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Driving School Suddenly Shuts Down, Leaving Parents Scrambling

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Some student drivers have more than parallel parking to worry about.

Their driving school, Northwest Suburban Driving School, abruptly closed last week.

At the Crystal Lake location, one of eight Northwest Suburban schools in the area, parents and students showed up on Thursday to find a note saying classes were canceled.

There also was an eviction notice from the landlord on the office door.

Parents are concerned they won’t get their tuition money back and that their kids will have to start over.

“This is my first driver, and obviously there is some excitement about him being the first to get his license,” said parent Leida Jarvis. “It takes a little bit of the wind out of your sails to get this close and not have anything to show for it.”

Among the students left in the lurch is 15-year-old Luke Annen.

He’d already clocked 39 hours of classes, with just three more to go.

“I still have my highway drive left. I needed actual instruction on how to do that from a certified instructor,” Annen tells CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker.

Now, he’ll have to finish up at another school and pay additional costs. But at least driving schools are licensed by the secretary of state’s office, so all records from Northwest can be transferred to another school.

The secretary of state will also help parents file claims to be reimbursed by the school’s insurance company. Plus, they’ve contacted five schools in the area ready to accept abandoned students.

For more information, contact the secretary of state’s office at (847) 981-7455.

CBS 2 could not reach the owner of Northwest for comment.

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