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Driver Education Courses (Traffic Schools)

For Instructors and Schools: Instructions for Certification

*Pertains to courses allowed under TCA 55-10-301. These courses must provide a minimum of four (4) hours of classroom or on-line driver safety training which has been determined by the Department to meet or exceed the standards of the AAA, National Safety Council or such other nationally recognized curriculum approved by the Department and which is designed to educate persons committing minor traffic violations and to deter future violations.

**These instructions pertain only to driver education schools for court referrals. Information regarding defensive driving schools for Driver Improvement referrals can be found here: http://www.tn.gov/safety/defensivedriving.shtml.

  1. TDOS Rules and Regulations Chapter 1340-03-07
  2. Application(s) for Certification
  3. An entity which proposes to offer a Driver Education Course must submit the following with your application(s):
    • Application fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150) – Please make non-refundable check or money order payable to Tennessee Department of Safety
    • Copy of curriculum to be used
    • Copy of background check results (for each instructor)
    • Copy of Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)… (Only required for instructors not licensed in Tennessee)
    • Copy of a certificate of completion for a Driver Education Course Instructor’s School operated by AAA, National Safety Council or such other certified school approved by the Department. Instructors must maintain current certification. (for each instructor)

Please submit all forms and applicable information to:

Tennessee Department of Safety
Safety Education Division
Attn: Jennifer Brawley
1150 Foster Ave., Davis Quad #3
Nashville, TN 37243

Once all required documentation has been received and approved, you will be mailed approval certificates. Schools and instructors will each receive individual certificates. ALL certificates are valid for one (1) year and must be renewed annually. There is an annual renewal fee of fifty dollars ($50). If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Brawley at 615-743-4977 or by email at Jennifer.Brawley@tn.gov.

FAQ's...Court Safety Program

  1. How do I apply for certification?
    Complete Owner/Manager or Government application, instructor applications for each instructor. Along with applications attach background results for each instructor, defensive driving instructor certificate, and copy of curriculum.
  2. Where can I get background check done at?
    Background checks can be done through (TBI) Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
    http://www.tbi.state.tn.us/background_checks/backgrd_checks.shtml
  3. Is there a fee for certification?
    There is an initial fee of $150, along with a $50 yearly renewal fee.
  4. Does Law Enforcement need to have a back ground check done?
    No….we just need letter stating that your instructors are law enforcement and background has been done and is on file.
  5. Where can I get certified as Defensive Driving Instructor?
    (AAA) American Automobile Association or National Safety Council
  6. Does my class have to be at least 4 hours long?
    Yes…all classes must be at least (4) four hours in length.
  7. Can I continue providing my (2) two hour First Offenders Class?
    No, all classes will have to be at least (4) four hours in length.
  8. If I am a governmental employee or immediate family member of a governmental employee, can I still teach traffic school?
    No one employed or immediate family member of anyone employed as law enforcement or officials; probation and parole employees or officials; judicial employees or officials, or correctional employees or officials, including employees and officials of jails and workhouses, shall have a direct or indirect personal interest in a private entity. You ARE still able to teach for a governmental agency.
  9. If I experience problems with a Defensive Driving School, instructor or course, what can I do:
    All complaints relating to Defensive Driving Schools or instructors must be made in writing, signed by the complainant and mailed to the address below:

Tennessee Department of Safety
Safety Education Division
Attn: Jennifer Brawley
1150 Foster Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243

For Students