5-Hour Class Online Via Zoom — DMV Approved!

January 5, 2021

To qualify for a driving license in New York, you need to train for at least 5 hours at a DMV-approved driving school before you could take the New York State road test.

Traditionally, you have to physically be present in the school to study for the course.

However, starting in July 2020, it is now allowed to attend the course online in the comfort of your house. This is more convenient for some trainees and safer for everyone living in these pandemic times.

Why Zoom 5 Hour Driving Classes?

The world over, many people have found ways to do online some activities that are traditionally done offline. More meetings, conferences, religious services, lectures, memorial services, etc., were conducted online in 2020 due to the coronavirus.

Fortunately, more online meeting platforms have opened up or improved to better serve the special needs of different groups of people. You can now virtually meet with many other people and have a real-time meeting.

Apart from Zoom, other platforms offering live meetings include Skype, WebEx, Go To Meeting, etc. However, at Pierre Paul Driving School, we offer our 5 hour classes via Zoom.

Zoom meeting platform became more popular during the Covid-19 crisis due to the safety and convenience it offers in this social distance situation. Driving schools could not effectively provide the in-class Pre-licensing Course (5-hour driving class) due to the risks involved. The students had to adhere to social distance guidelines, some of which were not easy to implement.

But then, technology came to the rescue. Along came Zoom and other virtual meeting software.

Zoom is easy to use, and you can attend live lessons via Zoom as long as you follow the set-up steps.

The 5-hour driving class via Zoom covers many topics that enable you to have a basic understanding of what the New York State law requires of you when driving.

These include:

  • The impact of alcohol and drugs on driving.
  • Ways to always drive safely.
  • Interstate highway system driving.
  • Aggressive driving and road rage.
  • How to achieve and maintain defensive driving.
  • How your attitudes and feelings could affect your driving.
  • When and when not to take risks.
  • The right driver habits.
  • The meaning of each road sign and road marking.
  • Information is needed for scheduling, taking, and passing the NY state road test.

So How is a Zoom Meeting Set Up?

To set up a Zoom meeting, you should follow this procedure:

  • First, you need to have a Zoom app. You can download it from the app store. The downloading is easier than ABC.
  • You then fill in your details as directed.
  • For easy identification and to avoid unnecessary confusion, register on Zoom with your real name. That is, your Learners Permit name as written on the photo ID.
  • On the Zoom meeting day, the school management will mail you the Zoom meeting ID, which you use to log in to the meeting.
  • Be in a quiet environment where you can remain focused on the lessons without distractions. There should be no movements behind you because you will distract other learners.
  • You should also sit near the power source and have your smartphone or computer charger close by, just in case the device drains.
  • You should have a reliable, strong Internet so that you can stay live throughout the class session.
  • It helps to have an updated YouTube app to get the relevant video lessons.
  • You should also have high-quality earphones.
  • You should log in about 10 minutes earlier so that you can prepare and settle for the meeting. You may have to wait for the host to admit you in.
  • You can turn off your camera and microphone as you enter the meeting, then turn on the camera once you are settled in. The camera should then remain on to the end of the class. But it would help if you only turned on the microphone whenever you are going to speak.

What Are the DMV Conditions for an Online 5-hour Class?

These are the conditions a driving academy ought to follow when offering the 5-hour driving lessons:

  • The driving school must be a registered entity employing only qualified instructors.
  • The online classes must be truly live and in real-time. This means there have to be both video and audio sessions (virtual but still face-to-face communication) delivered by the qualified instructors, with the students able to interact with the instructors as happens in a traditional classroom.

For the avoidance of doubt, computer programs or software should not deliver the driving lessons in the absence of a qualified instructor.

  • Before the 5-hour class, each student will have pre-registered and availed his/her Learner’s Permit to enable the school to identify him/her.

This helps the school to determine if you are really eligible for the course. The school will also record your information as presented on your Learner’s Permit.

  • When enrolling for the course, each student should be thoroughly informed about the course participation technology requirements from start to finish. This will enable the students to decide if they are willing to take the course online or not.
  • The 5-hour course must be completed before the students receive the completion certificate (MV-278 certificate). In other words, each student MUST stay for the entire Zoom meeting session to qualify for the certificate.

That’s why you should ensure you have a strong, reliable Internet before the meeting starts.

The certificate is then mailed to you for signing.  You then submit the certificate to the New York State DMV, which then updates your driver record before a road test could be scheduled.

  • The instructor delivering the 5-hour Zoom meeting must be in a learning-conducive environment free of distractions or inappropriate things.
  • The driving school has to keep records according to the DMV regulations. In this instance, the records should indicate that the 5-hour class was via Zoom.
  • It’s the school’s and instructor’s responsibility to preserve the privacy and safety of the students. They also have to ensure the course’s integrity falls within the above guidelines or other applicable law, regulation, or policy that governs driving schools, driving school tutors, and the driving courses.
  • Violating those laws, regulations, or policies together with the guidelines above may lead to suspension or revocation of the instructor’s certification and driving the school’s license.

How long is the 5-hour course certificate/ MV-278 valid?

The 5-hour course certificate remains for one year from the date of issuance. It means you have to take the road test within one year. If the certificate expires before you take the road test, you have to take the lessons afresh.

When Should I Take The 5-Hour Course After Registering For It?

The DMV law requires a driving school student to take the 5-hour online pre-licensing course within a month (30 days) after registering.


The pre-licensing course is essential for New Yorkers to learn how to be safe on the road when driving. Allowing driving schools to teach it remotely has enabled the courses to go on amid the pandemic without risking the instructors’ and learners’ health.

At Pierre Paul Driving School, we offer you the opportunity to be part of our 5-hour pre-licensing course online. We strictly follow the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle online lessons guidelines.