National Driver Ed Teacher Credentialing

Our credentialing system improves professional driver education standards, standardizes instructor training, and makes professional training more available across the nation.

Obtain Credentials

Your credentials are valid for three years.

  • Become an ADTSEA member. You must renew the membership annually to maintain your credentials. ($50/year)
  • Take required ADTSEA courses through a provider in your state. A certificate of completion will be issued at the end of each course.
  • Complete one year of teaching and submit documentation.

To receive your credentials, submit a copy of the certificate of completition for all three courses and documentation of teaching experience to Brett Robinson:

Renew Credentials

You must renew your credentials every three years.

To renew your credentials, submit your Point Recording Form to Brett Robinson:

For More Info

Contact Brett Robinson,
ADTSEA Executive Director

Quality Training for Driver Ed Instructors

The national credentialing system is designed to improve the quality of driver education teachers and instruction. It is also designed to standardize teacher training in driver education and make teacher training more available across the nation. The ADTSEA Teacher Credentialing System is for public, private, and commercial school driver education instructors and has the support of NHTSA, AAA, and AAMVA. These groups comprise the planning committee that provided guidance during development of this program.

A core of three courses has been developed:

  • Driver Task Analysis
  • Developing Vehicle Operational Skills
  • Developing Classroom Knowledge

Each course is designed to have enough contact hours to be offered either for college credit or for continuing education units. The courses may either be taken through a college, university, or a sponsoring institution.

Course Description

Courses will be taken within the following sequence to obtain ADTSEA sponsored certification/credentialing and involve nine semester hours of classroom and laboratory instruction in driver education content and delivery methodology. The courses are designed on the basis of one semester hour is equivalent to 15 classroom hours, 30 laboratory hours of student involvement, or a combination of the two.

An introduction to the task of the driver within the highway transportation system with emphasis on risk perception and management and decision-making skills will be offered as an initial course. This course is followed in sequence by learning activities that will prepare the prospective driver educator to conduct classroom and laboratory instruction, organize for learning to occur, maintain a learning environment, and develop learning modules to conduct both types of instruction. These courses also include activities that will assist the driver educator in conducting driver performance enhancement activities. The courses may be subdivided into classroom and laboratory instruction phases to support and meet state agency standards and administrative rules.


Although textbooks will be used and recommended throughout this coursework, prospective teachers are encouraged to update materials and use the most recent editions of textbooks available. Reference materials are encouraged for maintaining a personal or professional library. Textbooks used in the program are:

  • Drive Right
  • Handbook Plus
  • How to Drive
  • Responsible Driving

Additional reference materials are used to supplement instruction. For a complete list, contact the ADTSEA national office.

Course Goals

The three courses offered in this program were developed as the core of content and instructional methodology that every driver education teacher must know and perform. The classroom goal of these courses is to prepare a driver education instructional staff that is capable of developing and assessing new driver performances to include:

Impaired Driving and Decision-Making

  • Recognizing physical, social, and psychological influences that can affect motor vehicle operator performance
  • Demonstrating management of time, space, and visibility when operating a motor vehicle
  • Interaction with other roadway users in a positive manner
  • Demonstrating concepts and generalizations which enable one to make objective decisions regarding use of alcoholic beverages and drugs; consequences of fatigue, drowsy driving and road rage; and environmental factors that influence the decision-making process

Safe Driving Skills

  • Recognizing the general nature of the drivers' task within the HTS and the consequences of system failures
  • Understanding the use of occupant restraints and protective devices
  • Understanding consequences of speed selection
  • Demonstrating balanced vehicle movement
  • Practicing additional skills with parents/guardians/mentors

Risk Management

  • Applying the principles of perception to risk management when operating a motor vehicle
  • Applying risk management skills to the task of driving as a driver or passenger
  • Applying the techniques for managing risk when operating a motor vehicle over pre-selected on and off-street activities
  • Demonstrating the use of visual skills to obtain appropriate information to make reduced-risk decisions in low, moderate, and high risk driving environments

Laws, Regulations, and Methodologies

  • Identification of laws, rules, and regulations that govern the smooth movement of traffic
  • Use of current methodologies for providing classroom instruction in driver education including organization and classroom management and technologies
  • Use of current methodologies for providing in-car instruction in driver education including route development, giving directions, positive evaluation feedback, and evaluating driver performance
  • Identifying and supporting rules and regulations governing a state's graduated driver licensing program that includes a strong educational component

Independent Laboratory Activity Goals

The laboratory goal of these courses is to prepare a driver education instructional staff that is capable of developing and assessing new driver performances through:

  • A preliminary personal driving performance audit
  • Arranged observation of in-car teaching techniques
  • Arranged in-car techniques using off and on-street components
  • Arranged observation of driver education classroom teaching techniques
  • Arranged commentary driving laboratory training
  • Arranged classroom-teaching experiences
  • Arranged in-car practice teaching experiences
  • Scheduled final personal driving assessment

Course Outlines

Course outlines are designed to provide the backbone of the instructional materials presented. The course outlines are provided to establish the basis for curriculum and lesson plan development. The transparencies may be used to introduce topical concepts and ideas. All lesson outlines will need to be developed by the local agency to meet state and local requirements. When relevant, additional support materials will be made available and recommended for use within a topical area.

I. Driver Task Analysis

Driver Task Analysis is designed to be the prerequisite to the other courses and give the prospective instructor the content knowledge and skills necessary to teach driver education.

Classroom Sessions and Recommended Timeframes:

  • The task of the driver in the HTS, 6 hours
  • Personal factors influencing operator performance, 5 hours
  • Motor vehicles laws, regulations, and their application, 3 hours
  • Managing risk within the HTS, 6 hours
  • Sensory perception and performance of the driving task, 7 hours
  • Improving driver performance, 5 hours
  • Motor vehicle performance capabilities and maintenance, 5 hours
  • Legal and moral obligations relative to using the HTS, 2 hours
  • Trip planning, 1 hour
  • Class assessments, 2 hours
  • Instructor flexible activities, 6 hours

Laboratory Sessions and Recommended Time Frames:

  • Preliminary driver performance audit, 1 hour
  • Traffic survey, 2 hours
  • Off-street activities, limited space, and time, 2 hours

II. Developing Vehicle Operational Skills

Developing Vehicle Operational Skills is designed to provide the prospective driver education teacher with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully conduct on-street instruction, provide a safe learning environment while doing so, and evaluate new driver performance.

Classroom Sessions and Recommended Time Frames:

  • Class introduction, scheduling, and grading, 2 hours
  • Risk management principles in simple driving situations, 2 hours
  • Factors that influence learning and habit development, 4 hours
  • Standards for driver performance, 2 hours
  • Laboratory learning environments, 2 hours
  • Planning and preparing for instructional performances and outcomes, 2 hours
  • Planning vehicle operational experiences, 2 hours
  • Planning off-street laboratory experiences, 2 hours
  • Planning on-street laboratory experiences, 2 hours
  • Techniques for student performance assessment, 2 hours
  • Involving mentors in the learning process, 2 hours
  • Local curriculum and program needs, 4 hours
  • Course assessments, 3 hours

Laboratory Sessions and Recommended Time Frames:

  • Off-street driving techniques observation, 2 hours
  • On-street driving techniques observation, 4 hours
  • Off-street lesson plan development, 4 hours
  • On-street lesson plan development, 4 hours
  • Off-street lesson presentation, 2 hours
  • On-street route development, 5 hours
  • On-street lesson presentation, 2 hours
  • Local curriculum and program needs, 2-4 hours

III. Developing Classroom Knowledge

Developing Classroom Knowledge is designed to provide the prospective driver education teacher with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality classroom instruction, successfully manage the classroom, and provide for appropriate student evaluation.

Classroom Sessions and Recommended Time Frames:

  • Course introduction, scheduling, and grading, 2 hours
  • Risk management principles in complex situations, 2 hours
  • Influencing learning and habit development, 3 hours
  • Standards of driver performance, 2 hours
  • Classroom learning environments, 2 hours
  • Preparing NHTSA goals and instructional outcomes, 4 hours
  • Planning for classroom experiences, 2 hours
  • Planning for computer-assisted instruction, 2 hours
  • Instructor characteristics and techniques, 4 hours
  • Planning for simulation-based instruction, 2 hours
  • Assessment of student performances, 1 hour
  • Course assessments, 2 hours
  • Planning for local curriculum and program needs, 2 hours
  • Classroom lesson plan development, 6 hours
  • Classroom lesson presentation, 12 hours

Laboratory Sessions Recommended Timeframes:

  • Classroom lesson observations, 4 hours
  • Final personal driving audit, 1 hour

Course Providers

Course providers require training and ADTSEA certification to offer coursework for the National Driver Education Teacher Preparation and Recognition Program. The Driver Task Analysis course is a prerequisite for both of the other courses. The Developing Vehicle Operational Skills and Developing Classroom Knowledge courses may be offered concurrently or in a sequence as required by state and local standards.

The ADTSEA credentialing system is designed to meet the immediate needs for training driver education instructors and not designed to replace organizations or agencies already providing the necessary training. Any agency, college, or university is welcome to join in an effort to recognize certified instructors and provide a means for preparing new ones.

Maintaining Your Credentials

The National Credential/Certificate will expire each successive third year after initial issuance. To maintain this credential/certificate, points must be accrued in each three-year time frame. During this time frame, a teacher must accumulate a minimum of 25 points to continue their national credential/certificate. Points must be earned in the following ways:

  • Membership in ADTSEA or other national and/or state professional traffic safety associations
    2 points per year
  • Registration and participation in state and national professional organization conferences
    2 points per conference
  • Successful completion of professional development workshops or courses (30 contact hours or 3 credits minimum)
    3 points per course or workshop
  • Teaching driver education students
    1 point per 30 hours of instruction completed in any phase (classroom, laboratory or on-street instruction) to a maximum of 12 points in 3 years.
    Must teach at least a total of 30 hours in one or more phases in the 3-year period to maintain credential/certificate.
  • Teaching state or nationally approved driver improvement courses
    1 point per 30 hours of instruction
  • Publication of articles in professional journals
    2 points per article authored or co-authored
  • Elected officer in state or national, professional traffic safety organization
    1 point per year
  • Other professional development activities as approved on an individual basis by the ADTSEA office
    1 point per approval
Point Recording Form Teaching Verification Form