American Safety Council's Online Pre-Licensing Course provides a convenient learning option for new drivers seeking their first license. To be eligible for the course, the student must be 18 years old or older at the time of purchase.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV) requires all new drivers 18 and older to successfully complete a pre-licensing course before scheduling an appointment for their road test.

You'll learn safe driving skills, rules of the road and state traffic laws — and you'll be one step closer to getting your New York driver license.

Who Can Take the 5-Hour Course Online?

The New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course is for new drivers ages 18 and up. You must be 18 or older at the time of purchase and have a valid New York photo learner permit before you can start the course. After you successfully pass the course, you can schedule your road test, the last step to getting your New York driver license.

At this time, teens seeking a junior driver license (Class DJ) or junior motorcycle license (Class MJ) are not eligible for the Online Pre-Licensing Program and must complete the five-hour course in the classroom.

Visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website to learn more about the steps to getting a driver license.

Course Benefits

  • 100% online — learn at your own pace
  • Approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV)
  • Full audio narration
  • No final exam
  • Automatic completion reporting to the state

After successfully completing the course, you can schedule an appointment with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to take your road test.

Course Length and Testing

The online 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Course has nine learning modules and takes about five hours to complete. There is no final exam, but each module ends with a brief quiz.

You must score at least 70% on each quiz to pass the course. You have up to three attempts to pass each quiz. If you do not pass a quiz after three attempts, you will be locked out of the course and required to re-register.

The course includes at least 270 minutes of learning, not including quizzes, and allows time for multiple breaks.

Security Questions and Voice-Based Identity Verification

Students must confirm their identity during their training by completing a series of security checkpoints. At several points throughout the course, you will be prompted to verify your identity. To do so, you must successfully answer a security question or complete a voice-based security check.

What if I fail a security check?

You have up to three attempts to correctly answer each security question or successfully pass the voice-based security check. To maintain our approval, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles requires providers to permanently lock students out of the course after failing three security attempts in a row. At that point, the student would have to re-register for the course for additional attempts.

About Voice Biometrics

You may be prompted to use a technique called Voice Biometrics to validate your identity throughout the course. The course will instruct you 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 will be prompted to 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.

At each Voice Biometric checkpoint, you have up to three attempts to successfully confirm your identity. If you fail three consecutive attempts, you will be locked out of the course.

About Security Questions

At the start of your course, you may be prompted to answer a series of multiple-choice security questions about yourself. These personal questions will be used to confirm your identity throughout the course.

During a security question checkpoint, one of the questions that you previously answered will appear on your screen. You will have 45 seconds to enter the correct answer.

You have up to three attempts at each security question checkpoint to successfully answer the question and confirm your identity. If you fail three consecutive attempts, you will be locked out of the course.

Course Expiration

The state requires students to successfully complete the Online Pre-Licensing Course within 30 calendar days of purchasing the course. In addition, you must take the road test for your driver license within one year of completing the course.

Certificate and NYS DMV Reporting

While graduates of the classroom-based pre-licensing course receive a Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278), new drivers who complete an Online Pre-Licensing (OPL) course don't need to provide a paper certificate to the NYS DMV. Your course completion status will be automatically reported to the NYS DMV.

If students do not satisfy the 18+ age requirement at the time of course purchase, the NYS DMV will not validate or process their course completion.

New York Safety Council provides an email confirmation when you complete the course and notifies the NYS DMV of your course completion. After you pass the course, it may take up to 24 to 48 hours for your completion status to be posted to your driver record.

You must take your road test at a NYS DMV location within one year of completing the course. When you arrive to take your road test, NYS DMV records will show that you successfully completed the 5-hour course.

Next Steps After Completing the 5-Hour Course

Once you pass the New York Online Pre-Licensing Course, you can make an appointment to take the road test for your driver license. Your course completion will remain valid for one year, so be sure to take your road test within one year of passing the course.

Before you take your road test, you need to:

  • Get a learner permit
  • Successfully complete a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV) approved pre-licensing course
  • Practice driving

Because American Safety Council automatically reports your course completion to New York, you do not need to bring any proof of course completion to your road test.

Course Outline

The New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course covers a wide range of topics that will prepare you to drive safely, avoid accidents and follow New York vehicle and traffic laws.

The training program is divided into nine modules:

  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

You can find a full overview of each module's learning objectives below.

Module 1: Introduction to Safe Driving

Learning objectives for Module 1 include:

  • List the mission and goals of this course
  • Summarize New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requirements for pre-licensing courses
  • Recall the rules for learner permit holders
  • Recall the rules of the probationary period for new drivers in New York

Module 2: Driving Within the Highway Transportation System

Learning objectives for Module 2 include:

  • Explain why driving is a social activity
  • Identify the three basic parts of the Highway Transportation System (HTS) and their components
  • Understand how the parts of the HTS interrelate and state whether each part is controllable
  • Describe the characteristics of a safe driver as represented by the Arch of Driver Safety

Module 3: Rules of the Road

Learning objectives for Module 3 include:

  • Recognize and explain traffic signals, pavement markings and common traffic signs
  • Identify basic rules of the road, including right-of-way and safely sharing the road
  • Describe driving procedures to follow when changing lanes, driving through work zones and encountering a traffic officer
  • Explain how to safely pass other vehicles, let vehicles pass you and react to a school bus in operation
  • Describe New York State laws regarding cell phone use while driving, safety belts and child safety seats

Module 4: Safe Driving Habits

Learning objectives for Module 4 include:

  • Explain the difference between habits and skills
  • Describe habits of safe drivers, including wearing a safety belt, driving defensively and never driving while drowsy or distracted
  • Explain the Space Cushion System
  • Describe three ways to communicate with other drivers on the highway

Module 5: Safe Driving Skills

Learning objectives for Module 5 include:

  • List the steps of the SEE strategy and explain how it can help you make decisions on the road
  • Describe the skills needed to properly use expressways, recognize and use one-way streets and back up a vehicle
  • Define hydroplaning and explain how to avoid it
  • Identify conditions likely to cause skids and describe the best approach to recover from front- and rear-wheel skids

Module 6: Risks of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Learning objectives for Module 6 include:

  • Define the words alcohol and drug
  • List and describe the physical and physiological effects of alcohol and drug use
  • Identify reasons or excuses people may use to justify driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Define and calculate blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Describe the effects and risks of various drugs, including illegal substances, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications

Module 7: New York State Laws

Learning objectives for Module 7 include:

  • Summarize New York State Vehicle & Traffic Laws related to operating a vehicle under the influence, including the Driver Responsibility Act, the Zero Tolerance Law, Leandra's Law and implied consent
  • Summarize the New York State Penal Law regarding alcohol- and drug-related motor vehicle violations

Module 8: Feelings, Attitudes and Taking Risks

Learning objectives for Module 8 include:

  • Explain how feelings can affect your driving
  • Explain how attitudes are different from feelings and describe how attitudes can influence driving
  • Define and provide examples for impulsive and calculated risks
  • List some special risks faced by inexperienced drivers and explain how the New York State Graduated Driver Licensing law addresses those risks

Module 9: Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Learning objectives for Module 9 include:

  • Identify aggressive driving behaviors
  • Define road rage and differentiate it from aggressive driving
  • List strategies to avoid being targeted by another driver's road rage
  • Describe the legal penalties for road rage behaviors in New York under the Penal Law and Vehicle and Traffic Laws
  • Describe physical reactions associated with stress and list strategies to reduce stress

The course ends with a review that covers the main takeaways from each module. By the end of the course, you'll know the importance of making wise decisions when it comes to every aspect of safe driving.