Explore Topsail Driving Academy.

Safe Driving is our BUSINESS!

Specializing in Teens & Adults


Learn About Us

Committed to Excellence

The trans-formative learning experiences at Topsail Driving Academy is designed to help our students grow both in and out of the classroom. The classes are scheduled to fit a busy teens schedule, homeschoolers and adults. The school has certified instructors that are passionate about what they do. The school is DMV certified and the classes are designed for interactive learning while the laws and regulations of the roadways are taught.  Part of keeping teens as well as others on the road safe is to understand the complete rules and laws of the roadway and how drugs and alcohol effect the body. In the course we use the "Drunk Buster Googles" to show the effects of impairment, including reduced alertness, slowed reaction time,  poor judgment and decision making, and lack of muscular coordination.  The course is designed to help drivers develop a positive attitude towards driving, learn to deal with distractions so they can be a defensive driver and collision free.       

The school is conveniently located in Hampstead diagonally across from the Lowes Food shopping center and walking distance from Topsail High School. When choosing a driving school we know you have options. Topsail Driving Academy is dedicated to teaching each students that walks through our door for class the importance of defensive safe driving.  

We are here to help our students gain the confidence to drive safe on our roadways. Are you ready to reach your potential?


What’s Coming Up

Stay up-to-date with our classes.​​​​​​


  • Jan 27th- Feb 7th. Class meets Monday-Friday 4-7pm .

  • Feb 24th- March 6th. Class meets Monday-Friday 4-7pm .

  • March 16-27th. Class meets Monday-Friday 4-7pm .

  • Pender & New Hanover County Spring Break April 6-10th Monday- Friday 8am-2pm.

  • Onslow County Spring Break April 13-17th Monday-Friday 8am-2pm.

  • May 4th-15th. Class meets Monday-Friday 4-7pm .

  • Summer June 15-19th. Class meets Monday-Friday 8am-2pm .

  • DEAD WEEK FOR HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS Summer June 27, 28, 30th July 1st & 2nd. Class meets 8am-2pm.

  • Summer July 13th- 17th.  Class meets Monday- Friday 10am-4pm .

  • DEAD WEEK FOR SPORTS Summer July 20-24th. Class meets Monday-Friday 8am-2pm.

  • Summer August 3rd-7th. Class meets Monday-Friday 8am-2pm.

  • Summer August 17th-21st. Class meets Monday-Friday 8am-2pm.

If you reside in any county in North Carolina you can take Driving Education with us.  


We understand things come up.  If a teen needs to transfer from one class to another once they have booked, please notify us ASAP.  As long as seats are available you can transfer to another class. 

Driving time is scheduled outside of classroom instructional time.  It typically is done within 2-3 weeks depending on the size of the class and students availability. Driving time is done seven days a week. 

To register for a class click on the tab on the top left "Book Online".  The participate must be 14 1/2 the first day of class! 

The class size is kept small, limiting the number of participates to 18.  If the class doesn't have a minimum number of participates we reserve the right to cancel the class.  


Complete Teen class consist of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind the wheel training.  The class is approved and certified by the Department of Transportation. The 6 hours of behind the wheel training is scheduled outside of the classroom instruction time.  Driving time is scheduled individually with each teen. It is done one-on-one with time given to each skill being taught.
Completed Teen course is $390.  A $50 deposit is required to hold your teens seat in the class. 
Additional drive time can be scheduled for $60 per hour.  This is offered to teens that took drivers education through our school or another school.  If 6 hours is scheduled a discount is given at a rate of $50/hour. ($300 for 6 hours)
-Deposit is non-refundable.
-You may transfer to another class if seats are available.
-The remaining balance should be paid at the beginning of class or if special arrangements have been made.
-Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, Venmo, PayPal, Check & Cash excepted.

Be sure to keep up with all that’s happening at Topsail Driving Academy. Subscribe to our newsletter for news about our upcoming events and local activities.


Our Staff

Passionate Educators

Melanie Smades

My name is Melanie Smades and I'm the owner and instructor of Topsail Driving Academy. I grew up in Sampson County and graduated from Clinton High School.  I continued my education in the lovely city of Wilmington and graduated from UNCW in 1998. I have four wonderful children that all attend Topsail Schools.
I know how important it is to keep our roadways safe and I am committed to train each student to feel safe and confident when they walk out of the class. I look forward to working with our community.

Mike Fluharty

Mike Fluharty is a retired law enforcement officer who spent the majority of his 27 year career focused on traffic safety. He holds a class A commercial drivers license and is a certified instructor. He successfully completed the Commercial Driver Education Instructor program by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.  Mike has been awarded the designation of Traffic Safety Specialist I by the state of Maryland and received special recognition for his efforts regarding improving traffic and driver safety. Mike continues to serve his community by being active with local volunteer organizations and being a volunteer with the Pender EMS and Fire Departments. 


Get In Touch With Us!

If there’s anything you’d like to know about our programs and curriculum, please get in touch.


Topsail Driving Academy


17015 US Hwy 17 Hampstead, NC 28443

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