Sign up to get an email update when the online 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Course is available.

New York Safety Council's 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course provides a convenient driver education option for new drivers seeking their first license. The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) requires all new drivers to complete this training 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 should take the course after earning your learner permit and before scheduling 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
  • NYSDMV approved
  • Full audio narration
  • 24/7 U.S.-based customer support
  • No final exam
  • Automatic completion reporting to NYSDMV

After successfully completing the course, you can schedule an appointment with the NYSDMV 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. It includes at least 270 minutes of learning and multiple breaks.

There is no final exam, but each module ends with a five-question quiz. You must score at least 70% on each quiz to pass the course. You have an unlimited number of attempts to pass the quizzes.

Course Expiration

Because of NYSDMV regulations, students must successfully complete the New York 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course within 30 calendar days of purchasing the course.

Certificate and NYSDMV 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 NYSDMV. Your course completion status will be automatically reported to the NYSDMV.

New York Safety Council provides an email confirmation when you complete the course and notifies the NYSDMV 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. When you arrive to take your road test, NYSDMV 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 5-Hour Online Pre-Licensing Course, you can make an appointment with the NYSDMV to take the road test for your driver license.

Before you take your road test, you need to:

  • Get a learner permit
  • Pass a NYSDMV-approved 5-hour pre-licensing course
  • Practice driving

Because New York Safety Council automatically reports your course completion to the NYSDMV, you do not need to bring a 5-hour course certificate 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.

"Wow! I never expected this to be so simple. I feel a little less nervous about this class now."

Star Rating
— Raquel

Over 50,000 Reviews — See All Shopper Approved

5 Star Excellence Award