Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is Balda Driving School? We are a commercial driving school licensed by the Illinois Secretary of State. All of our programs and curriculum are approved by the Secretary of State. All of our instructors pass a background check and are tested and licensed by the Secretary of State. Licensed since 1959, Balda is downstate’s oldest driving school.


    • Why do teens take at Balda Driving School? Our Teen Program enables parents and teens to choose when they get their permit. Eligibility is based on age not grade level in school. We are not locked into a semester schedule, we offer classes throughout the year and students can complete the classroom in only 4, 5 or 8 week sessions. We offer flexible evening and week-end scheduling for Behind-the-Wheel. We also offer Private Lessons for students who desire individual instruction or Additional Lessons for added experience.


    • At what age can a teen enroll at Balda Driving School? The State of Illinois requires that students be 15 before the last day of the classroom. NO EXCEPTIONS!


    • Who can enroll in Balda Driving School’s Teen Program? Any teen who is 15 and older can enroll in the classroom training. To take the Behind-the-Wheel portion of the program a teen must have a permit and must have completed classroom training. Students that obtain a permit while enrolled in the Balda classroom must then complete Behind-the-Wheel with Balda or the student’s permit will be cancelled. An adult can do Behind-the-Wheel training with either a Learners Permit or a Drivers License.


    • When will a teen get their Instruction (Learner’s) Permit? Instruction Permit applications are issued after the third day of class. The application and a certified copy of their birth certificate, Social Security card and proof of residency and $20.00 can be taken to any Secretary of State Driving Facility to take a written test at your convenience.


    • Can a teen get an Instruction Permit without taking Driver’s Education? When you are 17 years 3 months and older you do not need Driver’s Education to obtain a permit.


    • Are absences allowed? A student is allowed to be absent 3 times, however, it must be made up. A fourth absence will result in being DROPPED from class! NO EXCEPTION!!! While absences are permitted they are strongly discouraged! Remember, time spent in classroom is important. Missed information could affect your grade or your driving experience!


    • Do absences need to be made up? All missed classes must be made up so that the student receives 30 hours of classroom credit.


    • What do our students learn? Rules of the Road, Search and Scan methods, steering, proper backing up and reverse, turnabouts, expressway driving, highway driving, parallel parking, handling emergencies, adverse weather driving, effects of alcohol and drugs, DUI laws, dangers of distractions and more!


    • What will I need to bring on the first day of class? Bring a notebook, black ink pen, and a check, cash or money order for balance due or first payment. Textbook and all other classroom materials will be provided. The Rules of the Road Books are available at the Driver’s Facility or link to online under our Helpful Links.


    • When will Behind-The-Wheel (BTW) lessons be scheduled? BTW lessons are scheduled once a student receives his or her Learners’ Permit. Times are scheduled at the parents’/student’s convenience. Please contact our office to set up lesson times.


    • Why is the deposit non-refundable? We have limited space available in our class and do not want to turn away students who want to enroll. It can be difficult for a student who was turned away to find another class to fit their schedule or for us to fill an opening due to a late cancellation. A non-refundable deposit requires a greater commitment to a specific class without the commitment of total payment.


    • What happens when our students finish our Teen Program? They will receive a Letter of Completion from the Secretary of State’s office showing they successfully completed Driver’s Education. They will also receive a Certificate of Completion from Balda with their final grade which can be taken to their high school for proof of completion. The Illinois State Board of Education recognizes Secretary of State licensed facilities (23 Il Admin. Code I, S.252.20 a 4).


    • When does the teen get their license? When they finish our Teen Program, complete 50 hours driving time, held the permit for 9 months and are 16 years old, they are eligible to take the Driving Test at the Driving Facility. Be sure to take three forms of identification, your permit, your 50-hour certification sheet, the Certificate of Completion letter from the Secretary of State, the Vehicle Registration and insurance card.


    • How do I enroll? Pick which classroom session you want from the Schedule page. Print and complete the Teen Driver Education Program form on the enrollment forms page and send to our office with a check, cash or money order for the $100.00 non-refundable deposit.


    • Can a teen complete Only Behind-the-Wheel at Balda? Yes, if they have completed the classroom at the high school we can provide the basic or private BTW lessons required to obtain a Drivers License. Contact our office for forms. .



For Additional Information:
Please call us at (309) 688-5631

 Other Sources of Helpful Information…


Secretary of State Website


50-Hour Practice Driving Log



Driver’s Education Course Completion Check



Driver Services Facilities


Rules of the Road Book


Parent-Teen Driving Guide


Illinois Department of Transportation


State of Illinois Home Page