Bridgewater Driving School

is a family owned and operated "Full Service" Driving School which proudly enters its 17th year of providing professional one-on-one private driving instruction to familes accross Central New Jersey. When selecting a driving school for your son/daughter, be sure to ask if the driving school you are considering is a "Full Service" driving school. The following is a list of points we hope you'll consider and keep in mind when selecting the right school:

- Does the NJ Motor Vehicle Commision regularly inspect all driving schools?


Yes, all driving schools and vehicles used for services are regularly inspected by the State. Rules governing operation of a "licensed" driving school are based upon guidelines set forth by the NJ Motor Vehicle Law (Title 39) and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission's rules governing operation of a Driving School


- Are results of the mandatory NJMVC compliance inspection available for review


Absolutely, Bridgewater Driving School, since its inception, has passed every inspection the NJMVC has conducted with an A+ rating. The rating is based upon compliance to requirements regarding posted office hours, dedicated phone lines, instructor documentation and credentials, vehicle equipment standards, student record retention relating to all registration forms, contracts of services provided, studen lesson records and safe keeping of all written and vision testing material. We are proud to make the inspection report available upon your request.


If you choose to work with anohter driving school, be sure to make inquiries as to whether they will make available their inspection report so you can be sure they are in full compliance with NJMVC standards


- What is the benefit of offering "walk-in" registration services at the driving school office?


Bridgewater Driving School maintains a fully staffed office during its posted office hours. When families visit our office to register they will be greeted by either Owner/Senior Instructor Tom Gallagher or our Partner/Business Agent Brian Gallagher. Our philosophy is simple, it is important to us that our families have an opportunity to see how our driving school operates from the moment they enter the door to our office to the completion of the selected services.


- Do I need an appointment to register for driving lessons?


During our posted office hours, our staff never requires families to set an appointment to come in and register students for lessons. To compliment the normal daytime registration hours on Tuesday and Thursday's of 12:30 to 5:00pm, we offer late night registration from 1:30 to 7:00pm two (2) nights per week on Monday and Wednesdays.


- Do all driving schools offer written and vision testing services at their office and if so is there an additional charge for these services?


Bridgewater Driving School was the 2nd driving school in the State to receive certification from the NJMVC to administer both vision and written test services to our students at our office. We do not charge additional fees for either of those testing services. Our philosophy is that providing written and vision testing at our office allows our instructor to begin the lessons in a local environment that is conductive to a positive learning experience for your driver


Please note: if you choose a driving school that is not certified to adminster vision/written tests and requires the student to be present at the NJMVC testing facility in Edison, NJ to complete that process, the time spent completing that process at NJMVC DOES NOT count against their lesson time. Six hour of instruction means behind-the-wheel time, not process and MVC visitations.



- Will the office staff schedule all driving lesson dates and times at the time of initial registration?


Yes. When parents call to ask about what paperwork is required to register with Bridgewater Driving School, we always request they bring in the most up to date schedule the students can offer for scheduling of their driving lessons.


Whether it be sports, work, clubs, activities we would like to know. This way we can schedule all three sessions around their availability. When they leave our office, after registration is complete, they will have their 3 lesson dates in hand.


- Will the student be "guaranteed" private one-on-one instruction for the behind the wheel lessons?


Yes. Bridgewater Driving School guarantees private one-on-one instruction, something we have done ever since we opened our doors 17 years ago. Not only is it in the law in the State of New Jersey that all behind the wheel instruction must be one-on-one, there's a more important reason why we do not put multiple students in the vehicle during lessons time:


We take into consideration that your son/daughter is entitled to individualized instruction and with the presence of an additional student in the car they may not react favorably to the peer pressure that may create.


- Do rules regarding private instruction apply to all driving school services?


YES. Any contracted service arranged through a driving school for a fee must be done as one-on-one instruction. That rule also applies to all services an example being when students contract for use of a vehicle on the day of their 17yr old Driver's License Exam:


Consider Point #1: NJMVC and NJ Motor Vehcile Law Title 39 passengers rules state that if the "supervising" driver (such as a driving instructor) on the day of the road test is sitting in the front passenger seat, there can be no additional passengers in the vehicle. That's the law. Driving instructors do not meet the requirement to be considered "Legal Guardians" during any contracted services and thus are restricted to be the only individual in the vehicle other then the driver.


Consider Point #2: If you have contracted and paid a fee to a driving school to provide road test service which includes a practice session and there are other students in the vehicle being charged the same amount as you have paid, the likelihood of your son/daughter not receiving their allotted practice time that you contracted for should be a concern as well as the violation of the passenger rules.


- Does the student have to go to the NJMVC offices with a driving school instructor for any transaction before their driving lessons commence?


99% of the students who register for driving lessons with Bridgewater Driving School never set foot inside a NJMVC office during the permitting process. As a "Full Service" driving school, we process all documentation and complete vision/written testing at our office to eliminate the need for visits to NJMVC. 16 yr old applicants are not required by MVC to be present to issue a practice permit.


In cases where famillies who are registrering have excepetions (foreign documentation, I-94, Visa's etc.) it may require the family to meet the owner Tom Gallagher at the local Somerville NJMVC office. With Bridgewater Driving School, we DO NOT charge additional fees if this is necessary and done at the local Somerville MVC.


- Is a driving school required to maintain files for each student that registers for services?


Yes! Absolutely. Rules governing operation of licensed driving schools require that all records pertaining to registration forms for instruction of any kind and any additional services contracted through a driving school must be retained on site at the driving school office for a period of three (3) years.


- Is the driving school required to maintain student records that track lesson dates, times, as well as the type of instruction that is provided?


Yes! Absolutely. Once again, the rules governing operation of licensed driving schools require that all records pertaining to students driving lessons and additional services which include road test services must specify the actual lesson dates, the time of instruction and the type of instruction on the student record form.


These records must be retained on site at the driving school office for a period of three (3) years. These student records are an important part of the family process when your automobile insurance provider seeks proof of the students completion of six hours of professional instruction.


- When the driving lessons are completed, is it necessary for the student to go to the Motor Vehicle office to complete any transaction that would permit them to begin driving with their permit?


As a "Full Service" driving school, Bridgewater Driving School will never release a permit unless the student has completed their (6) hours of private instruction and we have completed the "validation" process with the NJMVC. We know how valuable your time is and it shouldnt involve standing on long lines at the NJMVC attempting to "validate"


As a driving school it is important for us to complete the "validation" process for the family so we know that once we return the "validated" permit to the family they can then legallly begin the practice phase of driving with their student.


Without the "validation" process being completed, a student driver is prohibited from driving until such time the permit is "validated" Families should never be inconveinenced with having to travel to a driver testing facility of the NJMVC to complete this process.


Tom Gallagher is owner of Bridgewater Driving School and proudly serves as Vice-President of Special Projects for the DSANJ Driving School Association of New Jersey