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Getting your NY State Driver’s License in 2024: 5 Hours NOW ON ZOOM!

Getting your driver's license is an essential part of moving to a new country as it gives you the ability to get around when you absolutely need it in a pinch (even in big cities). In many states across the United States though, it's a laborious project for those who have moved from overseas, but I'm here to help. Part 2: The 5-hour Pre-licensing Course.

This guide is really only helpful if you've got your learner's permit (you need that first). So to find out how to do that, then you should read this first (and you should get onto it really quickly.

Traditionally, as part of getting a license (whether you've just turned 16 or you've moved here from another country, you have to follow the following steps:

  1. Get Learner's Permit;
  2. Sit through a 5-hour pre-licensing course (this article);
  3. (Optional) Have a practice/lesson with an instructor;
  4. Sit a practical driving test.

Now the first step is always at the DMV and that hasn't changed (it's just become a little more difficult in COVID times and you must now book an appointment).

But the second step which traditionally required you to sit in a room somewhere and watch 5 hours of old videos and listen to an instructor talking through why you shouldn't drink and drive, sleep and drive, drug and drive, or really anything other than DRIVE and DRIVE (which is very important by the way) has completely changed.

Well, no… It's exactly the same BUT IT'S NOW AVAILABLE ON ZOOM!

Why is this significant?

I don't think you'll find many people who have had to do this 5-hour pre-licensing course who would say: “It was a thrilling adventure of a day and I can't wait to do it again”.

It's essential. The information they present is important and valuable. But it's tremendously boring for 5-hours.

How to get a Zoom appointment for the 5-hour pre-licensing course

This offer is only available for a very limited amount of time so you need to jump on it right now.

It took the DMV months to finally allow for companies to do this and they are now booking up fast because everyone is jumping on this opportunity to get the course out of the way while sitting in the comfort of your home office.

The company that I used this last week was Drive Rite (thanks to Nakia for recommending them).

You can book the 5-hour pre-licensing course online and it will set you up with everything you need to connect to the Zoom and get the permit mailed to you once you pass (or you can go in and get it).

Drive Rite also offers packages that are worth checking out because they do allow you to do this course, then borrow a car, and take the test with it, as well as practice programs that are pretty good value from my initial research. It can be better valued if you bundle it all up!

An important thing to note

When you do this online course, it might seem like it would be easy to connect to the Zoom then go off for 5-hours and come back at the end.


There is a live instructor, they ask questions, and you have to be seen in the frame watching at (nearly) all times. This is me!

Drive Rite 5 hour pre-licensing course

They make it very clear throughout that if you turn off your camera, or fail to answer the questions they sporadically drop throughout the course: You won't pass and you will have to do it again.


Next steps

What's next for me? Well, a practice, then the practical test/exam.

Safe to say, I'm looking forward to practicing some reverse parallels first!

Here's how to practice and past the driving test from start to finish!

Josh Pugh

Josh Pugh

Josh is a business founding, digital marketing focused, charity driving, community builder from South Australia, living in New York City. After moving in 2017, Josh realized that there was an opportunity to curate and help the community of expats who moved to the United States – and launched America Josh. Josh is also the President of Variety – the Children's Charity of New York, Secretary at The Mateship Foundation, and Founder & CEO at Fortnight Digital.View Author posts

6 thoughts on “Getting your NY State Driver’s License in 2024: 5 Hours NOW ON ZOOM!”

  1. Thanks for the article! Did you have to wait till you got the real permit before booking your 5-hour course online appointment? And after it, were you able to book a road test appointment within 3 weeks? Concerning the car they provide for the road test, how will I able to drive to the exam if I don’t have anyone who is older than 21 with a valid NYS DL to accompany me? THANK YOU so much!!

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