TicketSchool > Blog > New York > Can I Take the New York 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Course Online?
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Recent changes in the Department of Motor Vehicles rules now allows for certaining qualifying adults who are trying to get a driver’s license for the first time in New York the option to complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course online instead of in a live classroom setting. This is only if the prospective driver has not already completed a driver’s education course in high school or at a commercial school.

Taking advantage of the new online New York pre-licensing option through an approved course such as Ticket School will meet the NY State Department of Motor Vehicle mandatory requirements to apply for a driver’s license should you need a 5-hour Pre-Licensing course.1

What Is a Pre-Licensing Course?

The Pre-Licensing course is a 5-hour course that is required by the NY DMV to get your first drivers license. The only people not required to take it are those prospective drivers that completed a full driver education course at a high school, college, or commercial driving school and have a MV-285 certificate. Everyone else is required to complete the 5-hour pre-licensing program. The good news is that recent changes by the New York DMV allow students to complete an online pre-licensing course for those age 18 or older. Anyone under 18 must find a classroom course.

The New York 5-hour pre-licensing course covers important topics such as:

  • Intro to the highway transportation system
  • Important skills and habits to be safer on the roadways.
  • How feelings and attitudes impact your risk taking
  • Alcohol and drugs and their impact on the driving task

*Important: While completing a Pre-Licensing course is a prerequisite for most before they can schedule their behind-the-wheel driving test with the DMV, the course is not intended to help prepare you for the driving test itself.

Can I Take the New York Pre-Licensing Course Online?

In order to register for the online pre-licensing course, New York drivers must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older. First-time drivers under the age of 18 must take pre-licensing or drivers education courses in person and meet minimum requirements for supervised driving practice.
  • Have a valid photo learners permit issued by the state of New York.
  • They should not have taken a driver’s education course in the last two years.
  • They must be ready to schedule a behind-the-wheel road test.

What Are the Benefits of Online vs. Classroom?

Why do so many adults choose the 5-hour online pre-licensing course to qualify for their New York drivers license?

  • They can take the class on their own schedule, with coursework available 24/7.
  • They can split the five hours into several sessions, as long as the work is completed within 30 days of starting the course.
  • They can complete coursework on any internet-connected device, including tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
  • Course completion is automatically reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles; no paper certificate is required.
  • They save time and money over the alternative path of taking courses in person.
  • They can meet the legal requirements of the State of New York to schedule a road test within one year of course completion.

How Difficult Is the Pre-Licensing Coursework?

Registering and completing the New York Pre-Licensing course through Ticket School is fast and easy. All you need is your learner’s permit information to create an account with us. Once you are registered for the course, the process is simple to complete:

  • There are six units with a total instruction time of 270 minutes.
  • A short multiple choice quiz is given at the end of each unit.
  • You must score 70% correct to pass the quiz, with three attempts to pass each section.
  • If you fail to pass the unit tests, you can register again for free.
  • There is no final exam; passing each unit quiz means you will pass the course.
  • Throughout the course you will be asked to validate your identity, per state requirements.
  • After two unsuccessful attempts to answer identity validation questions, you will need to call customer support to verify your identity.
  • If you fail three consecutive identity verifications, you will be disqualified based on DMV rules, but you can register again for free.
  • When you successfully complete the course, the DMV is notified within 24 to 48 hours.

How to Get Your New York Driver’s License

Close up view of driving instructor holding checklist while in background female student steering and driving car.

Once you have completed the pre-licensing phase, you will complete the remaining steps with the NY DMV:

  • Schedule your road test using the DMV’s online scheduling system.
  • You will not need to supply a course completion certificate (MV-278) because your course completion will already be on file with the DMV. Any mention on the DMV website referring to a paper MV-278 certificate is only for those who took the class in a classroom format.
  • Provide your DMV ID number and the 5-digit zip code of the area where you wish to take the road test.
  • You may need to wait several weeks to get a road test appointment, depending on the request volume at the location you choose.
  • Arrive 30 minutes early for your road test appointment with your learner’s permit, a safe vehicle to take the test in, and a licensed driver over the age of 21 who can operate it.
  • The cost of up to two road tests is included in the permit application fee you pay to the DMV. If you fail the first test, you can schedule another as soon as 24 hours later.
  • When you pass the NY state road test, you will receive a temporary license that allows you to drive.
  • Your permanent driver’s license card will arrive in the mail in approximately two weeks.

Register for the NY Pre-Licensing Course Now

You can get started today assuming that you have your picture learner’s permit (not the temporary one). Ticket School is listed by the State of New York DMV as an approved provider,1 which means you never need to worry if your course completion will be accepted or reported correctly.

We also offer online defensive driving courses (a.k.a. point insurance reduction programs) to enhance your driving skills and help you reduce points, meet court requirements for tickets, and receive insurance discounts. Go to to register for a course today. If you have any questions, you can contact us or call us at 1-800-558-9887. Whether you are a new driver who needs the 5-hour Pre-Licensing course to get your license or you have a license and need an insurance discount or help with a points or a ticket to improve your driving record, we are here to help.