HUMBLE, Texas – Students and parents were left scrambling after a popular driving school in Humble suddenly shut down. These families paid upfront for driver’s education. But when they showed up for classes last week, the doors were locked and the website is gone. The KPRC 2 Investigates team is helping families figure out what to do next.
“You know, my son turned 16 in November and he still doesn’t have his license,” said mom Katie Baker.
Last August, Katie Baker signed her son up for classes at Stay Safe Driving School in Humble.
“We had already scheduled his drives all the way through March and then all of a sudden, I notice all of his classes were canceled,” said Baker.
“There was just no communication,” said Baker.
Several other parents have posted on Facebook and reached out to KPRC 2 Investigates with the same concerns.
So who oversees driving schools in Texas?
Texas driving schools are regulated by the State Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). They are required to keep student records and make them available for inspection. A TDLR spokesperson told us it is aware the school is closing and that it is reviewing student records so the state can verify classroom and driving hours.
“TDLR will also use the records to determine the number of students affected by the closure and the amount of any prorated refunds they may receive.”
Driving schools are required to keep a bond on file with the state so it can reimburse customers in cases like this.
“I think everybody would be happy with knowing there’s some resolution, I think not knowing has been the difficult part,” said Baker.
TDLR said the whole process could take several weeks and parents only need to contact them if they don’t already have student records. If you are a parent and need to reach out to TDLR, you can fill out a form on the TDLR website. You can also check driving schools for reviews and ratings on the TDLR website.
We did some checking and found out that last year the long-time driving school owner started the process of selling part of the business. That deal fell through. TDLR tells us the license for the driving school is set to expire on March 16th.
UPDATE: After our story aired, Coastline Academy reached out to offer classes to those impacted by the Humble driving school closure. The owner is also working with TDLR to see if they can directly help students.