NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Taking your driving education course used to the first stop before getting a learner’s permit, but that isn’t the case anymore. Now, you’ll have to make a trip to the DMV first to get a Temporary Instructional Permit or “TIP card.”
It’s a new state requirement that must be obtained before someone can go to driving school, and is used to prove a student is enrolled, according to Kelly Simmons, who works for the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles.
Mario Muralles is the instructor and owner of Drive Dat Academy in Metairie.
“It’s merely for identification purposes, so that if an officer stops them or at any point in time something happens we cans say that we know that this is the person enrolled and taking a driving course,” Simmons said.
However, some people -- like Mario Muralles, owner and instructor of Drive Dat Academy in Metairie -- take issue with requirement.
“Ever since the TIP kicked in, there’s been issues,” Muralles said.
Muralles said parents have complained about having to spend hours in line at the DMV to get the card, often taking time off of work and keeping their teenagers out of school for the day.
“I’ve even heard parents who were there for four hours and they didn’t have the right documentation, so they had to go back. Some had to make several trips,” Muralles said.
Muralles said hisdriving school is also suffering a loss of student enrollment.
“The state sent out an email saying that September 4th, it was going to kick in and we had a good summer. A lot of classes were sold out, and I remember that September class, we had 19 students enrolled in it and only 9 showed up,” Muralles said.
Previously, the driving schools would obtain the same personal information that the state is now gathering to issue the TIP cards.
“They did but there was never a picture verification," Simmons said. “There was no identification process and they would just issue a paper permit.”
The State Office of Motor Vehicles says the TIP cards were created to protect peoples identity. The OMV is hoping to get the word out about the new requirements and remind people that they’ll have to report back to the DMV to obtain their learner’s permit.
“Basically what it has done is added an extra trip to the DMV. That’s what the TIP had done,” Muralles said.