies and procedures etc., are sent home with students for parents to sign-along with the restricted instruction permit.

Still a question? Contact me by email at :ddbolton@clevelandcountyschools.org