Your First-Time New York License Guide for Drivers 18 and Up

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: December 14, 2023

Many states, including New York, have graduated driver license programs that require drivers under the age of 18 to complete a driver education course before they can apply for a license. Drivers over the age of 18 are required to complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course to be eligible to take a road test. It used to be that these drivers had to take the 5-hour course in a classroom. Now, thanks to the New York Senate passing Bill S3965-A, your pre-licensing course can be completed online.

Just a note here—Before taking your course, you will need to apply for a learner permit.

Answers in this post:

Can I Take the 5-Hour Course Online NY?

Why Does NYS Require You to Take a 5-Hour Class?

What Does the 5-Hour Course Cover?

How Long is the NYS 5-Hour Course Good For?

How Much is the Road Test in NY?

Is the NY Prelicensing Course Available Online?

As we said before, with the passage of Senate Bill S3965-A, you no longer have to spend five hours stuck in a classroom to get your course done. Nothing beats the ease and convenience of getting your course completed anytime, anywhere.

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So Why Does New York Require a Pre-Licensing Course?

No matter your age, it’s probably not a bad idea for anyone to take a drivers ed course before getting their first license. The pre-licensing course teaches you the knowledge and skills you need to become a safer, more responsible driver. The driving environment is a dangerous place and the NY DMV believes that equipping drivers is the best way to reduce motor vehicle accidents and the deaths, injuries, and property losses they can cause.

Just because you aren’t required to take the 48-hour course required of younger drivers doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can to prepare yourself to get behind the wheel. Do all that you can to keep yourself and those around you safe.

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What Does the Pre-Licensing Course Cover?

Whether you take your course online or in person, the same driving essentials will be covered. Topics include things like:

After your course, you will receive a completion certificate. Hold on to it! You’ll need it to take your road test.

You can find the course curriculum and other information in the Pre-Licensing Course Instructor’s Manual.

To help prepare you further, the New York DMV also requires that all driving candidates complete at least 50 hours practice driving with their permits before scheduling a road test.

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How Long is a Pre-Licensing Course Completion Certificate Valid?

After receiving your completion certificate you will have one year to schedule your road test. If you don’t, you’ll have to repeat the course.

Speaking of the road test itself, here are some skills the NY DMV suggests you should practice.

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Are There Fees to Take a NY Road Test?

No, the fees you paid to get your permit cover 2 attempts at the road test. If you need more tries, you can get two more for another $10. Just so you know, if you pass the first time, you’ll get your license, but not a refund.

You can schedule your road test at any DMV-approved location in the state. You will need the following items to schedule your test.