Montana DR.I.V.E. Advanced Driver Education
Develop skills to respond safely to driving risks with Montana DRiver In-Vehicle Education (DR.I.V.E.) on track in Lewistown, Montana since 1979.Registration for the 2014 Montana DRIVE Summer Workshops will begin in February. If you would like to be notified when the workshop calendar is posted and registration is open for either the adult or the teen workshops, please subscribe to the Montana DRIVE e-Newsletter.
If you drive a car, truck, ambulance, or bus, you can take this course. Any and all drivers can gain confidence and skill after completing a Montana DRIVE behind-the-wheel advanced driving workshop. Special teen workshops are offered in July. Learn and practice techniques for handling critical and emergency driving. Our experienced and professional instructors stay with you in each vehicle. Montana DRIVE workshops are scheduled in Lewistown during June, July and August.
What is the Montana DRIVE Workshop?
The one-day Montana DRIVE Workshop starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp with an essential one-hour classroom introduction. Behind-the-wheel training makes up the next 5-6 hours on the closed track. The workshop closes with a recap in the classroom at the end of the day and ends by 6:00 p.m. Each one-day workshop trains up to 12 drivers with 4 instructors working with small groups. The adult workshop is $315.
Teen workshops are $280 ($200 scholarships are available upon application). Payment in full is required for reservation confirmation.
Discounts Might Be Available
* Check with your insurance agent about discounts for successfully completing a Montana DR.I.V.E. training workshop. Auto insurance discounts for drivers age 55 or older are available. http://www.sao.mt.gov/drivingcourse.asp
Registration begins in early February for the 2014 summer workshops. Once the workshop schedule is finalized, we will announce that registration is open. All workshop participants MUST register. We are limited to 12 participants per day and most days fill up quickly.
If you want to be notified when registration is open, sign up for the Montana DRIVE e-News.
The workshop fee is $315 for a full-day adult workshop. If you register by March 15, you will receive a $10 early registration discount per participant.
Visit the Teen Workshops page for cost, schedule and State Farm scholarship information.
How to Register for a Workshop
Complete the Corporate Registration Form if the workshop is being paid by an employer or someone other than the participant. Use the Participant Registration Form if you are attending the workshop and are responsible for payment.
When you know your workshop dates and the number of drivers attending, you can register by phone, email, fax, or US mail. Complete either the Corporate Registration form or the Participant Registration form or send the following via email:
- Billing contact name, company or organization name, address, phone and email address.
- Preferred method of payment (check or credit card)
- Workshop dates (preferred and two alternates)
- Number of participants
- Preferred method of communication for invoicing and confirmations: email or US Mail
- Names of participant(s), if known*
BY MAIL OR FAX: Send your completed registration form and we will bill you. Mail to OPI-Montana DRIVE (see address below) or fax to 406.444.2955.
BY E-MAIL: If you want to register via e-mail, provide all the required information listed above and e-mail to MontanaDRIVE@mt.gov. We will reserve the workshop date and bill you for the amount due (payable within 30 days).
State of Montana employees: Please include the name, phone and email address of your agency’s billing contact so we can arrange interagency payment.
Prepare for your workshop
- To reserve your workshop date, send a purchase order or payment by check along with the registration form to:
- OPI - Montana DRIVE
PO Box 202501
Helena, MT 59620-2501
- OPI - Montana DRIVE
- To pay with a credit card, call 406.444.4432
- Your workshop is not confirmed until it is paid in full.
- Make lodging arrangements in Lewistown, Montana
- Bring a lunch
- Arrive at 7:45 a.m. to check-in. The workshop begins at 8:00 a.m. sharp.
Registration and Refund Policy
Payment in full is required for reservation confirmation. Notify our office as soon as possible if you need to cancel or send a substitute.
Refunds are available as follows:
- 90% Refund with 20 or more days advance notice;
- 50% Refund with 10-19 days advance notice;
- Less than 10 days—No refund, but you can send a substitute with prior notice
Directional Motion Control
Strengthen risk managing behaviors through proper visual skills, use of steering, and throttle control while driving through a series of cones.
Acquire the savvy to avoid a crash by steering around an object in a shorter distance than would be possible by trying to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Develop the ability to achieve maximum braking while still maintaining vehicle directional control.
Experience how vision and targeting can quickly manage a skid and regain control.
Learn techniques for safely returning to the roadway after running off the edge of the pavement.
Manage the risk dynamics of cornering through good vision and proper lane placement, braking, steering, and acceleration.
Montana DRIVE Teen Workshops
State Farm Insurance has once again invited the OPI to apply for a grant that provides $200 scholarships to all teens who complete the scholarship application. Once accepted into the program, the balance due for the workshop is $80. The scholarship application is the teen workshop registration form and should be accompanied by a deposit of $80 to hold the reservation. Checks should be payable to: OPI-Montana DRIVE Teen Workshop
The State Farm scholarship application will be updated for 2014, but to get an idea of what is required, you can download and review the 2013 application here.
If you want to be notified when registration opens for the 2014 Summer Workshops, please sign up for our Montana DRIVE e-Newsletter, or check back in mid-February for updated information on this website.
Why should you take this workshop?
- Invest a day in learning how to prevent or regain control in a skid, how to avoid a crash, and how to safely recover when a wheel drops off the edge of the road.
- Reduce risk with advanced behind-the-wheel training. Experience how vision and targeting can prevent or quickly manage a skid.
- Develop skills to keep your vehicle in balance and respond safely to driving risks.
- Professional traffic education instructors with years of experience working with teens give hours of one-on-one instruction, encouragement, and practice time.
Click map for larger image. Our advanced driver summer training program began in 1979 in beautiful Lewistown, Montana. The track is surrounded by seven mountain ranges.
The Montana DR.I.V.E. Facility is adjacent to the Fergus County Airport.
The driving track is built on runways constructed for training bomber pilots during World War II. The driving track was completely resurfaced in 2004.
Lewistown, Montana Lodging and Camping Facilities
211 E Main
520 E Main
Bed and Breakfast
Mountain Acres Campground
The Calvert Hotel
216 7th Ave. South
Personal Preparation - What to Bring?
- Yourself, rested, alert, and on time. Please arrive by 7:45 a.m. for check-in. Workshop starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp.
- BRING YOUR OWN
If you are taking the One-Day Workshop, you will only have 30 minutes for a lunch break and you will not have time to leave the facility for lunch. Water and a microwave oven are available free at the facility—soft drinks for a nominal fee. You do not need to bring a lunch if you are taking the half-day refresher.
- Make Your Own Overnight Accommodations
For more information, refer to the lodging and camping facilities listed above. If you must travel more than one hour to arrive in Lewistown, it is recommended that you stay overnight.
- Dress Casual and Wear Comfortable Clothes and Good Shoes
You will be spending a lot of time in and out of a variety of motor vehicles. Sandals and flip-flops are discouraged because of safety reasons.
- Do Not Bring Dependents
You will not have time to care for them properly, and your personal vehicle is not an appropriate place for them to spend the day.
Professional Development Credits
- Renewal Units:
Montana teachers can obtain ten renewal units for licensure renewal upon successful completion of the One-Day Workshop.
- College Credit: One semester of graduate or undergraduate credit can be earned through Montana State University—Northern.
Please indicate your wish for credit when you register. In addition to the One-Day Workshop, those requesting credit must also return a second day, student teach an exercise, and write and submit a short paper.
Employer & Participant Testimonials
WHAT PARTICIPANTS SAY ABOUT THE PROGRAM
- The class was awesome!!!! Really, I can't say enough about it. We had Bruce, Jeff, Kathleen, and Dave as our teachers, and they rocked!They had us doing things we didn't think we were capable of. It was such a great use of our time and will help in all driving situations. Paige - State of Montana
- I really improved my skills. The instructors were just AWESOME, patient, dedicated and FUN!!! It was great to watch our bus drivers gain more confidence in their driving skills. I know some were really nervous about coming, but in the end they learned and had fun doing it. Kathy – Wyoming School Bus Driver
- Missoula County Road Department drivers have taken your one day training and I have heard great response from them.In fact, we had an incident last winter where a car ran a stop sign directly in front of our snow plow and our driver said that the only way he avoided a serious collision was because of the training he received from your course....Thank you!
Doug - Manager
- I just got back from taking the DR.I.V.E. workshop. Wow, the class is really outstanding! The combination of classroom time and drive experience in the different cars is excellent. I was really impressed with all of the instructors, they did a great job! I’m recommending the course to several people. Jason – Work Safe MT
- I encountered a deer on the dark interstate near Drummond while driving my family home from the ocean. I had less than one second to crash or steer around the deer and back onto the interstate. My Montana DRIVE training gave me the skill to prevent a rollover and keep my family safe on their long journey home. My wife woke when the car jolted around the deer and asked what happened. I said "You don't want to know" The deer was still standing on the highway. Doug – Livingston, MT
- I have sent our data collectors to your one-day class every year for the past nine years and it's well-worth the time and money. Last year one of our data collectors slightly over-controlled on a curvy, bumpy, gravel road full of wash-board ridges. Your training helped him maintain control while negotiating a curve. I am thankful neither of our employees was hurt in what could have been a major accident. Thanks again for a great training program. Marlin – MDT
Mission and Objectives of the Workshops
The mission of the Montana DR.I.V.E. program is to enhance driver risk management through in-vehicle training and education services to schools, governments, businesses and the general public. The workshops contribute to this by:
- increasing the participant’s awareness of driving risks;
- identifying driver and vehicle limitations;
- providing practice in driving behaviors that anticipate and manage risks;
- providing confidence-building opportunities to successfully manage critical situations; and
- encouraging and practicing "everytime" use of occupant protection measures.
Montana DR.I.V.E. Workshop Frequently Asked Questions
- Where are the workshops located?
The Montana DR.I.V.E. track is three miles west of Lewistown, Montana off Cottonwood Creek Road near the Lewistown Raceway. Turn at the Raceway Arrow near the red barn. The track is 100 miles east of Great Falls and 127 miles from Billings. Map to Facility - Google Map
- When are the summer workshops?
The Montana DR.I.V.E. workshops are offered Monday through Saturday from early June to mid August. Saturday dates are limited. Check the schedule for availability and register early in the spring since workshops fill quickly.
- What are the hours?
One-day workshops are scheduled from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Check-in at the facility at 7:45 a.m. The workshop starts promptly at 8:00 a.m.
- Do I need to bring a lunch?
Participants need to bring their own lunch. There is a half hour lunch break, but it's not enough time to get into town and back. A refrigerator, water and a microwave oven are available free at the facility and soft drinks for a nominal fee.
- How much time is spent driving?
Montana DR.I.V.E. classes are 8 – 10 hours in length. Two hours are dedicated to classroom instruction and six or more hours are spent practicing how to control critical driving situations with various vehicles.
- Do insurance companies offer discounts for successfully completing Montana DR.I.V.E. training?
Check with your auto insurance agent. Auto insurance discounts for drivers age 55 or older are available. http://www.sao.mt.gov/drivingcourse.asp
- Do you provide the vehicles?
Yes. The Montana DR.I.V.E fleet has a variety of vehicles, including school busses, sedans, an SUV, ambulance, dump truck, van and a fire truck.
- What kind of training do you offer?
Montana DR.I.V.E. One-day Workshops put drivers behind the wheel to develop skills to respond safely to critical driving risks. Participants include new and experienced bus drivers, truck drivers, firefighters, EMS, fleet drivers and anyone who drives cars, vans and pick–up trucks. There are workshops designed specifically for teen drivers. The in-vehicle exercises are based upon the kind of situations that cause the most types of crashes in Montana. These include off-road recovery, cornering, controlled emergency braking, evasive steering, skid control, and an exercise in a specially equipped Skid-Monster vehicle that combines vision, targeting, braking/accelerating transition and vehicle balance.
- Do the instructors ride in the car?
Instructors always ride with workshop participants to demonstrate maneuvers, guide instruction, observe driver actions, and to provide immediate feedback to enhance the intensive learning experience.
- What is the student-teacher ratio?
Classes are limited to 12 participants with four instructors. There is one driving coach for every three participants.
- What is required to attend a Montana DR.I.V.E. workshop?
All drivers must have a valid driver’s license, a paid workshop reservation, and a desire to develop skills to respond safely to driving risks. Wear comfortable shoes (no open sandals or flip-flops), bring a lunch, and arrive on time ready to learn and have fun!
- May I reserve a spot now and pay later?
No, payment is required to confirm your registration. However, groups may register early for specific workshop dates, pay the invoice and send driver names later.
- What if my plans change and I can't come?
Notify the Traffic Education office at OPI as soon as possible if you need to cancel, reschedule or to send a substitute. Contact us by e-mail (Montana DRIVE@mt.gov) or telephone: 406.444.4432. Workshop space is limited. Refunds are available as follows:
90% Refund with 20 or more days advance notice;
50% Refund with 10-19 days advance notice; or
Less than 10 days – No refund, however you can send a substitute with prior notification.
- Can my teen driver who is 15 years old and just got her\his instruction permit attend?
Yes. Our professional instructors guide teen drivers through off-road recovery, skid control and evasive maneuvers. Teens receive an individualized report evaluating ten specific driving skills with practice recommendations. Teen one-day workshops are designed for teens that have been driving for six months or more. Teen workshops based on research, are designed to help teens develop skills to handle critical and emergency driving situations which cause most types of crashes in Montana. Teen Workshops
- Where can I stay in Lewistown?
If you must travel more than one hour to arrive in Lewistown, we recommend that you stay overnight. Arrange your own accommodations. For more information, refer to the lodging and camping facilities at the Montana Official Travel Web site http://visitmt.com/
- Are discounts offered to groups?
No. There are no discounts offered to keep fees as low as possible for everyone. Montana DR.I.V.E. is a government nonprofit user-supported program providing services to schools, state agencies, companies, and individuals for the benefit of the public safety.
- What is the history of the Montana DR.I.V.E. program?
The driving track is built on runways constructed in 1939 for training B-17 Flying Fortress pilots and crew during World War II. In 2004, the track was improved and resurfaced. Over 12,00 drivers drivers have been trained in Lewistown since the Office of Public Instruction Advanced Driver Training Program began during the summer of 1979.