The following text was provided by Texas Legislature ONLINE

          AN ACT

relating to the regulation of driver training; providing a penalty.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 21.102, Education Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 21.102.  DRIVER EDUCATION.  (a)  The Central Education Agency shall develop a program of organized instruction in driver education and traffic safety for public school students.  A student who will be 15 years of age or older before a driver education and traffic safety course ends may enroll in the course.

(b)  With the approval of the State Board of Education, the commissioner of education shall establish standards for the certification of professional and paraprofessional personnel who conduct the programs in the public schools.

(c)  A public school offering a driver's education program shall make the program accessible to all children who are exempt from the requirements of compulsory attendance under Section 21.033.

SECTION 2.  Subchapter F, Chapter 51, Education Code, is amended by adding Section 51.307 to read as follows:

Sec. 51.307.  DRIVER EDUCATION.  A driver education course for the purpose of preparing students to obtain a driver's license may be offered by an institution of higher education, as defined by Section 61.003, with the approval of the Central Education Agency.

SECTION 3.  Section 2, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), as added by Chapter 835, Acts of the 72nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1991, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2.  PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES.  Traffic crashes in Texas annually take the lives of thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in economic losses.  These alarming facts make safe driving a concern for all citizens of the state.  Deaths, injuries, and property damage must be reduced.  The attitudes and skills of drivers must be improved through effective driver education and training.  It is a matter of vital public importance to identify and implement all reasonable means to reduce the toll in human suffering and property loss that is inflicted by vehicle crashes.  The purpose of this Act is to improve driver knowledge and skills through the licensing and regulation by the Central Education Agency of driver training schools and driver training instructors in Texas.  It is additionally intended that state agency rules affecting schools that qualify as small businesses be established and administered so as to have the least possible adverse economic effect on those establishments.

SECTION 4.  Section 3, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by amending Subdivisions (5), (7), (8), (11), and (14) and by adding Subdivisions (16), (17), (18), (19), (20), (21), and (22) to read as follows:

(5)  "Driver training" [training school" or "school"] means driver education provided by a driver education school and driving safety training provided by a driving safety school [any enterprise that maintains a place of business or solicits business in the state, that is operated by an individual, association, partnership, or corporation, for the education and training of persons, at a primary location or extension, in driver education, driving safety, or any instructor development program, and that is not specifically exempted by this Act].

(7)  "School" ["Extension"] means a driver education school or driving safety school [an entity that geographically extends the educational resources of a driver training school by offering a driving safety course in a location other than the main business location of the school.  An extension may use multiple locations to teach a driving safety course if each location is approved by the parent school and the agency.  A driver education course may not be conducted at an extension.  An extension of an extension is not permitted].

(8)  "Operator" means a person approved by a driving safety course owner or consignee to conduct an approved [agency‑approved] driving safety course.

(11)  "School employee" means any person, other than an owner, who directly or indirectly receives compensation from the school for instructional or other services rendered.

(14)  "Uniform certificate of completion" means a document that is printed, administered, and supplied by the agency to owners or primary consignees for issuance to students who successfully complete an approved [agency‑approved] driving safety course and that meets the requirements of Section 143A, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).

(16)  "Approved driving safety course" means a driving safety course approved by the board.

(17)  "Course provider" means an enterprise that maintains a place of business or solicits business in this state, that is operated by an individual, association, partnership, or corporation, and that is a driving safety course owner or primary consignee.

(18)  "Driver education school" means an enterprise that maintains a place of business or solicits business in this state, that is operated by an individual, association, partnership, or corporation for the education and training of persons at a primary or branch location in driver education or driver education instructor development, and that is not specifically exempted by this Act.

(19)  "Driver education school owner" means a person who has been approved by the commissioner to own and operate a driver education school.

(20)  "Driving safety course owner" means an enterprise that is operated by an individual, association, partnership, or corporation that has received an approval for a driving safety course from the board.

(21)  "Driving safety school" means an enterprise that maintains a place of business or solicits business in this state, that is operated by an individual, association, partnership, or corporation for the education and training of persons in driving safety, and that is not specifically exempted by this Act.  A driving safety school may use multiple classroom locations to teach a driving safety course if each location is approved by the parent school and the agency and bears the same name and has the same ownership as the parent school.

(22)  "Primary consignee" means any enterprise that is operated by an individual, association, partnership, or corporation that has been designated by a driving safety course owner to conduct business and represent the course owner in this state.

SECTION 5.  Subsection (b), Section 4, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

(b)  The agency [board] shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission and the Department of Public Safety for the interagency development of curricula and licensing criteria for hospital and rehabilitation facilities that teach driver education.  The agency shall administer comprehensive rules governing driver education courses adopted by mutual agreement between the board, the Texas Rehabilitation Commission, and the Department of Public Safety.  The agency [board] shall file the rules with the secretary of state.

SECTION 6.  Section 6, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 6.  DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER.  (a)  The commissioner shall carry out the policies of this Act, enforce rules adopted by the board, and certify those schools and course providers meeting the requirements for a driver education school license, driving safety [training] school license, or both, or for a course provider license.

(b)  The commissioner by rule shall establish the curriculum and designate the textbooks that must be used in a driver education course.  In addition, the [The] commissioner may adopt and enforce temporary rules under this Act, but the temporary rules are valid only until the next meeting of the board.

SECTION 7.  Subsection (c), Section 7, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

(c)  A driver education course is exempt from this Act, except Section 9A of this Act, if it is:

(1)  a vocational driver training school operated to train or prepare a person for a field of endeavor in a business, trade, technical, or industrial occupation;

(2)  a school or training program that offers only instruction of purely avocational or recreational subjects as determined by the commissioner;

(3)  a course of instruction or study sponsored by an employer for the training of its own employees, and no tuition is charged to a student;

(4)  a course of study or instruction sponsored by a recognized trade, business, or professional organization for the instruction of the members of the organization with a closed membership; or

(5)  a school that is otherwise regulated and approved under any other state law[; or

[(6)  a course of study conducted by a college or university to train unlicensed individuals].

SECTION 8.  Section 9, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 9.  PROHIBITIONS.  A person may not:

(1)  operate a school that provides a driver education course without a driver education [training] school license issued by the commissioner;

(2)  operate a school that provides driving safety courses without a driving safety school license issued by the commissioner;

(3)  operate as a course provider without a course provider license issued by the commissioner;

(4)  utilize advertising designed to mislead or deceive a prospective student;

(5) [(3)]  fail to notify the commissioner of the discontinuance of the operation of any school within three working days after cessation of classes and make available accurate records as required by this Act;

(6)  issue, [(4)]  sell, trade, or transfer a uniform certificate of completion or driver education certificate to any person or[,] school[, or extension] not authorized to possess it;

(7)  issue, [(5)]  sell, trade, or transfer:

(A)  a uniform certificate of completion to a person [student] who has not successfully completed an approved [agency‑approved], six‑hour driving safety course; or

(B)  a driver education certificate to a person who has not successfully completed a board‑approved driver education course;

(8) [(6)]  negotiate any promissory instrument received as payment of tuition or other charge before completion of 75 percent of the course, except that before that time, the instrument may be assigned to a purchaser who will be subject to all the defenses available against the school named as payee;

(9) [(7)]  conduct any part of an approved [agency‑approved] driver education or driving safety course without an instructor who is physically present in appropriate proximity to the student for the type of instruction being given; or

(10) [(8)]  violate any provision of this Act.

SECTION 9.  The Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) is amended by adding Section 9A to read as follows:

Sec. 9A.  DRIVER EDUCATION CERTIFICATES.  The agency shall print and supply to licensed and exempt driver education schools serially numbered driver education certificates to be used for certifying completion of an approved driver education course for the purposes of Section 7(a), Chapter 173, Acts of the 47th Legislature, Regular Session, 1941 (Article 6687b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).  The agency by rule shall provide for the design and distribution of the certificates in a manner that to the greatest extent possible prevents the unauthorized reproduction or misuse of the certificates.  The agency may charge a fee of not more than $4 for each certificate.

SECTION 10.  Section 10, formerly Section 2, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by Chapters 835 and 867, Acts of the 72nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1991, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 10.  LICENSE REQUIRED FOR DRIVER TRAINING SCHOOL.  A person may not operate a driver training school unless a driver training school license for the school has been secured.

[No person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation shall operate a commercial driver‑training school unless a certificate of approval for the commercial driver‑training school has been secured under the Texas Proprietary School Act (Chapter 32, Education Code). This section does not apply to training or classes conducted by:

[(1)  colleges, universities, high schools, and junior high schools for students as a part of the normal program for such institutions; or

[(2)  an organization with 50,000 or more members that qualifies for a tax exemption under Section 501(a), Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Section 501), based on being listed under Section 501(c)(4), Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Section 501), and conducts a driving safety course for its members and other individuals who are at least 50 years of age that is not utilized for the dismissal of certain misdemeanor charges as provided by Section 143A, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).]

SECTION 11.  Section 10A, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 10A.  BRANCH LOCATIONS.  A driver education [training] school that teaches a driver education course at one or more branch locations other than the main business location of the school must obtain a driver education [training] school license for the main business location of the school and a driver education [training] school license for each branch location.  A [An extension or a] branch location of a branch location is not permitted.

SECTION 12.  The Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) is amended by adding Section 10B to read as follows:

Sec. 10B.  COURSE AT PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL.  A licensed driver training school may conduct a driver training course at a public or private school for students of the public or private school as provided by an agreement with the public or private school.  The course is subject to all requirements of law applicable to a course conducted at the main business location of the driver training school.

SECTION 13.  Section 11, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 11.  LOCATIONS AUTHORIZED FOR INSTRUCTION.  Driving safety courses complying with Section 143A, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), may be taught at a driving safety [an extension or in a driver training] school if the entity is approved by the agency.  If the commissioner determines that an approved driving safety course can be taught by an alternative delivery method that does not require the students to be present in a classroom and that includes testing and security measures that are at least as secure as the measures available in a usual classroom, the commissioner may approve the alternative method.  On approval, the alternative delivery method is considered to satisfy the requirements of this Act for a driving safety course, and the school may use the alternative delivery method.  A location at which a person taking the course by the alternative method receives supplies or equipment for the course is considered a classroom of the school providing the course.  [Instructor preparation courses may be conducted at a course owner's facilities.  All other driver training courses must be conducted in agency approved schools.]

SECTION 14.  The section heading and Subsections (a) and (b), Section 12, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), are amended to read as follows:

Sec. 12.  APPLICATION FOR [DRIVER TRAINING] SCHOOL LICENSE.  (a)  To operate or do business in this state, a school must make written application to the commissioner for a driver education or driving safety [training] school license.  The application must be verified, be in the form prescribed by the board, and include all information required.  A driving safety school [that offers driving safety courses] shall obtain approval from the agency for any multiple classroom locations [extension].

(b)  A school may not maintain, advertise, solicit for, or conduct any course of instruction in this state before the later of:

(1)  the 30th day after the date the school applies [submits all required documentation, information, and fees and a surety bond] for a driver training school license; or

(2)  the date the school receives a driver training school license from the commissioner.

SECTION 15.  Section 13, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by amending Subsections (a), (b), (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h) and by adding Subsections (a‑1) and (a‑2) to read as follows:

(a)  The commissioner shall approve the application of a driver education school when the school is found, on investigation at the premises of the school, to meet the following criteria:

(1)  the courses, curriculum, and instruction are of such quality, content, and length as may reasonably and adequately achieve the stated objective for which the courses, curriculum, and instruction are offered;

(2)  there are in the school, and in the provision for behind‑the‑wheel instruction, adequate space, equipment, instructional material, and instructors to provide training of good quality;

(3)  educational and experience qualifications of directors, instructors, and administrators are adequate;

(4)  a copy of the schedule of tuition, fees, refund policy, and other charges, regulations pertaining to absence, grading policy, and rules of operation and conduct, and the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the agency for the purpose of directing complaints to the agency is furnished to each student before enrollment;

(5)  on completion of training, each student is given a certificate by the school indicating the course name and satisfactory completion;

(6)  adequate records as prescribed by the commissioner are kept to show attendance and progress or grades, and satisfactory standards relating to attendance, progress, and conduct are enforced;

(7)  the school complies with all county, municipal, state, and federal regulations, including fire, building, and sanitation codes and assumed name registration;

(8)  the school is financially sound and capable of fulfilling its commitments for training;

(9)  the school's administrators, directors, owners, and instructors are of good reputation and character;

(10)  the school has, maintains, and publishes as part of its student enrollment contract the proper policy for the refund of the unused portion of tuition, fees, and other charges if a student enrolled by the school fails to take the course or withdraws or is discontinued from the school at any time before completion;

(11)  the school does not use erroneous or misleading advertising, either by actual statement, omission, or intimation, as determined by the board;

(12)  the school does not use a name like or similar to the name of another existing school or tax‑supported educational establishment in this state, unless specifically approved in writing by the commissioner;

(13)  the school submits to the agency for approval the applicable course hour lengths and curriculum content for each course offered by the school;

(14)  the school does not owe a civil penalty under this Act; and

(15)  additional criteria as may be required by the agency [board].

(a‑1)  The commissioner shall approve the application of a driving safety school if on investigation the agency finds that:

(1)  the school presents the driving safety course, curriculum, and instruction in a quality, content, and length that reasonably and adequately achieve the stated objective for which the course, curriculum, and instruction are developed by the course provider;

(2)  the school has adequate space, equipment, instructional material, and instructors to provide training of good quality;

(3)  the school's instructors and administrators have adequate educational and experience qualifications;

(4)  the school keeps and maintains adequate records as prescribed by the commissioner to show attendance and progress of grades and that satisfactory standards relating to attendance, progress, and conduct are enforced;

(5)  the school complies with all county, municipal, state, and federal law, including fire, building, and sanitation codes and assumed name registration;

(6)  the school's administrators, owners, and instructors are of good reputation and character;

(7)  the school does not use erroneous or misleading advertising, either by actual statement, omission, or intimation, as determined by the board;

(8)  the school does not use a name like or similar to the name of another existing school or tax‑supported educational establishment in this state unless specifically approved in writing by the commissioner;

(9)  the school has, maintains, and uses the approved contract and policies developed by the course provider;

(10)  the school does not owe a civil penalty under this Act;

(11)  the school will not provide a driving safety course to any person for a cost less than $25; and

(12)  the school meets additional criteria required by the board.

(a‑2)  The commissioner shall approve the application of a person to be a course provider if on investigation the agency finds that:

(1)  the course provider has an approved course;

(2)  the course provider can show evidence that there is at least one licensed driving safety school that is willing to offer the course;

(3)  the course provider has adequate educational and experience qualifications;

(4)  the course provider will develop and provide to driving safety schools that offer the approved course a refund policy, regulations pertaining to absence, grading policy, rules of operation, and conduct, and the name, mailing address, and telephone number of the agency for the purpose of directing complaints to the agency and that copies of these will be furnished to each student by the schools before enrollment;

(5)  not later than the 15th working day after the date of completion of the course by a person, the course provider mails a uniform certificate of completion to the person indicating the course name and successful completion;

(6)  the course provider keeps and maintains adequate records as prescribed by the commissioner to show attendance and progress or grades and that satisfactory standards relating to attendance, progress, and conduct are enforced;

(7)  the course provider complies with all county, municipal, state, and federal law, including assumed name registration and other applicable requirements;

(8)  the course provider is financially sound and capable of fulfilling its commitments for training;

(9)  the course provider is of good reputation and character;

(10)  the course provider has, maintains, and publishes as a part of its student enrollment contract the proper policy for the refund of the unused portion of tuition, fees, and other charges if a person enrolled by the school fails to take the course or withdraws or is discontinued from the school at any time before completion;

(11)  the course provider does not use erroneous or misleading advertising, either by actual statement, omission, or intimation, as determined by the board;

(12)  the course provider does not use a name like or similar to the name of another existing school or tax‑supported educational establishment in this state unless specifically approved in writing by the commissioner;

(13)  the course provider does not owe a civil penalty under this Act; and

(14)  the course provider meets additional criteria required by the board.

(b)(1)  License, application, and registration fees shall be collected by the commissioner and deposited with the state treasurer.  Fees shall be sufficient to cover administrative costs and may not be subject to refund.  Fees shall be as follows [Each fee shall be set by the commissioner and approved by the board in an amount not to exceed 150 percent of the following]:

(A)(i)  the initial fee for a driver education [training] school license is $1,000 [$1,700] plus $850 for each branch location;

(ii)  the initial fee for a driving safety school license is an appropriate amount established by the board not to exceed $200; and

(iii)  the initial fee for a course provider license is an appropriate amount established by the board not to exceed $2,000, except that this fee may be waived by the agency if revenue received by the agency from the course provider is sufficient to fund the cost of licensing the course provider;

(B)  the [(i)]  annual renewal fee for a course provider, driving safety school, driver education school, and branch school is an appropriate amount established by the board not to exceed $200, but [fees as specified in this subsection] may be waived by the agency if revenue generated by the issuance [sale] of uniform certificates of completion and driver education certificates is sufficient to fund the cost of administering this Act and Section 143A, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes); [and

[(ii)  the annual renewal fee for a school license shall be determined by the board in an amount sufficient to fund the cost of administering this Act and Section 143A, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes);]

(C)  the fee for a change of address of a driver education school is $180 and of a driving safety school or course provider is $50;

(D)  the fee for a change of name of:

(i)  a driver education school or course provider or an owner of a driver education school or course provider is $100; and

(ii)  a driving safety school or owner of a driving safety school is $50;

(E)  the application fee for each additional driver education or driving safety course at a school is $25;

(F)  the application fee for each director is $30, and for each assistant director, or administrative staff member is $15;

(G)  each application for approval of a driving safety course that has not been evaluated by the board shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $9,000 [the fee for each extension is $35];

(H)  each application for an original driver education or driving safety [training] instructor's license shall be accompanied by a processing fee of $50 and an annual license fee of $25, except that the commissioner may not collect the processing fee from an applicant for a driver education instructor license who is currently teaching a driver education course in a public school in this state; and

(I)  the fee for a duplicate license, which may be issued if the original is lost or destroyed and an affidavit of that fact is filed with the agency, shall be set by the board [in an amount sufficient to cover the costs of issuing the duplicate license].

(2)  A driver education instructor who teaches driver education courses in a county having a population of 50,000 or less, according to the most recent federal census, and who has no more than 200 students annually, shall be regulated by the agency as a school.  An instructor described by this subdivision shall submit a school application or renewal form plus all required documentation and information to the agency.  The commissioner may waive initial school fees, annual school renewal fees, or director's or administrative staff member's fees.  An instructor described by this subdivision is not exempt from licensing requirements or fees.

(3)  The commissioner shall periodically review and recommend adjustments in the level of fees to the board and legislature.

(4)  The fee for an investigation of [at] a school or course provider to resolve a complaint filed against the school or course provider shall be set by the commissioner and approved by the board.  The complaint investigation fee may be charged only if:

(A)  the complaint could not have been resolved solely by telephone or written correspondence;

(B)  a representative of the agency visited the school or course provider as a part of the complaint resolution process; and

(C)  the school or course provider is found to be at fault.

(5)  The agency shall print and supply to licensed course providers serially numbered uniform certificates of course completion [to owners or primary consignees of courses approved under this Act].  The agency may charge a fee of not more than $4 [$1] for each certificate.  A course provider shall [An owner or consignee may not] charge an operator a fee equal to [in excess of] the fee paid to the agency for a certificate.  The course provider shall charge and retain a user fee of not less than $3 a student for the use of course materials, oversight, and administration of the course.

(6)  [The commissioner, with approval of the board, may increase any fee authorized under this subsection at a rate that does not exceed the increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Department of Labor.  Fees under this subsection do not have to be increased annually.

[(7)]  Fees collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the state treasury in a special account in the General Revenue Fund.  Money in the account may be appropriated only for payment of monetary awards for information concerning abuse of the driver education or uniform certificates of completion that leads to the conviction or removal of an approval, license, or authorization and for the administration of this Act and Section 143A, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).  This dedication is exempt from the application of Sections 403.094 and 403.095, Government Code.

(7)  Duplicate uniform certificates of completion shall be issued by the agency.  An appropriate fee for issuing duplicate certificates shall be determined by board rule.

(d)(1)  The commissioner, on review of an application for a driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license that is submitted in accordance with this Act and that meets the requirements of this Act, shall issue a [driver training school] license to the applicant.  Each [A driver training school] license shall be in a form determined [recommended] by the commissioner and approved by the board and shall show in a clear and conspicuous manner at least the following:

(A)  the date of issuance, effective date, and term of approval;

(B)  the name and address of the school or course provider;

(C)  the authority for approval and conditions of approval;

(D)  the signature of the commissioner; and

(E)  any other fair and reasonable representations that are consistent with this Act and considered necessary by the commissioner.

(2)  The term for which a driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license is issued may not exceed one year.

(3)(A)  A driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license issued to an owner of the applicant school or course provider is nontransferable and is the property of the state.  In the event of a change in ownership of the school or course provider, a new owner shall, at least 30 days before the date of the change in ownership, apply for a new driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license.  Instead of the fees required by Subsection (b) of this section, the fee for a new driver education school or course provider license required under this subdivision is $500, plus $200 for each branch location, if the purchasing entity is substantially similar to the transferring entity and there is no significant change in the management or control of the driver education school or course provider.

(B)  The commissioner is not required to reinspect a school or a branch location after a change of its ownership.

(4)  At least 30 days before the expiration of a driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license, the school or course provider shall forward to the commissioner an application for renewal.  The commissioner may reexamine a driver education school's [the school] premises.  The commissioner [and] shall renew or cancel the [school's] driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license.  If a school or course provider fails to file a complete application for renewal at least 30 days before the expiration date of the driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license, the school or course provider shall pay as a condition of renewal and in addition to any annual renewal fee a late renewal fee in an amount established by board rule of at least $100, subject to Subsection (b) of this section.

(5)  The commissioner shall visit a school or course provider and reexamine the school or course provider for compliance with the criteria adopted under this Act.

(e)(1)  If the commissioner determines the applicant for a driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license to be unacceptable, the commissioner shall state the reasons for denial, in writing, to the applicant.

(2)  Any applicant whose driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license is denied has the right of appeal under Section 17 [18] of this Act.

(f)(1)  The commissioner may revoke a driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license or may place reasonable conditions on the continued approval represented by the license.  On revocation or imposition of conditions on a driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license, the commissioner shall notify the licensee, in writing, of the impending action and state the grounds for the proposed action.  The commissioner may reexamine a school or course provider two or more times during any year in which a notice relating to the school or course provider has been issued or conditions have been imposed on the school under this subsection.

(2)  A driver education school, driving safety school, or course provider [training school] license may be revoked or be made conditional if the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe that the school or course provider is guilty of a violation of this Act or any rule adopted under this Act.

(g)(1)  Before a driver education [training] school license may be issued under this Act, a bond shall be provided by the school for the period for which the license is to be issued, and the obligation of the bond shall be that neither a provision of this Act nor any rule adopted under this Act shall be violated by the school or any of its officers, agents, or employees.  A driver education [training] school [that teaches driver education] shall submit a bond in the amount of $10,000 for its primary driver education [training] school and $5,000 for each branch location of the school.  [All other schools shall submit a bond in the amount of $5,000.]  A bond must be a corporate surety bond issued by a company authorized to do business in the state, be payable to the state, and be used only for payment of a refund due to a student or potential student.  The bond shall be filed with the commissioner and shall be in such form as shall be approved by the commissioner.  Posting of these bond amounts shall satisfy the requirements for financial stability for driver education schools under this Act.

(2)  A driving safety school is not required to post a surety bond.

(3)  Before a course provider license may be issued under this Act, a bond shall be provided by the course provider for the period for which the license is to be issued, and the obligation of the bond shall be that no provision of this Act or the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) and no rule adopted under this Act may be violated by the course provider or any of its officers, agents, or employees.  A course provider shall submit the bond in the amount of $25,000.  The bond must be a corporate surety bond issued by a company authorized to do business in this state, payable to the state, and used:

(A)  for payment of a refund due to any student of the course provider's approved course;

(B)  to cover the payment of any unpaid fees, penalties, and fines assessed by the agency; and

(C)  to recover the cost of any uniform certificates of completion demanded by the agency to be returned or any cost associated with the certificates.

(4)  Instead of the bond required by Subdivision (1) of this subsection, the school may provide another form of security that is:

(A)  approved by the commissioner; and

(B)  in the amount required for a comparable bond under Subdivision (1) or (3) of this subsection.

(h)(1)  As a condition for the granting of a driver education [training] school or course provider license, a school or course provider must maintain a cancellation and settlement policy that provides a full refund of all money paid by a student if:

(A)  the student cancels the enrollment agreement or contract before midnight of the third day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after the date the enrollment contract is signed by the prospective student, unless the student has successfully completed the course or received a failing grade on the course examination [and accepted a certificate of completion during that period]; or

(B)  the enrollment of the student was procured as a result of any misrepresentation in advertising, promotional materials of the school or course provider, or representation made by an owner or employee of the school or course provider.

(2)  As [Unless only driving safety courses are proposed to be provided, as] a condition for granting a driver education [training] school license, a school shall maintain a policy for the refund of the unused portion of driver education tuition, fees, and other charges if a student, after expiration of the cancellation period described by Subdivision (1) of this subsection, fails to enter the course, withdraws, or is discontinued from the course at any time before completion, and the policy must provide that:

(A)  refunds are based on the period of enrollment computed on the basis of course time expressed in clock hours;

(B)  the effective date of the termination for refund purposes is the earliest of the following:

(i)  the last day of attendance, if the student's enrollment is terminated by the school;

(ii)  the date of receipt of written notice from the student; or

(iii)  the 10th school day following the last day of attendance;

(C)  if tuition is collected in advance of entrance and if, after expiration of the cancellation period described by Subdivision (1) of this subsection, a student does not enter the school, terminates enrollment, or withdraws, the school may retain up to $50 as administrative expenses and, from the remainder, shall refund that portion of the classroom tuition and fees and behind‑the‑wheel tuition and fees for services not previously received by the student;

(D)  refunds of items of extra expense to the student, including instructional supplies, books, laboratory fees, service charges, rentals, deposits, and all other such ancillary miscellaneous charges, will be made within 30 days after the effective date of enrollment termination, if these items are separately stated and shown in the data furnished the student before enrollment and the student returns any school property in the student's possession to the school; and

(E)  refunds will be completed within 30 days after the effective date of enrollment termination.

(3)  If the course of instruction is discontinued by the school or course provider, preventing a student from completing the course, all tuition and fees paid are then due and refundable.

(4)  If a refund is not made within the period required by this subsection, the school or course provider shall pay interest on the refund for the interval beginning with the first day following the expiration of the refund period and ending with the day immediately preceding the date the refund is made.  The commissioner annually shall establish the rate of interest at a rate sufficient to provide a deterrent to the retention of student funds.  The agency may except a school or course provider from the payment of the interest if the school or course provider makes a good‑faith effort to refund tuition but is unable to locate the student to whom the refund is owed.  The school or course provider shall provide on request of the agency documentation of the effort to locate a student.

SECTION 16.  The Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) is amended by adding Section 13A to read as follows:

Sec. 13A.  COURSE PROVIDER RESPONSIBILITIES.  (a)  An issued uniform certificate of completion shall be mailed to the student not later than the 15th working day after the date of completion of an approved driving safety course only by the course provider or authorized personnel at the course provider's facilities.

(b)  Data identified by the agency pertaining to issued uniform certificates of completion shall be submitted electronically by each course provider to the agency in a manner determined by the agency.

(c)  The agency shall investigate options to develop and implement procedures to provide information pertaining to driving safety courses by electronic transmission to the state municipal and justice courts.

(d)  A course provider shall conduct driving safety instructor development courses for its approved driving safety course.

(e)  The board may adopt additional rules to ensure integrity of the course and enhance program quality.

(f)  A course provider license entitles a provider to purchase uniform certificates of completion for only one approved driving safety course.

SECTION 17.  Section 15, formerly Section 5, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by Chapters 835 and 867, Acts of the 72nd Legislature, Regular Session, 1991, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 15.  LICENSE REQUIRED FOR [driver training] INSTRUCTOR.  (a)  A person may not teach or give driving safety [driver] training, either as an individual or in a driving safety [driver training] school, or any phase of driving safety [driver training or] education, unless a driving safety instructor license [as an instructor] has been secured from the agency, except that[:

[(1)  a driver education instructor teaching in a public secondary school supported by taxation from either a local or state source is exempt from this section;

[(2)  a driver education instructor in a college or university regulated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is exempt; and

[(3)]  an instructor of [in] a driving safety course [program] that does not provide a uniform certificate of completion to its graduates is exempt from this section.  A person may not teach or give driver education, either as an individual or in a driver education school, or any phase of driver education unless a driver education instructor license has been secured from the agency.

(b)  A license issued to a driver education or driving safety [training] instructor expires not more than [automatically] 12 months after the date of issue, unless sooner suspended or revoked.  License renewal applications must include evidence of completion of continuing education and shall be postmarked at least 30 days before the date of expiration or a late renewal fee of $25 will be imposed.  The continuing education must be in courses approved by the commissioner and be for a certain number of hours determined by the commissioner.

(c)  A driver education [training] instructor license shall be carried by the instructor at all times while instructing driver education courses.  A driving safety instructor license shall be carried by the instructor at all times while instructing driving safety courses.  Each license shall be signed by the commissioner and issued under the seal of the board [agency].

[No person shall teach or give driver‑training for hire or for tuition, either as an individual or in a commercial driver‑training school, or any phase of driver‑training or education, unless a license as a driver‑training instructor or supervisory driver‑training instructor has been secured from the Department, provided that instructors in classes conducted by an entity exempt under Section 2 of this Act shall be exempt.]

SECTION 18.  The Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) is amended by adding Section 15A to read as follows:

Sec. 15A.  DRIVER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR TRAINING.  (a)  With approval of the board, the commissioner shall establish standards for certification of professional and paraprofessional personnel who conduct driver education programs in driver education schools.

(b)  A driver education instructor license may not be issued authorizing a person to teach or give driver education in‑car training unless the person has successfully completed six semester hours of driver and traffic safety education or a program of study in driver education approved by the board from an approved driver education school.  A person holding a driver education instructor license authorizing in‑car training may be approved to assist classroom instructors in the classroom phase of driver education if the person successfully completes the additional three semester hours of training required for a classroom instructor or a program of study in driver education approved by the board.

(c)  A driver education instructor license may not be issued authorizing a person to teach or give classroom driver education training unless the person:

(1)  has completed nine semester hours of driver and traffic safety education or a program of study in driver education approved by the board from an approved driver education school; and

(2)  holds a teaching certificate and any additional certification required to teach driver education.

(d)  A driver education instructor who has completed the educational requirements for a classroom driver education instructor under Subsection (c)(1) of this section may be approved to teach instructor training classes after successfully completing a supervising instructor development program consisting of at least six additional semester hours or a program of study in driver education approved by the board that includes administering driver education programs and supervising and administering traffic safety education.

(e)  A driver education school may submit for agency approval a curriculum for an instructor development program for driver education instructors.  The program must be taught by a person who has successfully completed a supervising instructor development program under Subsection (d) of this section and must satisfy the requirements of this section for the particular program or type of training to be provided.

SECTION 19.  Section 16, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 16.  DENIAL, SUSPENSION, REVOCATION GROUNDS.  (a)  The agency may deny, suspend, or revoke the license of any instructor on any one or more of the following grounds:

(1)  when the agency is satisfied that the applicant or licensee fails to meet the requirements to receive or hold a license under this Act;

(2)  when the applicant or licensee permits fraud or engages in fraudulent practices with reference to the application to the agency, induces or countenances fraud or fraudulent practices on the part of any applicant for a driver's license or permit, or permits or engages in any other fraudulent practice in any action between the applicant or licensee and the public; or

(3)  when the applicant or licensee fails to comply with the rules of the agency regarding the instruction of drivers in this state or fails to comply with any section of this Act.

(b)  Not later than the 10th day after the date of a decision under this section the agency shall notify the applicant or license holder by certified mail of the decision.

SECTION 20.  Section 17, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 17.  HEARING.  (a)  A person aggrieved by the denial, suspension, or revocation of a license may appeal the decision and request a hearing before the commissioner.  The request must be submitted not later than the 15th day after the date of receipt of notice of a decision made under Section 16 of this Act.  On receipt of a request for a hearing, the commissioner shall set a time and place for the hearing and send notice to the person of the time and place.  A hearing shall be held within 30 days after the date of receipt of the request.  At the hearing, an applicant or licensee may appear in person or by counsel and present evidence.  Any interested person may appear and present oral or documentary evidence.  [When there is cause to deny an application or to suspend or revoke any license, the agency, not less than 15 days before the date denial, suspension, or revocation action is taken, shall notify the person in writing, in person, or by certified mail at the last address supplied to the agency by the person, of the impending denial, suspension, or revocation, the reasons therefor, and of the person's right to an administrative hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the evidence is sufficient to warrant the denial, suspension, or revocation action proposed to be taken by the agency.  If, within 20 days after the date of personal service of notice or the date notice was deposited in the United States mail, the person has not made a written request to the agency for an administrative hearing, the agency is authorized to deny, suspend, or revoke the license without a hearing.  On receipt by the agency of a written request of the person within the 20‑day period, an opportunity for an administrative hearing shall be afforded.  In no case shall the hearing be held less than 10 days after the date written notification thereof, including a copy of the charges, shall have been given the person by personal service or by certified mail sent to the last address supplied to the agency by the applicant or licensee.]

(b)  Except as provided by Subsection (c), the commissioner [The agency] shall conduct the administrative hearing and is authorized to administer oaths and issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant books, papers, and documents.  On the basis of the evidence submitted at the hearing, the commissioner [agency] shall take whatever action the commissioner [it] deems necessary in denying the application or suspending or revoking the license.  Not later than the 10th day after the date of the hearing the commissioner shall notify the applicant or license holder by certified mail of the commissioner's decision on the appeal.

(c)  The agency may contract with another entity for the conducting of a hearing required under this Act.

SECTION 21.  Section 18, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 18.  JUDICIAL REVIEW [APPEAL].  (a)  [An applicant aggrieved by the denial of any license by the commissioner has the right to appeal the decision of the commissioner and request a hearing before the commissioner within 15 days after the date of receipt of notice.  On receipt of a request for a hearing, the commissioner shall set a time and place for the hearing and send notice to the school of the time and place.  A hearing shall be held within 30 days after the date of receipt of the request.  At the hearing, an applicant may appear in person or by counsel and present evidence in support of the granting of the license.  Any interested person may appear and present oral or documentary evidence to the commissioner concerning the issuance of a driver training school license to the applicant.  Within 10 days after the date of the hearing, the commissioner shall notify the applicant of the commissioner's affirmance or revocation of the denial of any license.

[(b)]  The commissioner's decision on the appeal may be appealed to a district court in Travis County.

(b) [(c)]  Unless stayed by the court on showing of good cause, the commissioner's decision may not be superseded during appeal.

(c) [(d)]  On filing of the lawsuit, citation shall be served on the commissioner, who shall cause to be made a complete record of all proceedings had before the commissioner and certify a copy of the proceedings to the court.  Trial before the court shall be on the basis of the record made before the commissioner, and the court shall make its decision based on the record.  The commissioner's decision shall be affirmed by the court if the court finds substantial evidence in the record to justify the decision, unless the court finds the denial of the license to be:

(1)  arbitrary and capricious;

(2)  in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States or this state; or

(3)  in violation of rules adopted by the board under this Act.

(d) [(e)]  A decision of the trial court is subject to appeal in the same manner as is any civil lawsuit.

(e) [(f)]  An appeal concerning suspension or revocation of any license shall be prosecuted in the same manner and under the same provisions as provided by this Act for appeals from denial of licenses.

SECTION 22.  Section 25, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 25.  SANCTIONS.  (a)  If the agency believes that a driver education school or instructor has violated this Act or a rule adopted under this Act, the agency may, without notice:

(1)  order a peer review [of the school]; [or]

(2)  suspend the enrollment [admission] of students in [to] the school or the offering of instruction by the instructor; or

(3)  suspend the right to purchase driver education certificates of completion.

(b)  If the agency believes that a course provider, driving safety school, or driving safety instructor has violated this Act or the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) or a rule adopted under one of those Acts, the agency may, without notice:

(1)  order a peer review of the course provider, driving safety school, or driving safety instructor;

(2)  suspend the enrollment of students in the school or the offering of instruction by the instructor; or

(3)  suspend the right to purchase uniform certificates of completion.

(c) [(b)]  A peer review ordered under this section shall be conducted by a peer review team composed of knowledgeable persons selected by the agency.  The team shall provide the agency with an objective assessment of the content of the school's or course provider's curriculum and its application.  The costs of providing a peer review team shall be paid by the school or course provider, as appropriate.

SECTION 23.  Section 27, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 27.  PENALTIES.  Any person who violates any provision of this Act commits an offense [shall be guilty of a misdemeanor] and, except as otherwise provided by law, upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $20,000 [$1,000], or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of not to exceed six months, or both.

SECTION 24.  The Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) is amended by adding Section 27A to read as follows:

Sec. 27A.  UNAUTHORIZED TRANSFER OF CERTIFICATE.  (a)  A person who knowingly sells, trades, issues, or otherwise transfers, or possesses with intent to sell, trade, issue, or otherwise transfer, a uniform certificate of completion or driver education certificate to an individual, firm, or corporation not authorized to possess it commits an offense.

(b)  A person who knowingly possesses a uniform certificate of completion or driver education certificate and who is not authorized to possess the certificate commits an offense.

(c)  A person adjudged guilty of an offense under this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a term of not more than five years.

(d)  The agency shall contract with the Department of Public Safety to provide undercover and investigative assistance in the enforcement of the prohibition provided by Subsection (a) of this section.

SECTION 25.  Subsection (a), Section 7, Chapter 173, Acts of the 47th Legislature, Regular Session, 1941 (Article 6687b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

(a)  The Department may license a person as a Class C driver who is under the age of eighteen (18) years, provided the person:

(1)  is sixteen (16) years of age or older;

(2)  has submitted to the Department a driver education certificate provided for by Section 9A, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), indicating that the person has completed and passed a driver education [training] course approved by the Department under Section 7A of this Act or by the Central Education Agency;

(3)  has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent or is a student enrolled in a public, home, or private school who attended school for at least 80 days in the fall or spring semester preceding the date of application, or has been enrolled for at least 45 days, and is currently enrolled, in a program to prepare persons to pass the high school equivalency exam; and

(4)  has passed the examination required by Section 10 of this Act.

SECTION 26.  Section 10, Chapter 173, Acts of the 47th Legislature, Regular Session, 1941 (Article 6687b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by adding Subsections (e) and (f) to read as follows:

(e)  A driver education school licensed under the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) may administer the vision, highway sign, and traffic law parts of the examination to a student of the school.  An examination administered under this subsection satisfies the examination requirements of this Section as to the parts of the test administered.

(f)  Each applicant shall be given the option of taking the traffic law and highway sign part of the examination in writing in addition to or instead of by a mechanical, electronic, or other testing method.  If the applicant takes that part of the examination in writing in addition to another testing method, the applicant is considered to have passed that part of the examination if the applicant passes either version.  The Department shall inform each person taking the examination of the person's rights under this subsection.

SECTION 27.  Subsection (c), Section 12, Chapter 173, Acts of the 47th Legislature, Regular Session, 1941 (Article 6687b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

(c)  The Department or a driver education school licensed under the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes) may issue an instruction permit without photograph to any person fifteen (15) years of age or older but younger than eighteen (18) years of age who has satisfactorily completed and passed the classroom phase of an approved driver education course, which may be a course approved under Section 7A of this Act, has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent or is a student enrolled in a public, home, or private school who attended school for at least 80 days in the fall or spring semester preceding the date of application, or has been enrolled for at least 45 days, and is currently enrolled, in a program to prepare persons to pass the high school equivalency exam, and who has successfully passed all parts of the driver examination required in Section 10 of this Act other than the driving test.  The Department may issue an instruction permit without photograph to any person eighteen (18) years of age or older who has successfully passed all parts of the driver examination required in Section 10 of this Act other than the driving test.  A driver education school may issue an instruction permit without photograph to any person eighteen (18) years of age or older who has successfully completed and passed a Central Education Agency approved six‑hour adult classroom driver education course and successfully passed all parts of the driver examination required in Section 10 of this Act other than the driving test. The instruction permit shall entitle the applicant while having the permit in his immediate possession to drive a type or general class of motor vehicle upon the public highways when accompanied by a licensed driver, whose license qualifies him to operate that type or general class of vehicle, who is at least eighteen (18) years of age, who has at least one (1) year of driving experience, and who is occupying a seat by the driver.

SECTION 28.  Section 143A, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by amending Subsections (a) and (d) and by adding Subsections (h), (i), (j), (k), and (l) to read as follows:

(a)  When a person is charged with a misdemeanor offense under this Act, other than a violation of Section 39, 40, 51, 104, or 186 or a serious traffic violation as defined in Section 3(26), Texas Commercial Driver's License Act (Article 6687b‑2, Revised Statutes), committed while operating a motor vehicle, the defendant shall be advised by the court of his right to successfully complete a driving safety course and the court:

(1)  in its discretion may defer proceedings and allow the person 90 days to take a driving safety course approved by the Central Education Agency and 30 additional days to present a uniform certificate of course completion as evidence that, subsequent to the alleged act, the person has successfully completed a driving safety course approved under the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes); or

(2)  shall defer proceedings and allow the person 90 days to take a driving safety course approved by the Central Education Agency and 30 additional days to present a uniform certificate of course completion as written evidence that, subsequent to the alleged act, the person has successfully completed a driving safety course approved under the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), if:

(A)  the person enters a plea in person or in writing of No Contest or Guilty and presents to the court an oral request or a written request, in person or by mail postmarked on or before the answer date on the citation, to take a course;

(B)  the court enters judgment on the person's plea of No Contest or Guilty at the time the plea is made but defers imposition of the judgment for 90 days;

(C)  the person has a valid Texas driver's license or permit;

(D)  the person's driving record as maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety does not indicate successful completion of a driving safety course under this subdivision within the one year immediately preceding the date of the alleged offense;

(E)  the person files an affidavit with the court stating that the person is not in the process of taking a course under this subdivision and has not completed a course under this subdivision that is not yet reflected on the person's driving record;

(F)  the offense charged is for an offense covered by this section other than speeding 25 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit at the place where the alleged offense occurred; and

(G)  the person provides proof of financial responsibility as required by Section 1A, Texas Motor Vehicle Safety‑Responsibility Act (Article 6701h, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).

(d)  The State Board of Education shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the State Board of Insurance for the interagency development of a curriculum for driving safety courses.  The Central Education Agency shall adopt and administer comprehensive rules governing driving safety courses [adopted by the State Board of Education] and [the board shall] place on file such rules with the secretary of state.

(h)  An issued uniform certificate of completion shall be mailed to the student not later than the 15th working day after the date of completion of an approved driving safety course only by the course provider or authorized personnel at the course provider's facilities.

(i)  Data identified by the agency pertaining to issued uniform certificates of completion must be submitted electronically by each course provider to the agency in a manner determined by the agency.

(j)  Duplicate uniform certificates of completion shall be issued by the agency.  An appropriate fee for issuing duplicate certificates shall be determined by board rule.

(k)  The agency shall investigate options to develop and implement procedures to provide information pertaining to driving safety courses by electronic transmission to the state municipal and justice courts.

(l)  A driving safety course may not be provided to a student for a cost less than $25.

SECTION 29.  Subsections (f) and (g), Section 143A, as added by Chapters 156 and 813, Acts of the 71st Legislature, Regular Session, 1989, Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways (Article 6701d, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), are amended to read as follows:

(f)  The agency by rule shall provide for the design and distribution of the uniform certificate of course completion in a manner that to the greatest extent possible prevents the unauthorized production or misuse of the certificate [shall be printed on copy‑resistant paper in not fewer than two self‑copying parts to provide a control copy of the certificate that shall be retained by the course provider under rules adopted by the State Board of Education].  Each certificate [may not be more than 8 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches in size and] shall include an identifying number by which the Central Education Agency, the court, or the department may verify its authenticity with the course provider.  The certificate shall be in a form promulgated by the Central Education Agency.

(g)  The Central Education Agency shall print and supply the serially numbered uniform certificates to licensed course providers [owners or primary consignees] of courses approved under the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).  The Central Education Agency may charge a fee not to exceed $4 [of $1] for each certificate.  A course provider shall [An owner or consignee may not] charge an operator a fee equal to [in excess of] the fee paid to the agency for a certificate.  The agency shall deposit the fees with the state treasurer to be used only for the expense of supplying the certificates, payments of monetary awards for information concerning abuse of the certificates that leads to the conviction or removal of an approval, license, or authorization, and administering the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes).  The course provider shall charge and retain a user fee of not less than $3 a student for the use of course materials, oversight, and administration of the course.

SECTION 30.  Chapter 173, Acts of the 47th Legislature, Regular Session, 1941 (Article 6687b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by adding Section 7A to read as follows:

Sec. 7A.  DEPARTMENT‑APPROVED COURSES.  (a)  The Department by rule shall provide for approval of a driver training course given by the parent or legal guardian of a person who is required to complete successfully a driver training course to obtain a Class C license.  The rules must provide that:

(1)  the parent or guardian be a licensed driver;

(2)  the student driver spend a minimum number of hours in:

(A)  classroom instruction; and

(B)  behind‑the‑wheel instruction;

(3)  the parent or guardian not be convicted of:

(A)  criminally negligent homicide; or

(B)  driving while intoxicated; and

(4)  the parent or guardian not be disabled because of mental illness.

(b)  The Department may not approve a course unless it determines that the course materials are at least equal to those required in a course approved by the Central Education Agency, except that the Department may not require that:

(1)  the classroom instruction be provided in a room having particular characteristics or equipment; or

(2)  the vehicle used for the behind‑the‑wheel instruction have equipment other than the equipment otherwise required by law for operation of the vehicle on a highway while the vehicle is not being used for driver training.

(c)  The rules must provide a method by which:

(1)  approval of a course is obtained; and

(2)  an applicant submits proof of completion of the course.

(d)  Completion of a driver training course approved under this section has the same effect under this Act as completion of a driver training course approved by the Central Education Agency.

SECTION 31.  Subdivision (2), Subsection (d), Section 12, Chapter 173, Acts of the 47th Legislature, Regular Session, 1941 (Article 6687b, Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), is amended to read as follows:

(2)  An applicant for a license under this subsection must:

(A)  be at least fifteen (15) years of age;

(B)  satisfactorily complete and pass a driver training course approved by the Department, which may be a course approved under Section 7A of this Act; and

(C)  pass the examination required by Section 10 or 10A of this Act.

SECTION 32.  (a)  This Act takes effect September 1, 1995.  A change in law made by this Act applies only to an offense committed on or after that date.  For purposes of this section, an offense was committed before September 1, 1995, if any element of the offense occurred before that date.  An offense committed before September 1, 1995, is covered by the law in effect when the offense was committed, and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.

(b)  Notwithstanding Paragraph (G), Subdivision (1), Subsection (b), Section 13, Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Act (Article 4413(29c), Vernon's Texas Civil Statutes), as amended by this Act, a driving safety course approved before the effective date of this Act by the Central Education Agency is not required to be reapproved after the effective date of this Act, and no fee is owed in relation to approval of the course unless the fee became due before the effective date of this Act.

SECTION 33.  The importance of this legislation and the crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an emergency and an imperative public necessity that the constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.

 

 

________________________________ ________________________________

    President of the Senate              Speaker of the House

 

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 964 passed the Senate on April 11, 1995, by a viva‑voce vote; and that the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 29, 1995, by a viva‑voce vote.

 

 

 

                                    _______________________________

                                        Secretary of the Senate

 

I hereby certify that S.B. No. 964 passed the House, with amendments, on May 24, 1995, by a non‑record vote.

 

 

 

                                    _______________________________

                                        Chief Clerk of the House

 

 

 

 

 

Approved:

 

 

 

________________________________

             Date

 

 

 

________________________________

           Governor