By Josh Slowiczek

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — When a Sacramento driving school shut down without warning or refunds, parents called Kurtis to investigate.

Tanya Holland was one of those parents. Last December, she paid A1 Driving School $500 for three, two-hour driving lessons for her son—a state requirement for any new drivers. He got his first lesson in January, but on the day of his second lesson in March, Tanya found out the school had closed.

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“My heart just sank,” she said. “Because I hadn’t had any contact from them at all to let me know that the business was closing or how they plan to handle this.”

Tanya’s not alone. CBS13 found at least a dozen similar complaints filed against the company on its Yelp page and Better Business Bureau profile.

The Call Kurtis team dug through business filings with the state and tracked down the former chief executive officer. They told us that the school closed due to a loss of business from the pandemic and ongoing lockdown restrictions over the last two years. They also blamed increasing business costs like maintenance, fuel and a lack of available workers.

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The owner of the school refused to answer any of our questions about refunds or credit for driving lessons already received. So we went to the DMV for answers.

A spokesperson told CBS13 that all of the driving schools listed on the DMV’s website must carry a $10,000 bond – money that people can tap into for refunds in situations like these. Those who feel they are owed a refund should contact:

Hartford Fire Insurance Company 
One Hartford Plaza
Hartford, CT  06155
Bond Number 57BSBEU3888

A spokesperson also told us that the DMV would honor the lessons students took before the school closed – a process known as a Notice of Transfer. However, the following items will be needed:

  1. Front and back of the student’s signed permit
  2. What days the student took lessons
  3. How many hours were completed
  4. Name of the new driving school
  5. What day the student will begin their first lesson with the new driving school

Parents are encouraged to submit this information through the DMV’s driving school and traffic violator school complaints form online.

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Tanya was able to get her refund through PayPal, which she used to pay for her son’s classes. Be sure to reach out to the bond company if that’s not an option for you – the DMV says 15 people have already reached out to them about the closure and bond information.