You must complete a Florida driver's ed course to get your learner's permit in the Sunshine State. It's called the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (or TLSAE, for short). It's non-negotiable, no matter how old you are.
But you do have some control over how you take the TLSAE. The state of Florida gives you two choices: go to in-person classes or learn fully online. They work differently, and each has its pros and cons. So here is the big question: Which one is right for you? This guide will help you decide.
How In-Person and Online Classes Work
In-person and online TLSAE courses cover the exact same material. So what makes them different?
In-Person Driver's Ed
In-person driver's ed courses are taught in a classroom setting. You go to a school, sit with other students, and learn from a teacher or instructor. The TLSAE is broken up into different classes, so you have to return to the school multiple times.
Online Driver's Ed
With online classes, you do it all from your computer or tablet. You'll watch pre-recorded videos with the TLSAE material. You may also have access to written guides, slideshow presentations, and even quizzes that make learning more fun. Typically, students break up the TLSAE into multiple sessions, but you could complete it in one day.
The Good and the Bad: Comparing In-Person and Online Classes
Now, let's take a look at the upsides and downsides of learning in person and online.
Pros of In-Person Driver's Ed
In-person driver's ed has been the traditional way of learning for a reason. It has its positives:
You can interact with a teacher.
You can learn from other students' questions.
A class schedule can be great for those who struggle with motivation and procrastination.
Cons of In-Person Driver's Ed
But it also has some severe drawbacks:
It's not flexible and may not work with your busy schedule.
You have to learn at other students' pace, not yours.
You must find a way to get to the classroom.
After being in school all day, lots of students don't want to sit in a classroom for another hour.
Pros of Online Driver's Ed
Online driver's ed classes are a much more recent thing. They were invented to address some of the problems with in-person learning:
Learn at any time, even for 15 minutes here and there between commitments on your busy schedule.
Learn at your own pace. Rewatch classes on tricky subjects and breeze through easy modules.
Take classes from anywhere with an internet connection. No need to worry about getting a ride or public transit.
Don't get distracted by other students.
Some even let you take the Florida permit test online, too.
Cons of Online Driver's Ed
Despite all the conveniences of online classes, learning online may not be for everyone:
Sitting down and completing your lessons can be tough without having a teacher forcing you to focus.
You'll need a computer and a reliable internet connection. But, your local library almost certainly has a computer room or laptops you can use there, as well as WiFi.
Which Driver's Ed Classes Are More Expensive?
In-person driver's ed classes usually cost $50 or more in Florida. That's the price for just the TLSAE course. You'll still have to pay to take the written test.
Online classes are much more affordable. With IDriveSafely, the online TLSAE course costs less than $30. Plus, you can take the Florida permit test online for just $20 extra dollars. When you combine the two (TLSAE + permit test), you even get a discount.
Should I Choose In-Person or Online Driver's Ed?
Only you can say which learning style best fits your needs. Here are some examples to think about.
If you prefer a traditional classroom setting. In-person classes might be the way to go.
If you're juggling a lot of extra-curricular activities and work. You'd finish the TLSAE faster with online classes.
If you want to be in charge of your education. Online classes let you take full responsibility for the pace of your learning.
Get Behind the Wheel Faster and Safely
Online classes are the best way to get your learner's permit quickly. Choose a reputable school accredited by the state of Florida, like IDriveSafely, to teach you the law of the land. Our affordable fully online TLSAE course and permit test get you on the road in as little as a week — if you really apply yourself.