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1st Gear Rules and Responsibilities

Age: All students must be 15 years and 9 months on or before the 1st day of their class session (not including the Parent Orientation) OR 16 by the last day of class.   

Vision: Students must pass an eye chart examination (20/40 for both eyes or 20/30 if blind in one eye) on the 1st day of driving with us. 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. 

Driving at home: 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 driving (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. 1st Gear requires starting 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.

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 or an injury), and there must be documentation to support this.  No more than 4 hours (or 2 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 may be able to be made up if it works in the schedule and only 2 classes will be allowed for make-ups. If a class 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 4 hours, or 2 classes, are missed, the student cannot continue the course and will be documented as "incomplete" on our state paperwork. They will have up to 6 months to resume drivers ed in another class or will have to take the entire class over, at additional cost to them. *Class dates and times are subject to change based on local school calendars and instructor's schedules. 

Driving & Observation Hours:  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 1 driving session a week during the class. A session is 2 hours, and for the 1st 6 includes a driving hour and an observation hour. Driving hours 7-8 and 9-10 are doubles. The student will drive both hours (as observation is no longer required). We pick up and drop off all students at the 1st Gear classroom for driving appointments. According to NH Driver Education Rules, driving and class time are meant to be integrated. Therefore, ALL driving hours will need to be completed within 2 weeks of the class end date. If there is an injury that occurs during a driver ed class and the student is unable to continue driving, we will have a parent/teacher meeting to determine whether the student can continue in the current class. If the medical delay will be too long and driving and instruction can no longer be integrated, 1st Gear reserves the right to place the student into a future class for completion (see Classroom Attendance above). 

Behind the Wheel Hours: 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, you give your teenager permission to drive during these hours with an instructor, even during Daylight Savings. 

Parent Participation: 1st Gear requires parents to drive with their teens during the class. 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 at home has resumed.  

Behavior Expectations: We expect that students will treat each other courteously in the classroom and in the cars. No disruptive or rude behavior, bullying or profanity in the classroom or car. If a student is regularly violating any of these rules and is repeatedly addressed, this is grounds for dismissal with NO refund.

Possession of weapons of any kind or alcohol or drugs, internal or external (including the smell of alcohol or drugs), is prohibited. This will be grounds for immediate dismissal from driver education with NO refund. We are required by law to report to the local police and the Department of Safety the use or possession of any of the above during any portion of driver education instruction. 

No Cell Phones or iPods/AirPods allowed during class time or in the car. This is a courtesy to the teacher and the other students. The students should expect to leave their cell phones on a table in the back of our classroom. If there is a medical reason for the student to have their phone (i.e., reading blood sugar levels) the parent will inform 1st Gear with a doctor's note. 

Quizzes, Final Exam & Homework: Each class will have a minimum of 4 quizzes and a written final exam. The student must get at least 80% on all tests to pass the class academically. There are also homework assignments that are due throughout the class.  All homework must be turned in for the student to pass the class. If the student fails the final, they may schedule time to come in for a retake and a fee of $50 will be assessed each time they retake it. 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 assist in whatever way possible. All information shared with us is strictly confidential.

Canceling or Changing Driving Times: If for any reason a student is unable to keep the scheduled driving appointment, the student MUST login to the website and cancel the driving session with 48 hours or more of notice. The student will also notify the instructor by text if it is the same day.  If it is cancelled within 48 hours the website will charge the student $50.00 for the late cancellation ($100 fee for a 2-hour drive). If there is an emergency, please email the admin and we may override the fee if appropriate.

Tuition and Refund Policy: The non-refundable 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. Prices are subject to change based on inflation, gas prices, etc. If you need to cancel your registration, please give a minimum one-week notice before the class starts, and any amount, less the deposit, will be refunded or applied to a future session. NO refunds will be given after the 2nd class. 

Completion of the class with 1st Gear Driving does not guarantee a student will receive their license. It means that they have completed our course requirements and will receive a Certificate of Completion for Driver Education. It is ultimately the Parent's or Guardian's (and the student's) responsibility to ensure the student is ready to test at the state. The student will need to schedule and pass the Knowledge Test and the Driving test at a NH DMV to receive a NH driver license. 

Student driving privileges:

  • The driving privileges (not license) for the student are NOT currently under suspension or revocation.
  • There are no pending action(s) against the student which would cause the driving privileges to be suspended or revoked in the future.
  • Should the driving privileges of the student become suspended or revoked during enrollment for any reason, it will be reported to the driving school administrator immediately.

State of NH driver license testing occurs in the following order:

  • Eye Test - must pass vision test with 20/40 in both eyes or 20/30 if blind in one eye
  • Written Test - 40 multiple choice questions, must get an 80% or better.
  • Road Test - points deducted for various driving errors, must get an 80% or better

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; and 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 and it will likely go on the student's permanent NH Driving Record as a suspension or revocation. 

When the parent and student sign our Rules form, they are acknowedging that they have read,  understand and agree to each of the above rules and responsibilities.