Become a driving school instructor

What is a driving school instructor?

A driving school instructor is a person who has been certified to teach individuals to drive a motor vehicle for a licensed driving school.  A certified driving school instructor may be approved to teach in one or more of the following areas

  • behind-the-wheel instruction in vehicles, including one or more of the following
    • cars
    • trucks
    • buses
    • tractor-trailers
    • motorcycles

 
What are the requirements to become a driving school instructor?

First, you must be employed by a driving school licensed by DMV.  You must also meet several requirements identified in Commissioner’s Regulations Part 76.16, including

  • must be at least 21 years of age
  • must have a driver license valid for operation in New York State that
    • has been valid for at least 2 years preceding application in the class of vehicle that the instructor intends to teach in, and
    • has not been suspended or revoked in the last 2 years
    • shows an acceptable driving record
  • must have a high school or high school equivalency diploma
  • must pass the required tests, which include
    • a vision test
    • road sign test
    • written test
    • driving school instructor driving test
  • must never have been convicted of a felony or of any crime involving violence, dishonesty, deceit, indecency, degeneracy or moral turpitude

Before your Driving School Instructor Certificate can be renewed, you must also complete “a course in driver training and traffic safety, approved by the Commissioner, consisting of at least 30 hours” [known as the Methods and Content Course for In-Car Instruction (MCCII)].  This 30-hour course is taught by various community colleges and driving schools that have been approved by DMV to provide this course.

If you want to teach the Pre-licensing Course, you must also successfully complete a 30-hour Teaching Techniques and Methodology course (a college-level course) and have at least one year experience as a behind-the-wheel certified driving school instructor.


How do I become certified as a driving school instructor?

To become a driving school instructor, you must first be employed by a licensed driving school.

Once you have been hired by a driving school, you must complete an Application for Driving School Instructor Certificate (MV-523).  Be sure to answer all questions, and provide any explanations/information needed.  Please include any documentation requested.

Bring your completed application form to the driving school owner. With the application, you will need to include

  • a copy of your high school or equivalency diploma
  • one passport-type photo of yourself, taken within the last 30 days
  • a check or money order, payable to Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, in the amount of $10.  Starter checks, cash, or credit cards cannot be accepted.
  • if your driver license is issued from a state other than New York, you must include with your application a certified copy of your driving record from the state agency that issued your license.

The driving school owner must mail the application to:

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
Bureau of Driver Training Programs
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 221
Albany, NY 12228
(518) 473-7174

Once your application is approved, the Bureau of Driver Training Programs (DTP) will forward your application to the local DMV Testing & Investigations Unit (T&I).  The T&I Unit will contact you to schedule your testing 1, which consists of a

  • vision test
  • road sign test
  • written test
  • behind-the-wheel instructor’s driving test


A little about the tests you have to pass

  • The Vision Test is similar to the vision test you must pass to qualify for, or renew, your driver’s license.  You can take the vision test at DMV, or you can have your eye doctor or physician conduct this test and complete the Vision Test Report form (MV-619).  Attach the Vision Test Report to your application.
  • The Road Sign Test evaluates your knowledge of road signs.  See the Driver’s Manual (MV-21) for more information.
  • The Written Test is based on information found in the Driver’s Manual (MV-21), Commissioner’s Regulations Part 76 (CR-76), and Section 394 of the New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law (MV-299.1).  There is a study guide for the Written Test, which you can download (MV-368).
  • The Behind-The-Wheel Instructor’s Driving Test will evaluate your ability to drive, and to give a student instruction, in the type of vehicle you want to teach in.  You will have to provide your own vehicle for this test.

With each application, you are allowed to take each of the Road Sign Test and Written Test twice, and the Behind-The-Wheel Instructor’s Driving Test once.  If you do not pass these tests, you will have to submit a new application (MV-523) – including photos and $10 fee.

 
About Your Driving School Instructor Certificate (MV-524)

After you pass all tests, the Bureau of Driver Training Programs will issue a Driving School Instructor Certificate (MV-524) and mail it to the driving school where you are employed.

You must carry the Driving School Instructor Certificate whenever you are teaching, and whenever you take a customer to a DMV Road Test Site.  If a customer or DMV employee asks to see the certificate, you must be able to present it.

IMPORTANT:  The MV-524 only authorizes you to teach for the driving school named on the certificate.  Once you are certified as a driving school instructor, you can get an additional certificate naming another school.  Simply complete an Application for Driving School Instructor Certificate (form MV-523) and take it to the driving school that has hired you.  With the application you will need to include

  • a copy of your high school or equivalency diploma
  • one passport-type photo of yourself, taken within the last 30 days
  • if your driver license was issued from a state other than New York, you must include a certified copy of your driving record from the state agency that issued your license.

There is no fee for an additional certificate as long as you have a valid certificate with another driving school.

 

  • 1. Unless the driving school you are employed by is authorized by DMV to conduct these tests for their employees.