Since we are no longer in a State of Emergency, all classes have gone back to the pre-Covid rules. We ARE In-Person for classes and we have resumed Observation Hours with our program. Please plan to attend all classes in-person, as zooming in to a live class will not be allowed at this time.
At this time, masks are optional regardless of vaccination status. We are still following our Covid cleaning protocols in the classroom and in our vehicles. We thoroughly sanitize cars and classroom between our driving hours and our classes.
We do ask that if employees or students have covid symptoms or exposure that they stay home and follow the CDC quarantine guidelines. We can assure you that we do everything we can to ensure the safety of our teens and our insructors.
Students must pass an eye chart examination (20/40) on the first day of class. If you are unsure of vision, please schedule an eye appointment prior to taking driver's ed. The state will not let you take the written test if you do not first pass their vision exam.
Behavior Expectations: We will expect that people treat each other courteously in the classroom and in the cars.
Classroom Attendance: By state law, students are NOT allowed to miss classroom instruction except for good cause as determined by the instructor (may include a death in the family, an injury, illness or Covid symptoms), and there must be documentation to support this. We will need a note from a parent explaining the absence. No more than four hours (or two classes) of classroom instruction may be missed. Sports are NOT valid absences, and the 1st class is MANDATORY attendance and may not be used as an absence. The class time cannot be made up, but the student will have to make up any quiz or test that was missed and will be given an assignment that is equivalent to the material missed. If more than four hours or two classes are missed, the student cannot continue the course and will be documented as "incomplete" on our state paperwork. They will have six months to complete drivers ed or will have to take the entire class over.
Quizzes & Final Exam: Each class will have a minimum of four quizzes and a written final exam. The student must get at least an 80% on all tests to pass the class academically. If the student has an IEP or any other type of learning disability it may be beneficial to share that with us so that we can address and accommodate for that. All information shared with us is strictly confidential.
Tuition and Refund Policy: The nonrefundable registration deposit is due at the time of registration to secure a spot in the class. The tuition balance is due on the first day of class. If you need to cancel your registration, please give a minimum one-week notice, and any amount, less the deposit, will be refunded or applied to a future session. NO refunds will be given after the 3rd class, as we are no longer able to fill that spot. Driver Ed rates are subject to change, and are posted on the website under Teen Driver Ed classes.
All students under the age of 18 must complete the Driving Log for the state, which consists of 40 hours of practice; at least 10 of those must be nighttime hours. At 15 1/2 students may legally practice drive only in the state of NH if accompanied by a licensed driver at least 25 years of age who is seated in the front. The student must have on their person a copy of their birth certificate or passport. We require that the student start our program with at least 10 hours of practice at home. This helps to ensure the safety of all our students and helps us provide the best learning environment possible. We offer private lessons for those who need them prior to drriver's ed starting.
1st Gear's in-vehicle instruction hours occur between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm, as determined by instructor availability. When you sign our Rules Sheet at parent orientation or accept the online terms, you give your teenager permission to drive during these hours with an instructor.
Each student is required to have 10 hours of in-car driving lessons and a minimum of 6 hours of observation. Students will need to plan on at least once driving session a week. A session is two hours, and for the first six sessions includes a driving hour and an observation hour. The remaining sessions are two hours of driving only. We pick-up and drop-off all students at the 1st Gear classroom for driving appointments. We may pick up at various schools for the first session of the day during the school year, as determined by instructor availability.
1st Gear requires students to drive at least 1 hour with a parent (guardian) for every hour driven with an instructor. If the parent is not driving with the student and we cannot progress through our hours safely, we reserve the right to stop instruction until driving has resumed at home. Our goal is that by the end of driver education, the student would be ready for the state test, which means their 40-hour driving log must be completed.
Canceling or Changing Driving Times: If for any reason a student needs to cancel a drive time, the student must login to the website and cancel the driving session before two days (48 hours) to avoid a late fee. If it the drive time is one of the first six sessions, the late cancellation fee is $50. If it's session 7-10, the late cancellation fee is $100. If there is an emergency, please text the Admin and we may override the fee if appropriate.
State of NH driver license testing occurs in the following order:
Restrictions for a Youth Operator License: No more than one non-relative in your vehicle at any time during the first six months, unless accompanied by a responsible adult at least 25 years of age who holds a valid license. The student cannot drive between 1 AM and 4 AM until they are 18 years of age.
Parents have the right to request a license suspension or revocation for any child under the age of 18 through the state for any reason. This revocation acts the same as if the courts revoked it. Your child will have to pay the state a fee to get their license reinstated.