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UCPS's Driver Education Program:

Union County Public Schools (UCPS) offers a Driver Education Program. Each UCPS Driver Education course involves 30 hours of online classroom work via modules in the Canvas platform and a minimum of 12 hours of Behind the Wheel instruction in a UCPS Driver Education vehicle (6 hours driving and 6 hours observing). Students must have access to the Internet to take the online course. There are 8 modules that open every-other-day, except for weekends or holidays during the scheduled course. Modules are to be completed outside of the regular school day. The Driver Education online course is usually 3 weeks in length and will take 30 hours to complete. Behind the Wheel instruction usually occurs 2-3 months after the passing of the final exam and vision screening. The order is determined by date of birth. Older students will be contacted first. Parents and students will be contacted by a UCPS Driver Ed Instructor via phone call, email, and/or text. They WILL NOT be contacted by social media.

Enrollment in the UCPS Driver Education program is open to any student who attends a public, private, charter, or home school registered in Union County and meets the eligibility requirements.

In order to be eligible to enroll in UCPS’s Driver Education Program, an individual must meet the following requirements:

~Attend a high school (public, private, charter, or home school) registered in Union County. Middle School students who are attending a public, private, charter, or home school registered in Union County ARE eligible to take Driver Education as long as they are 14 ½ years old on the first day of class and meet the other requirements. Residency in Union County does not determine Driver Education enrollment eligibility; the county in which the registered school (that the student attends) is in is the determining factor.

~Be 14 ½ on the first day of class. A student 18 or older who attends school in Union County is eligible for the classroom portion but must secure a Learner’s Permit from DMV before they are eligible to complete the Behind the Wheel/driving portion of the course.

~Have not previously enrolled in the UCPS (or in any school district in NC) Driver Education program.

If a student lives in Union County, but attends school (public, private, charter, and home school) outside the county, the student is NOT eligible to receive Driver Education instructional (classroom and/or behind-the-wheel) training in Union County Public Schools. UCPS has an American's with Disabilities Act, ADA, accommodation process in place. If an accommodation is needed to complete either portion of the program, contact the UCPS Drivers Education Coordinator to begin the interactive process.

UCPS’s Driver Education Course Registration is completed online and is a two-step process. There is a $65 registration fee that is due when registering for the UCPS Driver Education class. Please read all online registration directions completely. There are registration date parameters and capacity restrictions. Enrollment in the online course may be limited due to the number of students waiting to for the Behind the Wheel portion of Driver Ed. Students that attend a Union County Public School may only register for the Driver Education course for the school they are enrolled and attend (Ex. A student enrolled at SVHS may only register and take Driver Ed through SVHS). Students who attend a private, charter, or home school registered in Union County may only register for "Home School", “Other” (for charter or private), or “Union Academy,” if applicable. If any school/site has reached registration-capacity, another school/site cannot be chosen.

Families/students may contact a private company at their own expense.

The "Handbook" tab at the top of this page is a great resource for general information about the UCPS Driver Education Program.

For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers, click here.

Click here for Learner Permit Information.

Thank you,

Nelson Garner, Driver Education Coordinator and District Athletic Director

Union County Public Schools Administration and Operations Department

721 Brewer Drive (Technology Services-side)

Monroe, NC 28112

nelson.garner@ucps.k12.nc.us

980-202-2084 (Google Voice/Cell)

704-296-6344 (Office)

(704) 296-3147 (Fax)

In compliance with federal law, Union County Public Schools administers all educational programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability.

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Important announcements and updates:

2020-2021 Driver Education Online Course and Exam Schedule (All schedules are subject to change.)

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The North Carolina Department of Education oversees the public school driver education program that is available to all enrolled, public and charter, private, and home school students. The program follows the guidelines established by the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent.

Students having successfully completed UCPS's Driver Ed coursework, the final Driver Ed coursework exam, and eye screening are eligible for the driving portion/Behind the Wheel instruction. Students are prioritized by birthday (older students first) and will be scheduled/called in that order. Please understand that due to the pandemic and restrictions, hundreds of students are in the queue and need Behind the Wheel instruction. It will take some time to serve all applicable students. We thank you for your patience.

Once you are contacted and scheduled for your Behind the Wheel (BTW) sessions:

~Parents/Guardians of participating students must sign the Communicable Disease Waiver--students once, prior to their first BTW session. This will be available on each school’s Driver Education website and should be printed and signed prior to coming to the first BTW session.

~Parents/Guardians must screen their child prior to each BTW session and complete and submit the Parent/Guardian Attestation Form. This will be available on each school’s Driver Education website and should be printed and signed prior to coming to each BTW session.

~Students are required to wear a cloth face covering at all times during BTW. Students are to supply their own face covering. If there is a medical condition that requires that a student NOT wear a cloth face covering, medical documentation is required before the BTW session. Medical documentation must be approved by the school health office before the face covering requirement is waived.

~Students will be screened by the driver education instructor prior to each BTW session. Parents and students should remain in their car until the student has turned in all paperwork for the day and completed the screening process. If any qualifying symptom is evident or a “Yes” is answered during the screening process, then BTW instruction cannot and will not continue until set criteria has been met.

~Extensive cleaning and sanitizing will take place between each driver, and instructors will adhere to the pre-screening protocols as well. All instructors are required to wear a face covering at all times when with students.

~Students must provide their own water. No personal items are allowed to be shared between students.

~Students should use the restroom before leaving home and arriving their BTW session, as restrooms may not be readily available.

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Need a Driving Eligibility Certificate?

Driving Eligibility Certificates: You will need to visit the school in which your child is currently enrolled to secure the Driving Eligibility Certificate. Each site will set its Driving Eligibility Certificate distribution process. Please contact that school to schedule an appointment. Once scheduled, bring the following documents to the appointment:

  • Student’s birth certificate or passport

  • Completed Driver Education Certificate

  • Proof of address if the current address is different than the one listed on the Driver Education Certificate or the address listed in PowerSchool. Address must be verified for the NC Real ID.