What is an Approved Driving Instructor?

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  • Written By: Katie Boe
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2019
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An approved driving instructor is someone who teaches a driver training or driver education class. Someone looking to take a driving course taught by an approved driving instructor could seek this training through a driver's education program or driving school. There are a number of different ways to become an approved driving instructor, depending on the driving and licensing laws of the country in which the course is being taught.

The approved driving instructor gives driving lessons in a vehicle to help a student obtain his or her driver's license. These driving courses are usually taught on a regular basis, with the instructor riding along with the driving student. In some cases, the instructor has a steering wheel and brake control on his or her side of the dashboard too, in case their use becomes necessary.

Requirements for becoming an approved driving instructor vary by location. In the United States, all approved driving instructors must be 21 years old, hold a high school diploma or equivalent, and have a license for the type of vehicle they will be teaching from. In the United Kingdom, approved driving instructors (ADIs) must be tested by the Driving Standards Agency to obtain a license to teaching driving class. This license is gained by passing a theory and practical examination, a background check, and possessing a clean driving record.


During driving lessons, the instructor will teach students about the proper use of the vehicle they will be tested on driving. Students will learn how to turn on, maneuver, and control the vehicle. Steering, turns, and following directional signs will all be practiced within the lessons. Lessons are practical and hands-on so students are comfortable with the vehicle when taking the licensing exam. All parts of the license exam will be practiced during the lessons.

Neither the US or the UK makes the use of an approved driving instructor compulsory for getting one's driver's license, although this is not necessarily the case in other jurisdictions. Many people choose to learn from an instructor, however, because they will have extra practice driving with someone they feel qualified to teach them the correct way to drive. Many studies have indicated that there is a much higher pass rate on driving tests for those who trained before the test with an approved driving instructor.



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