Driver's ED. News & Updates
About Open Road
We believe where you send your teen to learn how to drive is one of the most important decisions you can make. Our mission at Open Road is to build student confidence behind the wheel and competence in their driving skills. Our goal is to provide students with the most relevant information both in the classroom portion and behind the wheel so good driving skills and habits are learned, developed, and mastered throughout their driving experience.
At Open Road, we combine the latest vehicle technology with the most comprehensive classroom instruction to prepare students to drive safe for a lifetime. We are passionate and driven to ensure every student from every background learns how to drive safe, make good life choices, and have fun in the process!
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900 W. Main St., West Branch, IA
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Sigourney High School 907 E. Pleasant Valley St., Sigourney, IA
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get started?
Once you find a class that works best for your schedule and location, you can register your student on the website. After registering, you will receive an invoice to pay for the course. After the invoice is paid, you will receive an informational email with instructions to begin the online course. There are two components to completing driver’s education. The first is the online classroom portion, and the second is the 6 required in-person behind the wheel driving lessons with a certified instructor. About a week before the course start date, you should receive a detailed email about a scheduling meeting and setting up drive times for your student. At the scheduling meeting, your student will be paired up with a partner and all times will be coordinated and scheduled. The classroom portion due date will be listed on the website along with the course dates.
How does the drive schedule work?
Our primary source of communication is email. Parents and students should receive an email about a week before the course dates listed on the website. This email will specify a scheduling meeting date, drive time options, online classroom portion due dates, and student expectations. (This info could be sent to your spam/junk folder so please keep an eye out for this info about a week before the class.) Often if a student has a pre-determined partner he/she wants to drive with parents may coordinate, then communicate those drive times after receiving the drive time option email and we will pair them up with their 6 drive sessions. Once we have conducted the scheduling meeting a master schedule will be sent out via email and that drive schedule will be what we follow throughout the duration of the course. Students must KNOW their work, sports (games & practice) academic, and personal obligations/schedule prior to sending in drive times or attending the scheduling meeting.
How long must I have my permit before taking your class?
Students are encouraged acquire a learner’s permit on their 14th birthday. As long as a student has attained a learner’s permit, they are eligible to take driver’s ed. We require students have their permit by the 1st day of class. The state of Iowa requires that you hold an instructional permit for at least 6 months prior to upgrading to a school license or 12 months before receiving an intermediate license if you are 16.
When will I receive my certificate?
Once your student has completed and passed both the classroom portion and the in person driving lessons, certificates are uploaded digitally to the Iowa DOT. You will receive an email at the end of the course letting you know that your certificate has been uploaded to the DOT and you are free to set an appointment to upgrade your license.
What if I have completed driver’s ed out of state?
If a student completed a course in another state, a public or licensed or private provider of the Iowa-approved course may issue the form for the student if the provider determines that the out-of-state course is comparable to the Iowa-approved course. If the out-of-state course is comparable but lacks certain components of the Iowa-approved course, the provider may issue the form after the student completed the missing componens.
The non-Iowa school must meet the Iowa criteria of:
30 hours of classroom instruction
6 hours behind-the-wheel
4 hours of instruction concerning substance abuse
20 minutes of instruction concerning railroad crossing safety instruction relating to becoming an organ donor.
You must provide Open Road with the following information:
- The name of the school and state where the driver education class was held
- The grade for the class
- Number of hours of classroom instruction
- Number of hours behind-the-wheel
- Copy of the course outline
There is a $100 fee to evaluate the out of state school program and the student must drive with a certified instructor before a completion certificate will be issued.
All refunds are subject to an administrative fee of $35. A full refund minus administration fee is available up until 30 days prior to the first day of the course. A 50% refund will be available within 30 days up until 10 days prior to the first day of the course. There is no refund within 10 days prior to the first day of the course. If you need to transfer classes, you must request a transfer at least 10 days before the first day of the course. If the online classroom portion of the course has been sent, there will be a tuition fee of 50%, regardless of cancelation date. Signing up for multiple classes is not allowed unless the class initially desired was on a waiting list. There is a mandatory $59 extension fee for changing classes within 30 days.
What Should I Expect?
Our primary source of communication is email. Parents and students are responsible for monitoring correspondence to email including messages that may have fallen into a junk/spam folder. Open Road is not responsible for emails that are misspelled or contain typos. Please monitor possible updates or course date changes via our website at openroaddriving.com. Course requirements for both classroom and driving must be completed within the designated course time frame posted online. Classwork submitted after the posted due date may be subject to a grading delay; possibly until the next course is underway. Any student submitting classwork 3 days past the due date will have to pay a classroom extension fee of $59. This will allow you to re-enroll in the classroom portion for an additional 10 days. Upon successful completion of the course, including all required tests and activities, and upon the payment of tuition and fees, we will upload a digital certificate to the Iowa Department of Transportation. We will notify students via email upon completion of our course. Certificates are typically uploaded within 24 hours of the last driving day of the course.
Drive Time Cancellations:
Students who cancel, change, or don’t show for a drive time inside 24 hours are subject to a $50 “no show” fee. If a student incurs two “no shows”, he/she will be dropped from the course with no refund. If a student schedules drive times, and does not show up with no communication and is unreachable via phone or text for 12 hours, the student is dropped from the course with no refund. If a student schedules drive times and drops the course, they will be subject to a re-enrollment fee of $89 with no refund.
The student must bring their permit to every drive session. Payment can be either cash, check or credit card. If payment is made by check, it needs be made out to Open Road Driving School and sent to 2418 Paradise Ct. Kalona, IA 52247. Please include the student’s name and registered course location on the check memo line. A $35 service charge will be applied to all returned checks. All payment must be made prior to students scheduling drives. No completion certificate will be issued without full payment.
How much practice do I need before starting Drivers Ed?
The more time spent behind-the-wheel with parents the better! Quite often with some basic student/parent practice, teens can improve their skill set exponentially once they begin working with an instructor. However, we require students spend a minimum of 10 hours in the car with their parents before starting Drivers Ed.