Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the requirements to be eligible to enroll in a New Driver Training program?
The minimum requirements in the State of Washington are (a) the student must be at least 15 years old by class 1 of New Driver Training and (b) have parental (or legal guardian) consent, if under 18.
- What are the minimum requirements for successful completion of a New Driver Training program?
Attend 30 hours of classroom instruction (generally broken into 15 two hour sessions)
Attend at least 6 One-Hour behind-the-wheel driving sessions (6 hours)
Attend 6 One-Hour behind-the-wheel observation sessions (6 hours)
Receive a passing score on the final written test
Receive a passing score on the final drive test
- What does my student need to bring to the Department of Licensing to get a permit?
Please visit www.dol.wa.gov for a current listing of requirements
- Once the classes begin, how long does my student have to complete the entire New Driver Training course?
Swerve recommends that students finish all 15 classes and all six drives in their New Driver Training course within 26 weeks from the course start date. Students who do not finish within 26 weeks are much less likely to complete the program.
- What is an Intermediate License and how does it affect my new driver?
The state of WA has the intermediate drivers license (IDL). All of the up to date information for the IDL restrictions and penalties for violations can be found at http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/teens.html (look for Intermediate drivers license).
- Once I complete the New Driver Training course, what do I need to do next to get my license?
You will need to pass a knowledge test and road test as well as be at least 16 years old, have held your permit for at least six months and have completed 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving at home with 10 of those hours being in the dark. If you have further questions about getting your license, you can refer to a copy of the WA State Driver Guide or the guidelines posted on the WA State DOL’s website. Knowledge tests and road tests are offered at Swerve Driving school for your convenience.
- Can my teen drive in other states with a permit?
Usually it is legal for teens to drive with a permit in other states, but we recommend you call or visit the website of the state you’re visiting to find out for sure. Each state has its own laws and regulations that are subject to change from year to year.
- For more Department of Licensing Information
- How do I register for a Swerve Driver Training program?
You can register by phone (1-877-7SWERVE, 1-877-779-3783) or online. Please see our New Driver Training page for program details.
- What are the prices for the Teen New Driver Training?
Our prices may vary by location. To view current promotions in your area, please visit our Locations and Schedules page or phone us for the SWERVE driving school location nearest you. Call 1-877-7SWERVE (1-877-779-3783) for details.
- What are your Payment Options?
Payment is due at the time of registration. We accept cash, checks and Visa and Mastercard. Payment plans are also available. Call our customer center for details at 1-877-7SWERVE (1-877-779-3783).
- Where can I see the schedule of available driver’s ed courses and classes?
Please visit our Locations and Schedules page.
- What if I need to cancel my New Driver Training course or move to a different location or start date?
We offer full refunds up to the first class of the New Driver Training Course and 50% refunds through class number 3. If you need to change your classroom location or start date, we’re happy to *accommodate you, as long as you have not yet started the course and if there is still space in the course you want to move into. (*DOL does have some restrictions that may apply)
- Do New Driver Training students need to get a driving permit before the course begins?
No, SWERVE students do not need to get a permit before the course begins. Students must have their permit by class #3 and must have their permit for all scheduled drives and during practice drives with a parent or guardian. How to get my permit
- What are the behind-the-wheel drive session requirements?
Students must have their permit with them in order to participate in any behind-the-wheel driving lessons. Failure to have the permit will be treated as a “no show.” If you have to change the time of your driving lesson, it must be at least two days in advance of the appointment to avoid a rescheduling or “no show” fee. The behind-the-wheel rescheduling fee is $37.50 per occurrence.
- Why does a parent need to attend the first class?
At Swerve Driving School, we not only recognize that parent involvement is important, we make it a key component of our driving school curriculum. Parents are required to attend the first class session, where we will share information to help build their teen’s confidence and driving responsibility, as well as tips that will help parents coach their teens during practice periods.
- What if my student needs to miss a class or a scheduled drive time?
Any class that is missed must be made up. We strongly discourage missing a classroom session. If you do, you must schedule a make-up class right away. We recommend you schedule the make-up session within 10 days of the missed class. The state of WA allows up to 3 make up classes. In order to be eligible to take the WA state knowledge exam, students must have made up any and all missed classes by the time of the exam. Any student who has not will not be eligible to take the exam.
- How do I make up a missed class?
Missed classes can be made up by attending a “live” class or watching the missed class on a DVD at any of our SWERVE driving school locations. You can only do 4 hours of class per day, so only one missed class may be scheduled on a day that you already have a class. Any missed class must be made up and may be scheduled ahead of time through our Customer Center at 1-877-7SWERVE (1-877-779-3783).
- What type of car is used for driving sessions?
Swerve Driving School believes that the quality and safety of the vehicles we use in our program is of the utmost importance. Each Swervemobile is clean, smoke-free and in excellent mechanical shape. For our driving lessons, we have chosen the Scion XA and XB models, the Prius and Corolla as they are high-quality cars that offer excellent visibility and are fun to drive.
- When does the first drive session take place?
The first drive session generally takes place after the third or fourth classroom session. This is usually the second or third week of the driver’s ed course.
- How are the behind-the-wheel drives scheduled?
When you enroll in the program, you’ll be emailed instructions on how to utilize our online scheduling tool. If you need assistance, you can always call our Customer Center at 1-877-7SWERVE (1-877-779-3783).
- Is there a Driver Training course near my teen’s school?
Our driving school features several locations with many are located in area high schools. For the location of our courses, please visit our Locations and Schedules page.
- What is your inclement weather policy?
If the school district closes for inclement weather, then we cancel classes. We will post closure information on our social media outlets, phone system and website. We we will send an email to notify you that classes/drives have been canceled. The fastest way to get information is to like us on facebook as this is the first place we will update notices such as these.
- Do you assign homework? Do you supply any learning materials?
Other than encouraging lots of practice outside of class, we do not assign homework. After each drive session, your student will be given a “prescription” of practice priorities to be completed before the next drive. Our instructors will carefully monitor your student’s performance during the drive and base the home practice session on their performance. Our instructor’s goal is to have your student learn each skill so he or she will be an extremely safe driver on the roads.
- How are your behind-the-wheel driving lessons organized?
Our drive routes are built to teach each skill incrementally and logically. Our carefully designed routes give the student a certain amount of challenge. You can know that your student will be safe and confident in each of their driving lessons because we don’t overwhelm them with situations they have not yet built up to in their previous sessions.
- What kind of testing do you offer?
We offer Knowledge Testing and Road Testing to our teen and adult students as well as to the general public. Students are eligible for taking the knowledge test once they have completed their classroom training (including any make up lessons). Once the knowledge test has been successfully completed, students may schedule their road test.
- My child wants to start driving the minute he/she gets his/her permit. Should we wait until after my child’s first drive with SWERVE before we start practicing?
That choice depends on how comfortable you feel. If you do plan to take your student out to practice before his first Swerve drive session, the main guideline to keep in mind is to stay sequenced with our program. If practicing for the first time just before his Drive 1 with Swerve, keep it simple. It’s recommended you stay in a parking lot or a very low-traffic neighborhood to build some comfort with the vehicle. Starting out on a 40 MPH road with complicated intersections, which is the equivalent of our Drive 3, could be very overwhelming. Start slow and stay close to what he’s going to be learning in our course. It’s more important that your student build the correct skills and good habits and gets enough practice with them before layering on more complication and difficulty.
- Can I speak with an instructor if I am having problems coaching my child while they are in driving lessons?
You can call our Customer Center at 1-877-7SWERVE (1-877-779-3783) and we will notify the instructor that you wish to speak with them.
- We have a few cars to choose from for our teen to use for practice. Which one should we use?
At first, choose the car that is easier to drive. Between a car and a large SUV, use the car. Between an automatic and a manual transmission, go with the automatic. Using the car that is easier to drive allows your teen to focus on practicing the skills they’re learning at Swerve in the safest way possible. Driving a bigger vehicle may cause anxiety, which can slow their progress. Having to learn how to shift the car and operate the clutch will almost certainly take attention away from developing good visual habits and other fundamentals. After your son or daughter is more comfortable with driving and has built some competency, then you can add other complications like shifting or driving large vehicles. If all you have is a large vehicle or a manual transmission, your teen can still successfully learn to drive—but be sure to understand that progress will probably be slower while your teen gets accustomed to the vehicle.
- What are SWERVE’s qualifications?
SWERVE Driver Training is licensed and certified in accordance with federal and state regulations for driving schools. Each classroom instructor and all driving coaches are certified by the state and meet or exceed all state training requirements.
- What do parents and students say about your driving school?
Feedback shows that our parents are happy with our program and that students like the way the instructors teach the classes and the driving lessons. Students enjoy that the instructor makes the class fun, and presents the information in a way that isn’t boring. Parents like that they have access to talk with the Instructors during post-drive debrief’s.
- How is SWERVE different from other driving schools and why should I choose SWERVE for driver training?
- Our research-backed curriculum was developed by experts and is updated regularly. We believe our students deserve the best in driver training, and our driving school delivers it.
- We believe in our programs so strongly that we’re the first driver training school to offer a Worry Free Guarantee. With Swerves’s Worry Free Guarantee, we will refund 100% of your paid tuition if your teen gets into an at-fault collision up to 6 months from the start of their program.
- SWERVE instructors are trained in classroom management, presentation skills and providing highly attentive behind-the-wheel driving lessons. They’re energetic, intelligent and motivated with a real passion for teaching new drivers the defensive driving skills they need to be collision-free.
- We understand that your time is valuable and we make every effort to be efficient and convenient. That’s why we offer an online scheduling tool. Our students can schedule and change drives as they need to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- We give parents opportunities to be involved and teach them how to be more effective coaches for their new teen drivers.
- Our Swervemobiles are safe, new and fun to drive and they have excellent visibility.
We use exams that really get our student drivers thinking critically, and we’re constantly amazed at the results.
- We offer families peace of mind. We train teenagers to drive well, but more than that, we motivate them to use what they know and stay collision-free. As a defensive driving school, we know teens are smart and capable of being good, safe drivers. We’re the driving school with what it takes to inspire teens to be just that.
- Our mission is to change the way people drive. You can rest assured that we take our job very seriously and are committed to teaching our students to be better than good, but to be great drivers.
- Our Customer Center is available to help answer any questions you have at any point during the course. They are available 5 days a week, Monday through Friday.
- Are your training cars equipped with anti-lock brakes?
All of our training cars have anti-lock brakes, airbags and a right-side brake.
- How do you train your instructors to handle driver training for teens?
In addition to road rules and traffic skills, our instructor-training program includes training on teen culture and on how the teen brain absorbs information. Teaching young people to drive well is as much art as science, as much psychology as technique. We make sure that our instructors are trained on all of this. It’s one of the things that helps make our driving school rise above the competition.
- Do your instructors train in the same cars they use with students?
Yes, all instructors train in the same cars that the students use.
- How much in-car driver training do you require of your instructors?
Our instructors receive a minimum of 75 hours of behind-the-wheel training, which is more than the state requires.
- Were your instructors trained “on the job” or did they take a formal course?
Our instructors receive over 100 hours of training by our own state-certified training instructors, where they are taught our methods and techniques. Training students to drive is more than just learning the rules of the road. They have to be great with teenagers and dedicated to providing the best driving lessons. Our instructors have to be energetic, intelligent, and passionate about driver training.
- What makes your driving school’s instructors different?
Our instructors are coaches. They’ll help prepare your student mentally for driving on the road by helping them understand the driving environment, develop the ability to assess their risks and capabilities in a variety of different driving situations, and help them understand the limits of their vehicle. They use every minute to help the student build safe, defensive driving habits that will last a lifetime. As an example, our instructors closely watch the student’s eye movements and mirror checks.
- How did you choose the name “Swerve”?
The word “Swerve” means a smooth change in direction, or turning from a customary or prescribed course. Our goal is to “Swerve” from the conventional notion of driving school programs and make a smooth change in direction toward a more relevant curriculum that will ultimately change the way people drive.
- I’m interested in working for Swerve. How do I learn about job openings and how do I apply?
We’re always looking for great people to join our growing team. To express interest in working for Swerve in any capacity, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your resume and tell us what kind of position you’re looking for.
- I didn’t find the answer to my question. How can I get an answer?
You can call our Customer Center at 1-877-7SWERVE, or send an email to email@example.com. We’ll make sure your question is answered.