Requirements and forms for driving schools and instructors

Driving school

A driving school is a commercial business authorized by DMV’s Bureau of Driver Training Programs to provide driving instruction for hire, which could include behind-the-wheel driving lessons. DMV issues driving school licenses to those qualified to conduct a driving school business. The license must be clearly displayed at the place of business. 

Upon meeting certain additional requirements, driving schools may also

  • teach the basic 30-hour instructor's course, now known as the Methods and Content for In-Car Instruction (MCCII), for driving school instructors

Driving school instructor

A driving school instructor is someone who works for a licensed driving school, teaching customers of the school how to drive motor vehicles safely. DMV issues an Instructor Certificate (MV-524) to driving schools for instructors once they are certified to teach for the school.  The instructor must carry this certificate at all times while driving instructions are given or when accompanying a driver license applicant to the road test site.

Upon meeting certain additional requirements, an instructor may be certified to teach the DMV approved 5-Hour Pre-licensing Course to individuals who want to obtain a driver license.

Requirements for driving schools

A driving school must meet several requirements, which are identified in Commissioner’s Regulations Part 76 (PDF) and Section 394 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (PDF), including

  • the driving school must have an approved place of business that consists of
    • an office that is open to the public, and
    • at least 50 square feet of space dedicated to the operation of the driving school business
    • required signage, displayed in plain sight:
      • driving school license
      • hours of operation (when the office is open to the public)
      • a sign that states “Applicant must be given a receipt for all payments”
    • acceptable receipts and contracts
    • acceptable record-keeping
  • if the driving school offers the 5-Hour Pre-licensing Course, the school must have
    • a DMV-approved classroom (either at the business location or off-site), and
    • at least one certified driving school instructor that is approved to teach the Pre-Licensing Course.
  • all vehicles used for driving instruction or testing must be reported to DMV using a List of Driving School Vehicles (PDF) form (MV-527). Each vehicle must also be equipped with a “Student Driver” sign, and dual-control brake and rear-view mirrors for the instructor.
  • all employees who are not instructors must be reported to DMV using a Personal History (PDF) form (MV-521.1).

If your business is approved as a driving school, DMV may conduct periodical inspections and audits to make sure you are following these requirements.  You must also follow all of the rules and regulations of the municipality in which you are operating the driving school business.

Requirements for driving school instructors

A driving school instructor can only be certified when employed by a licensed driving school. A driving school instructor must meet several requirements, which are identified in Section 76.15 of the Commissioner’s Regulations (PDF), 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

Driving school instructors 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]) before the first renewal of their instructor certificate.  This 30-hour course is taught by various community colleges and driving schools that have been approved by DMV to provide this course.

A driving school instructor who wants to teach the Pre-licensing Course 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.

For additional information, contact DTP at

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
Driver Training Programs
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 336
Albany, NY 12228
(518) 473-7174