Mike Heinlen, Coordinator
Traffic Safety Office
Thomas Jefferson High School
4248 So. 288th Street
Auburn, WA 98001
Hours: Mon – Thurs 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Fall Registration Begins Monday, August 25
More information coming in August.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it true that my teenager can “now” get the Dept of Licensing (DOL) testing through the Federal Way Public School traffic safety program?
YES! We are excited to announce that effective this school year, the FWPS will be partnering with the DOL to administer both the “Knowledge Test” (written) and “Skills Test” (on road) .
The $450 fee for Traffic Safety will include the opportunity to take both of these tests at their respective high schools. All students will be given the opportunity to take the knowledge test the last day of class. Upon successfully passing the class and the DOL knowledge test, the students may then sign up to take the skills test. (See “Skills Test Scheduling” above)
Can previous students take the Dept of Licensing testing through the FWPS?
All FWPS traffic safety students may test with us as long as they have successfully passed our traffic safety course and have paid all fines/fees.
If a previous traffic safety students wants to do their Dept of Licensing testing to get their license, they need to do the following:
- Have successfully passed our FWPS traffic safety class.
- Take the Dept. of Licensing “Knowledge Test” (written) which is offered every Monday at TJHS traffic safety office 2:25pm to 3:15pm (no appointment necessary).
- After successfully passing the “Knowledge Test”, you will get information on how to schedule your “Skills Test” (on road) to get your license. You can view the Skills Test link up above. You will have to pay the $50 fee to take the test.
- Call our office with any additional questions.
When and where are the classes held?
Classes are held at all the 4 Federal Way High Schools, Decatur, Todd Beamer, Federal Way and Thomas Jefferson. Most schools have classes on Mondays and Wednesdays “or” Tuesdays and Thursdays depending on the enrollment. All after school classes usually run for 2 hours, from approximately 2:20 pm to about 4:20 pm. We also have “night” classes available. Night classes are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and usually held at Thomas Jefferson High School.
Do I need an instructional driving permit?
YES, all registered students will receive information about how to acquire their permit without taking a test. The student will need to pre-apply online at the DOL website. It is the parents’ and student’s responsibility to go to the Department of Licensing (DOL). A birth certificate is required at the DOL to obtain a permit. The cost is $25.
When will my son/daughter drive their lessons and how many lessons are there?
All On-Road drives for the students are coordinated with the classroom teacher the first week of class. All students will have the opportunity to drive 6 on-road evaluations lasting approximately 1 hour. All on-road drives are coordinated outside of the classroom hours. We can not stress enough the importance of parents picking up their students immediately after their lessons.
How much driving practice should I do with my son/daughter?
We want your student to have a positive and enjoyable experience when learning to drive. Parent involvement is critical for the success of the student becoming a successful, safe, and conscientious driver. The actual amount of practice time we would consider reasonable would be no less than 10 hours for the duration of the class.
The new state licensing law requires certification of 50 hours behind-the-wheel practice with a licensed driver, 10 of the 50 hours must be at night.
What are some of the major requirements to take traffic safety in the Federal Way School District?
First and foremost, the student must be at least 15 years of age before the first day of class and be able to obtain a driving permit by the end of the first week of class.
Students must register with the Traffic Safety Dept which is located at Thomas Jefferson High School. Payment is required at the time of registration. This can either be paid in full ($450) or we offer a NEW payment plan. Look under fees for details.
Parent/guardian must notify instructor on the first day of class if student has an IEP or Section 504 accommodation plan.
Students are required to attend 90% of all classroom sessions. Missing more than two classes will result in the student failing the class due to state required classroom contact time and loss of class fee.
Why take Traffic Safety through the FWSD program versus the “private driving schools”?
The FWSD traffic safety program has a proven track record of over 50 years of successful students passing our course. The private companies can not make that claim, as they haven’t been in business that long. Our program with its experienced instructors have a state regulated curriculum that covers all facets of driving to ensure our students are getting a quality program for the amount of money their parents are investing. Our classroom sessions mirror our on road driving lessons to make sure there is continuity and consistency. Some of the private commercial companies have only been in the business a very short while and are looking for a “quick dollar” and not an extensive quality program for their students.
What is cost of the FWSD program compared to the “private driving schools”?
Our price is $450 with a flexible payment plan of 3 payments starting with a down payment of $200. We do not have any hidden costs like some of the private driving schools. As some of the private driving schools are claiming a “cheaper” price, remember the added cost of driving your student every time “to and from” class as well as “to and from” the on road drives. How much is gas money, wear and tear on your vehicle and your time worth? Our classes are right after school at your student’s school therefore you only have to pick up your student.
How can the “private driving schools” run a shorter program during the school year?
State Law mandates that our program be 9 weeks long. We do give our students more depth in their learning as well as many guest speakers to interact with our students. Also, with the new law, students have to wait 6 months after they obtain their permit in order to get their license.
What are your classroom and on road driving requirements compared to the “private driving schools”?
The minimum the State of Washington requires is 30 classroom hours and 6 on the road hours. Any extra lessons will cost you extra with the private companies. The FWSD traffic safety program has 34 hours of classroom instruction, 6 on road drives totaling over 6 hours of actual driving and 12 hours of observation time in the car which involves watching the instruction of our teachers with other students. Our program has always been more extensive in scope compared to the private commercial programs.
How flexible is the FWSD traffic safety program?
We have classes right after school at all of our 4 high schools and even “night” classes. For our students that can’t fit traffic safety in their busy school year schedule, we have our “summer session”. This usually starts the day after school is out in June. Classes are held at the Support Service Center which is our transportation dept. located by Celebration Park. During the school year, we have 3 different sessions.