SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — When a Sacramento driving school closed without warning or refunds, parents called Kurtis to investigate.
Tanya Holland was one such parent. Last December, she paid A1 Driving School $500 for three two-hour driving lessons for her son, a state requirement for any new driver. He had 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 to let me know the business was closing or how they planned to handle this.”
Tanya is 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 documents filed with the state and located the former CEO. They told us the school had closed due to loss of business due to the pandemic and ongoing lockdown restrictions for the past two years. They also blamed rising business costs like maintenance, fuel and a lack of available workers.
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The school owner refused to answer any questions we had about refunds or credits for driving lessons already received. So we went to the DMV for answers.
A spokesperson told CBS13 that all driving schools listed on the DMV’s website must hold a $10,000 bond — money people can dip into for refunds in situations like these. . Those who feel they owe a refund should contact:
Hartford Fire Insurance Company
A Hartford Plaza
Hartford, Connecticut 06155
Guarantee number 57BSBEU3888
A spokesperson also told us that the DMV would honor classes students had taken before the school closed — a process known as transfer notification. However, the following will be required:
- Front and back of the permit signed by the student
- What days the student took classes
- How many hours were worked
- Name of the new driving school
- What day the student will start his first lesson with the new driving school
Parents are encouraged to submit this information through the DMV’s online Driving School and Traffic Violator Complaint Form.
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Tanya was able to get her refund through PayPal, which she used to pay for her son’s lessons. Be sure to contact the surety company if that’s not an option for you — the DMV says 15 people have already contacted them about closing and bail information.