If you're an Alabama resident who is still learning to drive, you may be wondering about the quickest and least expensive way for you to become a licensed driver. Unfortunately, recent legislative budget cuts have led to closure of at least 31 license-issuing agencies in 28 counties across the state, particularly in rural areas. If you live in an affected county, what can you do to minimize the impact of these closures on your ability to receive a driver's license? Read on to learn more about some potential changes that could allow driver's education teachers to issue licenses, as well as some other advantages to taking a driver's education course in Alabama.

What are your options if your local driver's license agency has been shut down?

For those who don't have the ability to easily travel to a neighboring county with a license-issuing agency still in operation, obtaining a driver's license can be tough. Although the government has announced that 30 of the recently-closed license branches will reopen for one or two days per month beginning in November 2015, the anticipated high volume of customers combined with tight work or personal schedules could mean no relief for many rural residents.

In response to these closings, a state senator has suggested a legislative workaround that would permit driver's education teachers to issue valid driver's licenses to individuals who have successfully passed both a written and practical driving test. While this change has not yet been signed into law, it could provide a tremendous advantage to individuals who need driver's education that is flexible and can easily fit their schedule.

What are some other advantages to a driver's education training course?

If the senator's measure is passed into law, taking a state-sanctioned driver's education course before seeking a driver's license can be a no-brainer. However, even in the absence of this law, there are several advantages to passing a driver's education course before applying for your first driver's license. Not only will these courses help reduce your risk of accident and keep you safe, they can help put money back into your pocket.

You'll likely enjoy lower auto insurance premiums due to your recent training and reduced risk of an accident (and may be able to lower these premiums even further by taking and passing a defensive driving course). You'll also be able to receive more personalized instruction that can help you tackle issues with which you're specifically struggling (like parallel parking, checking blind spots, or driving at night).