Driving in New York City isn’t for the fainthearted. For new drivers, navigating congested roads and aggressive drivers can be nerve-wracking. That’s why New York is one of 32 states that require teens under the age of 18 to complete a driver's ed course.
Taking a New York driver’s ed course will educate you on the state's traffic laws and teach you how to drive safely in New York. If you're under 18, you must complete a driver's ed course to qualify to take the driver’s test. In New York, teens have the option of taking a short pre-licensing course or a more in-depth 48-hour driver’s ed course.
Find out what these courses cover and how many hours it takes to complete them before you can head to the DMV to apply for a driver’s license.
Five-Hour Pre-Licensing Course
You can take a pre-licensing course at your high school, college, and most DMV-approved driving schools. A pre-licensing course covers nine modules and is five hours long. The course touches on:
The DMV point system
New York traffic laws and rules of the road
Safe driving habits
Seat belt safety
The dangers of impaired driving
You must complete the course within 30 days of signing up for it. Once completed, you have one year to take your driver’s license road test. This short course is not as comprehensive as a full driver’s ed course, but it is a good starting point for learners. The DMV will accept the pre-licensing course, but we recommend also taking a driver’s ed course to further enhance your driving skills.
48-Hour New York Driver’s Ed Course
DMV-approved driving schools offer a 48-hour driver's ed course. It covers 24 hours of classroom instruction and 24 hours of in-car training, with six hours of driving practice.
Teens under 18 must also complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice with a licensed parent, guardian, or driving school instructor. Included in those 50 hours are 15 hours of night driving practice and 10 hours of driving in moderate to heavy traffic. This is New York — heavy traffic comes with the territory, and the course tries to prepare you for that.
After completing your online New York driver’s ed course, you have two years to get your license. If you fail to acquire a license in that time, you’ll have to redo the course.
Note that if you’re under the age of 18, you must hold a New York learner's permit for six months before you can apply for your driver's license. If you pass, you will receive a junior license that comes with some restrictions. When you turn 18, you will automatically be upgraded to a full driving license.
The Benefits of Taking a Driver's Ed Course
There’s a reason many New Yorkers prefer to take public transport. Driving in New York can be dangerous, even for experienced drivers. On average, there are 1,098 deaths and 12,093 hospitalizations per year due to motor vehicle accidents in New York. Teens, due to their inexperience, are at a higher risk for car crashes.
The more practice young drivers have, the safer they will be on the roads when they become a New York driver. A driver's ed course is the best way to equip you with the skills you need to tackle New York traffic.
Driversed.com offers a comprehensive and affordable online New York driver's ed course that's easy to follow. High-quality 3-D animated videos take you through real-life situations and maneuvers and show you how to avoid collisions. Plus, you can take up to 50 free online practice tests to prepare for your driving test.