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News & Information

Program Announcements

March 30, 2020

To assist in prevention of spreading the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Ohio's Department of Health Director issued an order advising most businesses to close their doors but those considered essential. The department has advised each driving school to determine their own course of action in response to these orders.

Some of the CDL schools have closed their doors in response and some have not. If you are a state licensed CDL driver training instructor, who is currently unemployed due to a closure of your driving school, there is potential opportunity to work temporarily with another CDL school in the interim. Please contact our office at drivertraining@dps.ohio.gov.

If you are an employer who is in need of state licensed CDL driver training instructors, please contact our office at drivertraining@dps.ohio.gov.

During this unprecedented time, we encourage the driving school communities to connect with each other and discuss potential opportunities to continue serving Ohioans.


March 13, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order declaring an emergency for the state in response to the evolving situation with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Be advised that there will be disruptions in service from our office during this time of emergency. E-mail communication is the best method for contacting our office. Responses to phone calls and faxed or mailed items will be delayed. Applications will have extended response times. If you have an immediate request, please contact us through the drivertraining@dps.ohio.gov email.

Our staff is dedicated to continuing to provide support during this extenuating time. We appreciate your patience.


March 18, 2020

Dear driving school owners and operators,

I want to send my gratitude to all of you for your patience during this unprecedented time. We have relayed all of your concerns to the decision makers and will update you as the information is provided to us.

Currently, the Ohio Department of Public Safety is not mandating driving schools to close. If the Governor mandates this, we will advise you. For now, we are continuing to operate and should a driving school decide to continue operations, follow the provided national and state guidelines:

  1. Group gatherings of no more than 10 people;
  2. Practice social distancing. Recommended 6 feet of space between people;
  3. Sanitize frequently and often, this includes the classrooms and vehicles. The virus can sustain on hard surfaces for up to 6 or more hours. Use Lysol and if using hand sanitizer, use a brand with 65% alcohol base.
  4. If any student and/or instructor feels ill, cancel the lesson. You may elect to create a policy addressing this.

Accommodations

Class D and abbreviated adult schools: Driver Training schools may utilize online classroom instruction through the Department of Public Safety approved online providers.

Adult Remedial: The department approved 3 online providers for those adults needing to take a defensive driving course but reside out of the state. This online option will be available for all Ohioans. The providers are: the National Safety Council, AAA Defensive Driving, and idrivesafely.com.

Commercial Driver's License (CDL) schools: The use of technology for the classroom is an option during this time. The schools, choosing to use technology for the classroom, shall demonstrate how the training program will meet the following criteria before using it:

  • The minimum of 40 hours of content is delivered to the student;
  • The curriculum requirements, set forth in OAC 4501-7-28, is covered in its entirety;
  • Each student shall have access to materials used to supplement the content (i.e. videos, handouts, power point presentation, quizzes, etc.);
  • Instructor shall be able to supervise the students and ensure each student has attended the mandatory training;
  • Interaction between the student and instructor shall be readily available;
  • The final exam shall be proctored and provided under the guidance of a licensed driver training instructor;
  • The required hours of video media is provided;
  • Attendance is documented as required in the rule.

Please send all proposals to drivertraining@dps.ohio.gov. The proposal shall provide clear description on how you will meet the above criteria. We will review the proposal and advise.

Virtual Classrooms: We are currently researching all proposed methods for providing a virtual classroom. We will advise which types are approved and the methods used to address the 8 criteria we established in a previous announcement. Be advised that we need to be aware of those using this type of technology and the use of such needs to be approved. The approval is a temporary solution during this time.

Regulations: All schools, instructors, and managers are expected to abide by all rules pertaining to training and eligibility. It is expected that all students will receive the hours they are required by rule, law, and agreement to have. Breaks and lunches do not count towards the required training times.

Exam Stations and Driver Testing: The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has suspended all driver testing, including motorcycle testing and state provided CDL testing. Be advised that the third-party testers are privately owned and operated and will determine whether or not they continue to provide such services.

We appreciate all of your efforts in preventing the spread of the virus. It is our intention to minimize impact upon the quality of education and businesses during this time.

Thank you!

Valerie A. Wald – State Administrator of Driver Education & Training
Ohio Department of Public Safety, 1970 West Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43223
P:(614)466-3524 F: (614)466-4993 E-mail: drivertraining@dps.ohio.gov


March 16, 2020

Active Duty Military and/or Spouse of Applications

Effective April 26, 2020, changes allowing active military personnel and their spouses to obtain a temporary professional licensure from another state provided they had the same or similar licensure in another state. The act allows an agency to review and expedite the application provided the applicant provides appropriate evidence to support the provision. In addition, the act provides for an applicant licensed under this provision may request an extension on continuing education requirements should their service prevent them from obtaining it within the required timeline.

To address these provisions for an active military applicant, Driver Training is setting forth the following changes:

Initial Application:

  • Application shall come in paper form with a cover letter stating the applicant is active military or the spouse of an active military member. This application may be faxed or emailed.
  • No fee shall be charged for an active military or spouse of application
  • The application shall include:
    • Official proof of active military status;
    • If spouse, proof of marriage;
    • Proof of valid occupational license or certification to operate as an instructor from another state or jurisdiction;
    • Letter from the other state or jurisdiction - shall include the oversight agency, address, contact information, and title of administrator;
    • background check(s), as defined in applicable rule; and
    • photo for license.

No additional proof of training is required other than the original license and/or certification and letter of good standing.

A temporary license shall be issued.

Renewal Application

Those instructors licensed under this provision are subject to renewals. The renewals will consist of the following:

  • Provide proof of current occupational license from other state or jurisdiction. The instructor shall keep the original license or certification current and in good standing with the other state or jurisdiction.
  • Certification statement (will be provided by Driver Training and separate from the regular certification statement used for instructors and managers)
  • No fee will be charged for the renewal

Applications of this nature will be expedited and thoroughly reviewed.

Continuing Education

Continuing education for the licensed driver training programs is one course every three years. Instructors, who identified as current active military, may request an extension for the continuing education requirement if during the licensing period they were serving on active duty. The continuing education requirement may be extended for the period of time the licensee was serving as active duty. Pursuant to section 5903.12 of the Revised Code, the licensee shall provide valid and official documentation of active duty prior to an extension being provided.

Limitations

  • The temporary license issued shall be valid for 6 years. However, this does not exempt the licensee from the renewal requirements. They will need to comply with the renewal requirements and provide proof of a valid license from the other jurisdiction or they successfully renewed in the other jurisdiction. Or the licensee may be issued a permanent license upon request.
  • The temporary license shall be limited to the scope and practice from the other jurisdiction (i.e. behind-the-wheel only will receive a behind-the-wheel only license).
  • If the license expires or is revoked in the other jurisdiction, they become ineligible to maintain the licensure in Ohio.
  • If the licensee is disqualified for a criminal offenses, their license in Ohio is disqualified.
  • If the licensee divorces the active military personnel, they are no longer eligible to maintain a temporary license to operate. This should occur within six months of the final disposition of the divorce, dissolution or annulment.
For further questions or concerns, please contact the Driver Training Program Office at (614) 466-3524.

March 11, 2020

Dear driving school owners and operators,

Late Monday afternoon, Governor DeWine released directives to all state agencies regarding efforts in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The directives included urging agencies to postpone large gatherings, restricting out-of-state and in-state travel, and taking other precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus. In response, we are postponing the CDL Basic Instructor Course and the New School Orientation. We are investigating other avenues to provide the mission critical courses to prevent disruption with your businesses. More information on this will be forthcoming.

The Driver Training Program Office field staff will still perform their duties with the program reviews, answering inquiries, and visiting sites for new locations and vehicles. However, the field staff will not be able to participate in providing continuing education workshops. The Driver Training Program Office staff will still be available for normal daily business operations. Be advised we will be available to assist with your concerns and provide the same support for business continuity.

All that said, we understand that your business operates in educational gatherings. We are not providing a directive for you to close your operations. We encourage you to use discretion and make decisions that are appropriate for your business. We will not make any recommendations on how to operate during this time, but understand concerns will arise. For the concerns we have already received, we are providing guidance below. Be advised these conditions are only during the periods effected by the directives and will not continue beyond.

Probationary Instructors
If you have an instructor on probation and they are unable to work, their probationary time can be suspended, meaning from the time they are not able to work their 180 day probationary time will freeze and start upon their return to work. Example: If they left at 60 days and returned one month later, their probationary time will pick back up at 61 days. This needs to be clearly documented in your files and communicated with our office for the time to be suspended or frozen.

Training Contract Deadlines
During this effected time, consideration for extending contracts will be given should the situation call for it. If you are unable to provide training due to the concerns with COVID-19 (e.g. students cancel, classes are postponed, etc.), contracts may be extended for the length of the affected time period. Example: Classes are postponed for 30 days; therefore, the contracts are extended for 30 days. Document each case in the students' files.

This is effective immediately and is currently in effect through April 30th, at which time we will evaluate the conditions and provide guidance. If anything changes in the interim, we will communicate these changes with you. Please feel free to reach out to our office with any concerns, questions, or comments.


March 11, 2020

The free video resources you were able to download from our website are currently unavailable. Driver Training is working with the Visual Communications department at Public Safety to make these available once again. Visual Communications would like a list of videos that were actually used/downloaded. If you have downloaded and used any free videos from our website in the past, please send us a list of those videos via an e-mail to drivertraining@dps.ohio.gov no later than Friday, March 20, 2020.

 

General Information

Our office has recently become aware of a great resource for you through the Ohio State Highway Patrol. On their website is a crash statistic generator (OSTATS) that can really narrow down certain statistics by type of crash, day of the week, hour by hour, and within certain parts of the state. There is a comprehensive user guide that you can find here: https://statepatrol.ohio.gov/links/OSTATS_PublicUserGuide.pdf that nicely defines and outlines how to use the generator as well as what you can and cannot do within the generator. The statistics on the generator are updated weekly so you can go in and get the most up to date information available for your area. The generator itself can be found here: https://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/ostats.aspx#gsc.tab=0 or by clicking one of the links within their user guide. There is also a helpline available for those who need assistance or who are looking for information not contained in the generator. Happy researching!

CDL Update: Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT): Beginning February 7, 2022, a new federal law goes into effect requiring mandatory training. Individuals who apply for a first-time CDL, a CDL upgrade, or endorsement are required to attend training with an entity that is on the FMCSA Training Provider Registry (TPR). (FMCSA-2007-27748 and FMCSA-2017-0371) The required training is for a Class A CDL, Class B CDL, upgrade from Class B CDL to Class A CDL, Passenger endorsement, School Bus endorsement and Hazardous Materials endorsement. You may access more information about the ELDT on the website fmcsa.dot.gov.

Training Announcements

The Driver Training Program Office is hosting two Training Manager Courses in September and October. The courses look a little different since we are still dealing with the pandemic. Part of the course will be virtual, and two of the days will be in-person.
Virtual Days: September 9-11 & 16-7, 2020
AND In-Person Days:
September 18 & 19, 2020 - Euclid, OH
OR
October 9 & 10, 2020 - Liberty Township, OH
Further information can be found on our website at https://www.drivertraining.ohio.gov/training.aspx. Please contact our office with any questions.

There are virtual continuing education opportunities through ANSTSE for all instructors posted at https://www.drivertraining.ohio.gov/training.aspx. Please keep in mind, these segments are only 4 hours long. All instructors need 6-8 hours of continuing education credit every three years.

Town Hall Meetings

The purpose of town hall meetings is for the department to receive input on current Ohio rules, processes, and procedures related to every driver training program. The meetings provides schools the opportunity to provide feedback to get a better understanding of the impact of certain processes and requirements within the rules.

Laws & Rules

None at this time.