It’s Preparation Time: How to Get Ready for New York’s 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Test

February 17, 2019

5-hour pre-licensing class

Did you know that at least 35% of applicants fail their permit test on their first attempt?

It’s no wonder more people are making sure they go into the whole driver license experience better prepared.

Are you ready to get your official NY driver’s license?

How can you improve your odds of success?

Keep reading to learn how to get ready for the 5-hour pre-licensing class.

How to Prepare for the New York 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Test

Every state has different requirements for obtaining a licesnse. There are some states where you can take a written permit and then a driving test while there are other states like New York that you have a 5-hour pre-licensing class that is to help new drivers drive safely.

What is the 5-Hour Pre-Licensing Class?

This class is a DMV approved classroom course for those that are going to take a drivers test to receive their driver’s license. A new driver has to take this 5-hour course before they can schedule their driving test.

This class is an opportunity to learn:

  • Safe driving principles
  • Basic rules of the road
  • Driver habits
  • Risk-taking while driving
  • Defensive driving skills

Where is the Class Offered?

The class is offered in different places including high schools, colleges, driving schools, universities, and a few other DMV-approved sites. Those that teach the class have to be a certified driving school instructor with a classroom endorsement and approved classroom instructors.

The best way to find a course near your area you can search “Driving Instruction” online or if you have a telephone directory you can look under driving instruction as well.

The instructors have to follow the curriculum set out by the DMV and must teach only at approved locations. The requirements the instructors must follow are very clear by the DMV.

Successful Class Completion

Once you pass the pre-licensing course you will be given an MV-278 which is a pre-licensing course certificate. If you complete your class through a college driver education course of a high school you will receive an MV-285 (Student Certificate of Completion).

In order to schedule your road test, you have to have one of the above certificates. When you show up to your road test you have to bring the original certificate to give to your license examiner.

Keep in mind that once you receive your certificate it’s only valid for a year from the date it’s issued to you. If for some reason you let your certificate expire you have to complete the 5-hour pre-licensing class again. On the day you make the appointment the certificate has to be valid but on the day you take the road test it can be expired.

If you’re changing your license from one license class to a new one you don’t need to have a certificate if you already have a New York State driver license. In this case, all you need to do is apply to amend to a different license class.

What to Expect After the 5-Hour Class?

Once you have completed the 5-hour class there are a few things to expect for the road test. If you’re under the age of 18 you have to have a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving. out of those 50 hours, a minimum of 15 have to be after sunset and a minimum of 10 have to be in moderate to heavy traffic.

If you’re over the age of 18 the above hours are not required but it’s a good idea to practice too. You don’t want to show up and fail because of little preparation.

Practice for the Road Test

After successful 5-hour pre-license completion it’s practice time. Practicing the following will help you feel more confident and ready to pass on the day of your road test.


Practice accelerating smoothly after stopping. Don’t cause the engine to stall or race the engine. Smooth is the key when you practice acceleration.


Practice hitting the breaks gently and not slamming on the breaks last minute. You also want to practice stopping at a safe distance if there’s a vehicle in front of you.


Double check that your car is in the correct gear whether it’s an automatic transmission or a manual transmission. If driving a manual transmission practice not grinding gears by shifting into the right gear at the right time.


Practice keeping an eye on all of your surroundings as you drive. You don’t want to practice only looking straight ahead. Get in the habit of looking through the rearview mirror and side mirrors constantly.

Safe Distance

You want to keep a space between the vehicle in front of you at all times. If there’s poor weather you want to give enough distance to brake in case of an emergency without hitting the vehicle in front.


Pay attention to the posted speed limit at all times. If there is poor visibility or bad weather adjust your speed as needed.

Traffic Signs

Make sure you study the different signs, signals, and markings. You want to know the meanings of them to make sure you follow everything during your road test. If you don’t know a particular sign and disobey it this might equal a failed road test.

Turn Signals

It’s important to get into the habit of using your turn signals before receiving your drivers license. You want to let other drivers know what your intentions are and pedestrians too. Use your turn signals to help others know where you are going.

Ready to take Your 5-Hour Licensing Class?

There is quite a bit involved with receiving a driving license in the state of New York. Thankfully you don’t have to be overwhelmed if you take it step by step.

Here at Pierre Paul Driving School, we can help you get certified for the 5-hour pre-licensing class. Contact us today to pick the date you will take your class.