New York 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Course FAQs

What is New York 5-Hour Pre-Licensing?

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles requires every new driver over age 18 to complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course before taking the road test for their driver license. You can take the pre-licensing course after you have received your picture learner permit from the DMV. This course is available 100% online or in a classroom setting.

Is this course DMV approved?

Yes. SafeMotorist is owned and operated by American Safety Council, which you can find on the DMV's list of Online Pre-Licensing Course providers. You can complete this course to satisfy the New York DMV's pre-licensing course requirement for your first driver license.

Who can take the New York 5-hour class online?

If you are 18 or older and seeking your first New York driver license, you can take your DMV-approved 5-Hour Pre-Licensing course online. You only need a valid form of payment, your photo learner permit and access to a computer or internet-connected device.

If you are under the age of 18 and applying for a junior driver license (Class DJ) or junior motorcycle license (Class MJ), you are required to take your pre-licensing course in person.

I took a Driver Education Course in high school or college. Do I still need to take the 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Course?

If you attended an in-person Driver Education course that issued a pre-licensing course certificate, you do not need to take the New York 5-hour online pre-licensing course. You will need to bring your Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278) to your road test at the DMV.

Do I need to confirm my identity to take the 5-hour course online?

Yes, the DMV requires all online students to confirm their identity to ensure that they complete the course without help. Our online program uses two methods of identity validation: security questions and voice biometrics.

Before you start the course, you will need to answer some multiple-choice questions about yourself. These questions will appear on your screen at several points during your training, and you will have 45 seconds to answer them correctly. You have up to three tries to answer each security question.

This course also uses a system called voice biometrics. With this method, you will provide a voice sample over the phone before starting the course. When prompted, you will need to call a phone number on your screen within 90 seconds and provide additional samples that must match your original voice sample.

If you fail a security question three times in a row or fail three voice biometrics checks three times in a row, you will be locked out of the course and required to re-register. Please contact customer support if you fail an identity check because of a technical difficulty.

Once you are done with the course, your voice samples and security questions are deleted from the system.

What do I do if I fail an identity validation check?

You have several attempts to pass each identity validation check. For each identity check throughout the course, you must answer security questions or provide voice samples. Due to DMV requirements, you will be locked out of the course if you miss three security questions or voice checks in a row. To resume your training, you will need to re-register for the course and start over from the beginning.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties that prevent you from passing an identity check, please contact our customer support team for assistance.

What Topics are covered in the New York 5-Hour Pre-Licensing course?

Our New York DMV 5-hour online course is broken down into nine sections:

  1. Introduction to Safe Driving
  2. Driving within the Highway Transportation System
  3. Rules of the Road
  4. Safe Driving Habits
  5. Safe Driving Skills
  6. Risks of Alcohol and Other Drugs
  7. New York State Laws
  8. Feelings, Attitudes and Taking Risks
  9. Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

How long does the New York 5-Hour course take to complete?

The course takes about five hours to complete, not including end-of-module quizzes. Most students can complete the course in five hours, but it may take you longer depending on how much time you spend on each section.

Our DMV-approved training program includes 270 minutes of course material broken up into nine modules. You can train at your own pace and take breaks anytime. You must complete the course within 30 days of signing up for training.

How long do I have to complete my training?

You have up to 30 days to finish the course, and you can split up your training into as many sessions as you like. If you do not complete the course before it expires, you will need to re-register and start again from the beginning.

Does this course provide a certificate of completion?

No, the online 5-Hour Pre-Licensing course does not provide a certificate upon completion. After you successfully complete the course, we will report your completion to the DMV electronically.

You can schedule an appointment for your road test at a convenient New York DMV location as soon as your completion is added to your record. You will not have to provide proof of course completion to the DMV.

Does the 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Course have a final exam?

No, this course does not have a final exam. But the DMV requires you to pass a multiple-choice quiz after each of the nine sections. You must pass every section to satisfy the pre-licensing requirement for your first driver license.

For each quiz, you have up to three attempts to get a passing score of 70% or higher. If you fail any quiz three times, you will be required to re-register for the course and try again.

How long do I have to pass my road test after completing the course?

Your 5-hour course completion will stay valid in the NYSDMV system for one year after the date you pass the course. We will automatically report your completion to the DMV electronically. You can schedule your road test up to the date of expiration.

Pre-licensing course certificates issued by an in-person driver education course remain valid for two years.