First Drive COVID-19 Shutdown Updates
Originally posted: March 12, 2020
Updated: May 24, 2020
We resumed teen classroom sessions on May 18th. In-car sessions will resume this Tuesday, May 26th, and the Adult Remedial class will resume June 7th.
We have implemented new rules and guidelines for both classroom and in-car sessions, and are following thorough cleaning, disinfecting, and social distancing protocols to minimize health risks as much as possible.
Regarding office hours: Our office staff continue to work from home as much as possible to avoid unnecessary contact as students and instructors come and go at the offices. Office visits are possible but will be by appointment only for the foreseeable future. We cannot accommodate unscheduled walk-in visits. The office is absolutely closed when class is in session. Please do not interrupt the class! See the end of this announcement for our contact information. If we cannot address your inquiry by phone, text, or email, we will be happy to schedule you for an office appointment at either location.
If you reach out to us by phone, please leave a voicemail, as we are usually not at the office to answer calls. We are responding to all messages within a business day, and often much sooner.
Please see below for more information about our services and your specific situation.
Prospective Students (not yet registered)
We continue to accept registrations for the teen online course. When we process your registration, we will send you a login so you can begin the online course.
We are discouraging new registrations for the classroom course for now because of the limited classroom capacity. Those who strongly prefer in-person classes are welcome to register and we will accommodate them as quickly as we can, but the 24-hour classroom requirement can likely be completed substantially faster online.
All in-car students and their parents need to be familiar with these important new in-car guidelines.
We are resuming in-cars on May 26th. For now, we are scheduling in-cars only about 2-3 weeks out. We contacted dozens of students last week and the in-car schedule is filled through June 7th. We will contact many more students this coming week to schedule the week of June 8-14.
We will contact students by phone to schedule them into in-car sessions. For the foreseeable future, we will not be able to schedule in-car sessions on request. If you contact us requesting to schedule in-cars, we will only be able to ask you to wait for us to contact you. Access to in-car sessions will be prioritized by 6-month deadlines, amount of the course already completed, and registration dates. Due to the shutdown, there is a considerable backlog of students waiting for in-cars, and our capacity is somewhat diminished due to the additional safety precautions we must take.
We ask each student to focus on completing all other course requirements as quickly as possible. Ensure you have completed all of the required forms and returned them to us. Online students, finish your online course and give us your completion certificate. Classroom students, get into your remaining class sessions when we call to schedule you and study up to pass the final exam so you are finished with the classroom requirement. It is our goal to have all students complete the entire course as quickly as possible. Students who have nothing left to do but in-car sessions will be the highest priority for scheduling those sessions.
We resumed classroom sessions on May 18th and are contacting students to schedule them into their classes. Unscheduled, walk-in attendance cannot be accommodated. Only students who have been scheduled into a class session will be admitted. Classroom capacity is extremely limited due to the social distancing requirement, and we must enforce strict new guidelines.
We will continue contacting students daily to get them into the classes, prioritizing by 6-month deadlines, amount of the course already completed, and registration dates, filling the schedule no more than about two weeks out. We cannot schedule class sessions on request at this time.
All classroom students and their parents need to be familiar with these important new classroom guidelines.
Online and In-car-only Students
Please continue working diligently on the online course and complete it as quickly as you can. Please forward to us your Certificate of Enrollment and Certificate of Completion when you receive them. The state requires that we have the originals of these certificates in our file. You can mail them to us at our main office in Hilliard or make an appointment to drop them off at either location. If you send to us by mail, we suggest you first make a photo copy to keep for yourself.
While a student is legally eligible to do in-car lessons once we have their online Certificate of Enrollment, many have already submitted an online Certificate of Completion to us. These students are only waiting on in-cars to finish the full course thus will get preference for in-car scheduling.
By state law, a driver training course must be completed within six months of the initial training. For classroom students, this window starts with the first classroom session. For online students, it begins with the first in-car session.
Because of the pandemic shutdown, the state allowed driving schools to extend the 6-month window by the amount made necessary by the shutdown. 6-month clocks that started counting down before we suspended operations on March 16th are currently paused until we are allowed to fully resume operations. When we resume full operations on May 26th, 71 days will be added to the original 6-month deadlines.
Temps expired, or about to?? Please note this statement from the Ohio BMV website
"On March 27, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine signed Sub. H.B. 197, which states that Ohio licenses (including driver license, CDLs, and registrations) expiring during the declared State of Emergency shall remain valid until either 90 days after the declared emergency ends, or December 1st, 2020, whichever comes sooner. The State of Emergency was declared on March 9, 2020."
A temporary license is essentially a driver's license with the special restriction that you must have a qualifying licensed driver in the seat next to you, so the above statement applies to temps too. If yours expired on or after March 9th 2020, it will remain valid as described. As of May 24th, the state of emergency is still in effect.
When the May 26th reopening of the BMV was announced, Lt. Gov. Husted pointed out that the above extension would remain in effect because the state of emergency is still in place.
Still Have Questions?
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. You may contact us as follows….
• phone: 614-777-1762
• email: email@example.com
• text: 614-951-9161
Please note that our office staff are working remotely from home and will be for the foreseeable future. If you call, please leave a voicemail. Office visits are possible but will be by appointment only. Our response time for phone, text, and email inquiries is currently about one business day.
We look forward to getting our students back into class, on the road, and done with driver's ed as quickly as we possibly can!
We are looking for a few (or many!) good instructors! We offer very competitive pay, the best in the area as far as we know, including paid training, and by all accounts we’re a pretty good place to work! If you are passionate about safe driving, have at least 10 years’ experience as a licensed driver, excellent communication skills, a high school diploma, a clean driving record, no criminal record, and no recreational drug or regular alcohol use, you could qualify to work with us! Among our staff are many retirees, and people with backgrounds in teaching, first responders, professional drivers, and car enthusiasts.
If you would be interested in working with us, please give us a call or shoot us an email! We will have plenty of work available once we are able to resume instruction!