Important Customer Notice: Behind the Wheel Scheduling and Covid Updates

Behind the Wheel Scheduling Changes (Summer 2022)

Due to the impact of the pandemic, our Behind the Wheel scheduling is working a little differently than normal right now. Driving schools (like most industries) are experiencing a labor shortage and we are working to catch up.

Please be prepared that we will prioritize lessons for students who have a road test scheduled. If your student does not have a road test scheduled, they might need to wait to begin their lessons until they have a test scheduled.

To ensure you can finish your lessons before your road test, you must:

  • Schedule your road test with at least 2 months notice.
  • Notify us immediately when you schedule your road test (email us your test confirmation from the state), and we will put you on our priority scheduling list.
  • Families who fail to follow these procedures might need to reschedule their road test.

We know this process is not ideal, but we assure you that if you notify us of your road test with at least two month's notice, we will be able to complete your lessons before your test. Pre-covid, our students could schedule all of their lessons online and spread them out across the 6-12 months before their road test. That system was ideal and we look forward to returning to that system as soon as possible. But for now we must ask everyone to be patient as we prioritize our lessons for students who have road tests coming up.

How to schedule your lessons:

  1. If you do not have a road test scheduled, then you can try to get a lesson scheduled in our online system.
    • Send us your student’s name and date of birth when you get your permit so we can activate your Schedule 2 Drive account (our online BTW scheduling site).
    • Follow these Schedule 2 Drive instructions to access our online BTW scheduling site. (You do not need to create an account or enter a school code.)
    • Every Monday morning at 8am we are publishing some open slots for the next couple of weeks. They are available first-come first-served. This is a great way to schedule your 1st or 2nd lessons, but be patient because spots do fill up fast. We ask that you schedule no more than one lesson per month in our online system to make sure that other students can also schedule lessons. If you can't find any open spots online don't worry - simply contact us when you have a road test scheduled and we will put you on our priority list.
  2. If you have a road test scheduled: Get on our Priority Scheduling List.
    • Notify us immediately when you schedule your road test, and schedule it with at least 2 months notice: Email us your test confirmation from the state right away. We will put you on a priority list to call you to schedule your lessons before your test. We are contacting students with the earliest road tests first.
    • Do not schedule a test with less than two months notice or you might need to reschedule your test.

Why Do We Have to Wait for Lessons?

We understand it is inconvenient and frustrating to have to wait to schedule your lessons. We are working on hiring and certifying new instructors as quickly as possible, but this is a challenging time to hire. And it often takes 4-6 weeks to get a new instructor licensed in the state of MN. It's great that MN instructors are well vetted and trained, but it doesn’t allow us to adapt quickly during this crisis.

Please Be Kind to Our Staff (And All Small Businesses) During this High Stress Time

We understand that this has been a very difficult couple of years for everyone, and it might seem like the impacts of Covid should be behind us. But this pandemic hit our industry very hard and it will take a while to return to business as usual.

We are so grateful to many of you who have sent us messages of support and empathy as we work to schedule your students for lessons. Your kind words really lift our spirits! And we are very grateful to our staff members who have risked their lives to continue teaching because they care about your students. Please know that we take this work very seriously and we care about you and your students. We have lost countless hours of sleep trying to adjust to all of the changes in our industry during this crisis. We understand that not everyone will agree with our decisions. If you disagree with our approach, please contact us in a respectful manner and we will be happy to discuss your needs. This has been an exhausting time for small businesses and we ask you to give us your grace and understanding as we work to get through this together. We are pleased to share that despite the unexpected hurdles of the last year, we are on the road back toward “normal”, we just aren’t quite there yet.

Behind the Wheel Safety Protocols

We have adjusted the following business procedures to improve safety at this time:

  • We are scheduling 15 minutes between lessons to allow the instructor to sanitize surfaces in the vehicle between students.
  • Instructors will wear masks during lessons.
  • We will drive with the windows open to create ventilation whenever weather permits.
  • Instructors will follow CDC recommendations regarding when to stay home is experience symptoms.
  • We are asking students to pay a $5 Covid-19 surcharge at each lesson (cash or check) to help cover the extra costs of our cleaning time and protective gear.

Students must follow the following safety protocols during lessons:

  • Students must wear a mask at all times. (Students must bring their own.)
  • Students must cancel if they have a fever, cough, any other potential Covid-19 symptoms or any known exposure to someone with Covid-19, if they are unvaccinated.
  • Be aware that you are taking a risk doing a Behind the Wheel lesson at this time even with these safety precautions in place. Elite Driving School is not responsible for any exposure to illness during a lesson.

Elite Driving School Online Classes

The State of MN is temporarily allowing driver’s ed schools to offer classes virtually. In June 2022 we will offer most of our morning classes online using Google Classroom and Google Meet. Our afternoon classes will be in person at our Richfield classroom. See our classroom schedule for upcoming options.

(Starting in July 2022, the State of MN plans to require that all classes shift to in person. There is a chance that this policy will be reversed. We are waiting to hear if we can continue to hold some classes virtually. If you do not complete your classes in June, you might need to finish in person in our Richfield classroom.)