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:
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.
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.
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:
- The meaning of road markings and road signs
- Driver skills and habits
- Safe driving principles
- Attitudes, feelings, and risk-taking
- Skills for defensive driving
- Drugs, alcohol, and driving
- Driving within the interstate highway system
- Road rage and aggressive driving
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.
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.
- Proper Shifting
- Controlling Speed
- Following Distance
- Obeying Traffic Signs, Signals, and Markings
- Proper Stopping Position
- Lane Selection and Position
- Communication with Other Drivers
- Observating the Environment Around You
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.
- A valid New York State learner permit
- An original, unexpired Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278)
- The ZIP Code of where you choose to take the test
- At least 1 unused test available from when you applied for your license
How to Choose the Best Driving School for Your Teen
If you’re the parent of a teen going out on the road for the first time, you’re probably trying to find the best driving school for your teen. Our guide will show you how to pick the best driving school for your young driver.
Your First-Time New York Drivers License Guide
Ready for your New York License? Confused by the DMV website? Let us help! Find links to all the steps and forms you'll need to get behind the wheel.