The 6 Best Driving Schools Near Destin, FL
Whether you’re a teenager or an adult, learning to drive can be overwhelming. It’s important to follow the driver’s education process to gain as much knowledge and firsthand experience as possible. If you’re looking for driving schools in and around Destin, Florida, explore this list that outlines what each one offers and how to get started.
Florida Virtual School
Students in the state of Florida can take free driver education classes through the Florida Virtual School. Completing this process is the first step toward earning your driver’s license. The all-online course covers the rules of the road through interactive activities and lessons. Students who take the course can learn what they need to know to become safer drivers and prepare for the license exam.
Since the class is online, participants can experience simulated driving activities to feel like they’re actually in the driver’s seat. You won’t get this type of hands-on, low-risk opportunity when taking other driver’s education courses. Additional topics covered include:
- Reading and understanding traffic signs and laws.
- How to stay safe in adverse weather conditions.
- Driving on various types of roads.
- How to reduce the risk of crashes and other unsafe situations.
- Skills and techniques to drive safely.
The course is worth half a high school credit and satisfies the online graduation requirement for high school. You can also complete the required Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education training and can take the online Class E Knowledge Exam at no additional cost.
All Florida Safety Institute
All Florida Safety Institute is a DMV-authorized driving school with locations across the state. The closest one to Destin is in Niceville, about 15 miles away. You can start with online courses to earn your state learner’s permit. The school offers an online permit bundle, which includes practice and official permit tests, a four-hour drug and alcohol course, and all the education needed to qualify for your permit.
When you’re ready for firsthand driving lessons, you can also enroll through the All Florida Safety Institute. Learning to drive involves getting out on the road with an experienced driving instructor. You can choose from various packages, starting with four hours of hands-on training and going up to 24 hours of training. Monthly driving programs are available in three-, six-, and 12-month increments.
This school also offers defensive driving courses to help Florida drivers remove points from their licenses. Taking a defensive driving course can also help you qualify for a discount with your auto insurance provider or have a ticket dismissed. Both online and in-person group courses are available. The classes vary from four to 12 hours in length, and the course you take depends on your infraction or how many points you need to remove from your driving record.
Joda Collins Driving Academy
You can take behind-the-wheel driver training through Joda Collins Driving Academy, a private driving school located in nearby Milton, Florida. You can schedule lessons that vary in length from 75 minutes to six hours, depending on your needs. After earning your learner’s permit, you can schedule driving lessons with the owner of the school, who will take you out in his vehicle on various roads. In order to drive after sunset, state law mandates that you must hold a permit for at least 91 days.
It’s important to note that driving lessons through this provider won’t be canceled due to rain or other inclement weather conditions unless a National Weather Advisory requires cancelation. Learning to drive safely in Florida weather requires practice, so your driving instructor will provide tips as you navigate through heavy rainfall.
U-Drive Safe Florida
If you’ve already earned your driver’s license but incurred an infraction that requires the completion of a four-hour basic driving improvement (BDI) course, you can enroll at U-Drive Safe Florida. It’s located in Fort Walton Beach and offers the course on a regular basis. Depending on the court or law enforcement requirement, you may be able to complete the BDI course online, which U-Drive Safe Florida offers through its website. If you need to take the class in person, you can call 850-461-3723 to inquire about locations, course days, and times.
Truck Driver Institute
Want to learn to drive something larger than a passenger vehicle? The Truck Driver Institute is a truck driving school in the Pensacola, Florida, area. It’s about 50 miles from Destin, but it’s worth the drive as the school is one of the top-rated in the area. The truck driver training program lasts for three weeks and includes both classroom-based learning and behind-the-wheel training.
Students learn all the basics of operating a semi-truck and how to stay safe when driving hundreds of miles at a time. According to the school, more than 86% of graduates experience job placement. Upon completion, you’ll earn a Class A Commercial Driver’s License that allows you to drive the big rigs.
Teen Driver Challenge
The Florida Sheriff’s Association backs a Teen Driver Challenge, a course designed to reduce the risk of teenage drivers being involved in crashes. It’s available to teens located throughout the state of Florida at no cost. It isn’t an advanced or supplemental driving course but focuses on defensive driving techniques that can help inexperienced drivers become safer and more cautious. To qualify, an individual must be between 15 and 19 years old and hold a state-issued learner’s permit or driver’s license. Participants also need to have a vehicle they can use during the course.
When you want to learn to drive, it’s always best to enlist the help of a professional driving instructor. You can take online courses to learn the rules of the road, but to qualify for a Florida driver’s license, you must complete at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel training. Additionally, 10 of the 50 required hours must take place at night. By working with a reputable driving school, you can become a safe driver with a firm grasp of how to navigate your vehicle.