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What Is the New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course?

The New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course is a 100% online program that teaches new drivers how to drive safely and comply with the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. New York Safety Council is a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV)-approved provider of the Online Pre-Licensing Program, also known as OPL.

If you’re seeking a New York driver license, you’re required to complete the 5-hour course online or in person before you schedule an appointment for your behind-the-wheel road test.

Who Can Take the 5-Hour Course Online?

The New York Online Pre-Licensing Program is designed for new drivers ages 18 and up who are seeking a New York driver license. Students must have a photo learner permit before starting the course. Your photo permit will arrive in the mail about two weeks after the NYSDMV issues your temporary permit.

At this time, the NYSDMV does not allow new drivers seeking a junior driver license (Class DJ) or junior motorcycle license (Class MJ) to take the pre-licensing course online. These new drivers must complete a 5-hour classroom course.

Do I Need a Photo Learner Permit to Take the 5-Hour Course?

Yes. Before you can start your online 5-hour course, the NYSDMV requires you to prove you have a valid New York learner permit that includes your photograph. If you have a temporary learner permit with no photo, you must wait until you have a photo permit before you start your training.

The NYSDMV issues temporary learner permits to drivers immediately after they pass the written permit exam at a DMV office. After you earn your temporary permit, it takes about two weeks for your photo permit to arrive in the mail.

What Topics Does the 5-Hour Course Cover?

The 5-hour course provides vital education to new drivers, including rules of the road, defensive driving techniques and more.

Other course topics include:

  • New York vehicle and traffic laws
  • Habits and skills for safe driving
  • Risks of driving under the influence
  • How to drive safely on the highway
  • Aggressive driving and road rage

Upon completion of the course, you’ll know more about the responsibilities of safe drivers and a wide range of factors that can affect your driving.

Do I Need to Confirm My Identity to Take the Course?

Yes. The course uses a technique called Voice Biometrics to make sure that no one except the person who registered for the course participates in the program. This identity validation feature allows you to complete your training at your own pace across multiple sessions.

When you start the course, you will be asked to call a phone number, enter a unique student ID number and read off a series of numbers. Your student ID and the verification numbers will appear on your screen within the course player, and your voice will be recorded as you read the numbers out loud.

At several checkpoints throughout your training, you must repeat the process of calling in to confirm your identity. During each checkpoint, you will receive a new student ID and another set of numbers to read. The Voice Biometric system will validate your identity by comparing each new voice sample you provide with your original voice sample.

Students will not be able to continue the course until they pass each Voice Biometric checkpoint. Due to DMV standards, failing three consecutive voice checkpoints will exclude you from the course. If this occurs, please contact American Safety Council at 1-877-689-0674 for further instructions.

Does the 5-Hour Course Have a Final Exam?

The New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course includes nine quizzes, but it does not have a final exam. Each of the nine learning modules ends in a brief quiz, and you’re required to score 70% or higher to continue to the next section. You have up to three attempts to pass each quiz.

When Will I Get My Certificate of Completion?

After you successfully pass the online pre-licensing course, New York Safety Council will email you a confirmation of your course completion and automatically submit your completion information to the NYSDMV. It may take up to 24 to 48 hours for your course completion to be posted on your driver record.

You will not need to provide an original Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278) when you arrive at a NYSDMV test location to take your road test. However, students who complete the 5-hour pre-licensing course in the classroom are required to present this document before their road test.

How Long Does It Take to Complete the Pre-Licensing Course?

The New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course takes about five hours to complete. It includes nine learning modules and at least 270 minutes of instruction, not including quizzes. You can complete the timed course modules at your own pace and take multiple breaks.

How Long Do I Have to Complete the Course?

Due to NYSDMV regulations, you must complete the New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course within 30 calendar days of registering for the course.

"I like the fact that I could do this online and on my schedule. So great for those of us who are super busy!"

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— Linda

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