New York 5-Hour Course Online

Written by Mary Salatino

New York 5-Hour Pre-Licensing is a mandatory program designed for new drivers seeking a license in New York state. Our 100% online training is designed for individuals 18 and up who are applying for a New York license for the first time.

You must complete the 5-hour course before you take the road test to earn your license. You will learn the rules of the road, traffic laws and safety tips, preparing you for your behind-the-wheel driving test. You can take the online program once you have a valid photo learner permit.

Read on to discover state requirements, the topics you'll learn and the benefits of completing your studies online.

Course Details

The mandatory pre-licensing course is a knowledge class designed to teach you core skills to prepare you for your road test.

All classes approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV), whether in person or online, must teach the following subjects:

  • Driver safety, including seat belt laws, drowsy driving and staying focused
  • Developing safe driving habits that last a lifetime
  • Communication between drivers
  • Rules of the road, including right of way, taking a turn, lane changes and one-way streets
  • Traffic signs and signals
  • Defensive driving and emergency stopping response
  • Maneuvering over wet, snowy and muddy roads
  • Cellphone use and laws
  • Taking risks, aggressive driving and road rage charges and penalties
  • Drunk driving laws, penalties and consequences of driving while impaired
  • Sharing the road with school buses, work zones, motorcycles and emergency vehicles

Since all approved lessons must cover the same curriculum, you can use the student manual as a resource while you study. After you finish the necessary training and quizzes, you have one year from your completion date to schedule your road test with the DMV. If you wait longer than a year, you will have to repeat the class.

You do not need to take the 5-hour pre-licensing course if you completed a 48-hour driver education program through your high school or college. Otherwise, you must complete this training.

About the Program

Instead of enrolling in a classroom pre-licensing class at a traffic school, you can complete your 5-hour training online. This convenient format provides a way to prepare for your road test while allowing you to learn at your own pace.

SafeMotorist offers an online 5-hour course that is approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles through American Safety Council. After you finish, your completion will be automatically reported to the state, ensuring a seamless process as you work toward earning your driver's license.

You can train at your own pace using any device with a stable internet connection. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles requires providers to include at least 270 minutes of instruction. The program takes at least five hours to complete.

After registration and payment, you will have access to our online platform. You have up to 30 calendar days to complete your training. Lesson content is divided into nine modules, and you can progress through them at your own pace. You can log in and out as much as you want — the system will track your progress and save your place.

This course does not have a final exam. However, you are required to take end-of-module quizzes and score at least 70% on each to pass the class.

Because your completion is electronically reported to the state of New York after you finish, you will not receive a physical or digital certificate. No further proof of completion is necessary to schedule your road test.

You can schedule your road test immediately after completing the program. However, keep in mind that appointment availability may vary.

You must pass the road test within one year of completing the course. If more than one year passes, you will have to repeat the class. For more information on reservations, contact your local DMV office.

Benefits of Online Education

Online education offers a range of benefits that make it an attractive choice for individuals looking to satisfy their pre-licensing requirements:

  • Flexible Schedule: You have the freedom to choose when and where you want to study, allowing you to fit your education around your existing commitments.
  • Cost-Effective: Online training is usually priced lower than in-person education. You can save on transportation costs and study materials, making it an affordable option.
  • Self-Paced Learning: You can progress at your own speed, ensuring that you understand and retain the material before moving on. You have up to 30 days to finish, so you can break it up into multiple sessions if you like.

Study at your pace, on your schedule, right from the comfort of your own home. Instead of scheduling five weeks of commutes and lessons, you can simply open your device and start learning.

Finish the program in a single Saturday or spread it out over a month of bite-sized lessons. Our pre-licensing course gives you the freedom to prepare for your road test your way.

Why Choose SafeMotorist? We provide NYS DMV-approved driver education through American Safety Council. We have been a leading source of safety training and testing since 1996.

When you learn with SafeMotorist, you get:

  • Convenient and accessible learning: We offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace from any device, anywhere with an internet connection.
  • NYS DMV approval: Our pre-licensing course is approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Upon successful completion, you'll meet the state's educational requirements to take your license road test.
  • Engaging and interactive content: We incorporate multimedia elements such as videos, animations and quizzes that keep you actively involved in the learning process.
  • Automatic state reporting: After you pass the class, your completion is automatically reported to the state of New York, simplifying the approval process.

SafeMotorist is approved to provide online pre-licensing courses under the name of our parent company: American Safety Council. You can check our approval on the NYS DMV website.

For more information about driver safety, traffic laws and other topics, explore our traffic articles.


NYS DMV. (n.d.). What is the Pre-Licensing Course and how to I find one? Retrieved from

NYS DMV. (2023, January). Pre-Licensing Course Student's Manual. Retrieved from

NYS DMV. (n.d.). DMV Office Locations and Reservations. Retrieved from

NYS DMV. (n.d.). Online Pre-Licensing Course Providers. Retrieved from