New York State Department Of Education
Driver and Traffic Safety Education Guidelines
Program Description and Requirements
Table of Contents
I Course Approval……………………………………………………………. Page 2
II Course Location ………………………………………………………..….. Page 3
III Scheduling and Classroom Enrollment …………………………………. Page 3
IV Days/Hours of Instruction ………………………………………………… Page 3
V Minimum Time Requirements ……………………………………………. Page 4
VI Course Designation ……………………………………………………….. Page 4
Credit-Bearing Page 4
Tuition-Based Page 5
VII Vehicles …………………………………………………………………….. Page 5
VIII Students ……………………………………………………………………. Page 6
Requirements Page 6
Certificate of Completion (MV-285) Page 7
IX ^ (MV-285 & MV-278) ………… Page 7
MV-285 Page 7
MV-278 Page 8
X Parental or Guardian Participation ……………………………………..... Page 8
XI DTSE Teacher …………………………………………………………….. Page 9
Teacher Approval Page 9
Requirements for DTSE Certification Page 11
XII ^ ……………………………….. Page 12
XIII Records Retention…………………………………………………………. Page 13
Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Page 14
Forms and Licenses Page 16
Programs that begin their courses prior to obtaining approval will not be eligible to issue Student Certificates of Completion
he New York State Education Department (NYSED) must approve all Driver and Traffic Safety Education (DTSE) courses offered by public and nonpublic secondary schools, colleges, and ^ prior to the commencement of instruction.
To get course approval, schools, colleges or BOCES must complete, sign and submit a Driver Education Course Approval Form (DE-1). The signature of the local school/college administrator on this form certifies that the course will be conducted in accordance with these guidelines. Schools will be notified in writing if the course has been approved.
Course approval is issued for up to three years. Schools must reapply to the State Education Department at the end of the period for which a course had been approved.
An approved program will maintain its active status as long as all the Critical Components (included on Form DE-1) are up-to-date. Programs are required to notify the State Education Department of changes to the Critical Components prior to the start of course delivery.
Driving school contract for laboratory: in-car instruction (if applicable)
Status of approved New York State DTSE teachers, including Form MV-283, NYS teacher certification, driver license, and/or out-of-state driving abstract (if applicable)
Status of licensed commercial instructors for laboratory: in-car instruction only (Form MV-524)
Staff changes including DTSE teachers or laboratory: in-car only instructors
Status of the liability insurance documentation
Public schools, public colleges, and BOCES enrollment status in the NYSDMV LENS program. Nonpublic schools, while not required to participate in the LENS program, are encouraged to do so.
All laboratory and classroom instruction must originate and terminate at the public and nonpublic secondary school, college or BOCES as designated on the application for course approval.
Classroom and laboratory instruction must be conducted within New York State.
Classes must be held at the designated site(s) listed in the Course Approval Form (DE-1).
The location and size of the classroom should provide an environment suitable for instruction.
Scheduling and Classroom Enrollment
Courses must be conducted in accordance with an established curriculum.
Schools must develop and publish written guidance regarding make-up sessions.
All classroom and laboratory instruction shall be provided concurrently.
A period of classroom or laboratory instruction may not exceed 90 minutes.
A student may not participate in more than one classroom and one laboratory instructional period per day.
A maximum of four students and a minimum of two students may be scheduled for behind-the-wheel and/or in-car observation per period per instructor.
Maximum class size is limited to 36 students.
Days and Hours of Instruction
The course can be offered in the fall, spring, and/or summer semester(s).
Laboratory and classroom instruction must be conducted between 6:00 am – 8:00 pm.
Minimum Time Requirements
The course must provide each student with a minimum of twenty-four (24) clock hours of classroom instruction and a minimum of twenty-four (24) clock hours of laboratory instruction.
Laboratory instruction must include a minimum of six (6) clock hours of actual behind-the-wheel practice driving and a minimum of six (6) clock hours of in-car observation.
The remaining twelve (12) hours of laboratory instruction may include a combination of additional behind-the-wheel instruction, additional in-car observation, simulation instruction, and/or range instruction.
Laboratory Instruction (LI)
In-Car Observation *
In-Car Observation *
and/or Range **
12 in any combination
* Commercial driving schools may be contracted for these hours.
** Only an approved NYS-DTSE teacher employed by the public or nonpublic secondary schools, college, or BOCES offering the course may conduct the classroom, simulation, and/or range modes.
NYS-DTSE courses can be offered as credit-bearing or tuition-based programs.
One-half (½) unit of elective credit may be granted to students who complete an approved NYSED-DTSE course offered by a public or nonpublic school as part of the regular school curriculum and taught by an appropriately certified teacher holding a NYS-DTSE approval.
Students must earn a final grade of 65 or better in order to receive credit for the course. The final grade for purposes of granting credit is determined by an average of the student’s classroom and laboratory grades.
No public school student may be required to pay tuition or fees for a NYSED-DTSE course offered for credit by the student’s home school district.
To be eligible for a Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285), a student must earn a grade of 65 or better in both the classroom and laboratory instruction components of the course.
A NYS-DTSE course may be offered outside the regular school day and a fee may be charged. In doing so, however, the school, college or BOCES must ensure that:
the course is supplemental to and not part of a regular school curriculum;
the course does not count as credit toward a local or Regents diploma; and
no student is denied access if he/she cannot pay the fee within his/her home school district as determined through an established financial hardship review process by the school district.
To be eligible for a Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285), a student must earn a passing designation or grade of 65 or better in both the classroom and laboratory instruction components of the course.
All automobiles or other motor vehicles used for instruction must be registered to the school where the course is given, the commercial driving school that is contracted to provide laboratory instruction or other entity providing the vehicle(s) through a contract.
A teacher’s personal vehicle may not be used for laboratory instruction.
utomobiles used for instruction must be maintained in sound mechanical condition and must meet NYSDMV inspection standards as outlined in the New York State Vehicle Safety/Emissions Inspection Program.
A valid insurance certificate, valid vehicle registration, and standard accident report must be kept in the vehicle.
The vehicle must be equipped to provide all occupants with maximum protection. Equipment shall include: dual control brakes, an additional rear view mirror, an eye check mirror for teacher use, reflective devices (such as flares, triangles, etc.) fire extinguisher, and first aid kit.
School-owned vehicles may be used for other activities, provided all identifying NYS-DTSE signs are removed or covered.
The vehicle must display sign(s) that conform to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYSDMV) regulations Title 15 NYCRR, Chapter I, Subchapter A, Part 2.2c
Students must be sixteen (16) years of age on or before the first day of class. No waivers will be granted.
Schools must obtain the written consent of parents or guardians before enrolling a student in the course. This consent does not release the teachers or school authorities from responsibility, but it does ensure that the students are entering the course with the approval of their parents/guardians.
Students who are disruptive or aggressive, or who create an unsafe situation, may be disciplined in accordance with the school’s discipline policy; such disciplinary action may result in removal from the program.
Students must pass knowledge, and traffic sign and symbol tests given by the instructor before commencing any laboratory instruction. These tests shall be equivalent to tests given by the NYSDMV. A school may waive these tests if the student holds a valid Junior Permit or Junior License. Students that do not have a Junior Permit or Junior License must present evidence of passing a vision test administered within the last 12 months.
Students must not have any physical or mental disability which would interfere with the safe operation of a motor vehicle that cannot be controlled or corrected with reasonable accommodations to ensure the safe operation of a motor vehicle. School districts that offer an approved Driver & Traffic Safety Education course to their students are responsible for providing those services under equal access provisions of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to students with disabilities. Schools may not deny an otherwise qualified student with a disability access to Driver & Traffic Safety Education solely because reasonable accommodations are necessary.
Schools may establish local policy which requires students to obtain a Permit or Junior Permit as a condition of enrollment. All students should be encouraged to obtain a Permit or Junior Permit in order to practice and improve driving skills with a licensed driver (at least 21 years of age) when classes are not in session.
Schools may establish local policy which requires students to submit a current health examination as a condition of enrollment.
Certificate of Completion (MV-285)
A Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) will be issued to students who:
Successfully complete an approved NYS-DTSE course;
Achieve a grade of 65 or better in classroom instruction and 65 or better in laboratory instruction; and
Meet the 24 hour classroom and 24 hour laboratory course attendance requirements.
It is the responsibility of the designated school administrator or administrative staff member to verify that a student has met all requirements prior to issuing the Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285).
DMV Issued Certificates of Completion
Requests for an upcoming semester’s supply of MV-285 forms should be made on school letter head, include the school name, telephone number, number of certificates requested, number of student completers, completion date of the class, signature of principal or superintendent, and name & telephone number of the school’s DTSE administrator, and mailed to:
NYS-Department of Motor Vehicles
Utica Processing Center
MV-285 / MV-278
207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
A completed MV-285R must be submitted (typed or printed) to the DMV at the Binghamton address listed above no later than two weeks after the course is concluded.
The NYS-DTSE approved school, college, or BOCES is responsible for the security of MV-285 forms.
Unused MV-285 forms need not be returned to the NYSDMV. They must be used in sequential order in the following semester or year, or issued as duplicates when originals have been lost or stolen.
If a school, college, or BOCES ceases to offer driver education, all remaining MV-285 forms must be returned to the NYSDMV Binghamton office at the address above. They may not be transferred to, or used by, any other school or program.
The Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285) must be signed by an individual authorized by the school.
A Pre-licensing Course Completion Certificate (also known as Form MV-278) is a certificate issued by: (a) a commercial driving school, secondary school (high school or BOCES) or college to an individual who has taken a DMV-approved 5-Hour Pre-licensing Course; or (b) by a secondary school or college to an individual who has completed sufficient classroom instruction through a Driver & Traffic Safety Education Program. These certificates enable the recipients to schedule a road test with DMV.
In order for approved NYS-DTSE teachers to receive authorization to issue the ^ (MV-278), the approved school must submit a completed Authorization and Approval for Pre-Licensing Form or MV-278.7 to the Department of Motor Vehicles at:
NYS-Department of Motor Vehicles
Utica Processing Center
MV-285 / MV-278
207 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will impose a one dollar fee for each issued Pre-Licensing Course Completion Certificate (MV-278). The MV-278.8ssc is used by secondary schools, colleges and BOCES to order MV-278 pre-licensing course completion certificate books.
The MV-278.5N (Roster and Control) must be completed by schools to record information about MV-278 certificates issued to students who complete the pre-licensing course requirements.
Parental or Guardian Participation
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for young drivers. According to research conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia parents play a crucial role in modeling, teaching and monitoring their teens’ driving. Teens whose parents take an active role in promoting safety by monitoring their teens activities and setting rules in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to be in a crash and 71% less likely to drive intoxicated than teens who describe their parents as less involved.
Schools should encourage parental/guardian involvement by utilizing effective practices at the local program provider’s discretion which best meet the needs of the students and their parents/guardians such as:
orientation, open house, and/or completion ceremony, with parents/guardians;
completion of traffic safety night in order to receive parking privileges;
guest speakers, and/or videos;
resource lists, hand-outs and checklists;
brochures, and other paper or electronic contact regarding progress, evaluation, and/or follow up;
For more information refer to the NYSDMV Resources For The Younger Driver Website Parents page.
Students in NYS-DTSE are encouraged to complete the same number of behind-the-wheel practice hours that are required under the New York State Graduated Driver Licensing Law (GDL) for a Junior Permit holder of the same age that has not participated in NYS-DTSE.
To become approved by the NYSDMV as a DTSE teacher, the NYSED must verify teacher credentials prior to recommending approval to the NYSDMV. The following is used by the NYSED to secure such verification:
application for Approval as Teacher of Driver and Traffic Safety Education (DE-2);
an original college transcript;
copy of NYSED secondary classroom teaching certificate (see part 3 & 4 below); and
copy of NYS driver’s license, or out of state driver’s license with certified driving abstract.
The teacher must possess a valid driver’s license devoid of any suspensions and/or revocations in the past two (2) years prior to application. The teacher must be experienced as a licensed driver for at least two (2) years and must maintain an acceptable driving record as determined by the NYSDMV.
Applicants who hold a NYS secondary teacher certificate are eligible to receive an MV-283 with an “All Approved” designation, allowing them to deliver NYS-DTSE classroom instruction in public and non-public schools. (See items 16-19 in this section below.)
Applicants not holding a NYS secondary teacher certificate are eligible to receive an MV-283 with a “Restricted” designation, allowing them to deliver NYS-DTSE classroom instruction in non-public schools only. This includes uncertified teachers, Early Childhood teachers, Childhood Education (elementary) teachers, Occupational Subject teachers (trade and technical), or Student Support Services teachers. (See items 16-19 in this section below.)
An applying NYS-DTSE teacher may possess an out-of-state driver’s license and maintain an out-of-state residence. All teachers in this category must submit a copy of their certified driving abstract along with their ^ (DE-2).
An approved NYS-DTSE teacher who possesses an out-of-state driver’s license must furnish their driving abstract to their employer upon being newly hired, and prior to their school applying for course approval (DE-1). The NYSDMV reserves the right to request the driving abstract of out-of-state NYS-DTSE teachers at any time.
A teacher whose NYS teaching certificate is voluntarily surrendered or revoked by the NYSED must surrender their NYSDMV issued DTSE card/license (MV-283).
Approved NYS-DTSE teachers must conduct themselves in a professional manner. Failure to adhere to any guidelines, regulations, or applicable laws governing driver education programs, or inappropriate conduct in providing instruction can result in the revocation of their NYS-DTSE card/license (MV-283) by the NYSDMV.
NYS-DTSE teachers who voluntarily surrender their out-of-state driver’s license must notify the NYSDMV.
A NYS-DTSE card/license (MV-283) is automatically rescinded upon the loss or suspension of the NYS-DTSE teacher’s driver’s license. Individuals must reapply for a NYS-DTSE card/license (MV-283) upon restoration of their driver’s license.
If convicted of any driving alcohol conviction such as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), approval will be rescinded for a minimum period of two (2) years.
All NYS-DTSE teachers may be subject to a periodic review of their driver’s license records.
Forms for NYS-DTSE Course Approval (DE-1) and DTSE Application for Approval as Teacher of Driver and Traffic Education (DE-2) are available at: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/cte/de/.
he procedure for obtaining NYS-DTSE teacher approval is as follows:
The applicant must complete form DE-2 and submit it to the NYSED along with all relevant documentation.
Upon NYSED and NYSDMV approval, a NYS-DTSE card/license (MV-283) will be issued by the NYSDMV. Card MV-283 must be carried at all times while delivering DTSE laboratory instruction.
Requirements for NYS-DTSE Certification
There are two NYS-DTSE approval types: Provisional and Permanent.
There are two designations for NYS-DTSE approval: Restricted and All Approved (See parts 3 and 4 above)
Completion of the Basic Driver Education Teacher Preparation course is a requirement to apply for Provisional approval as a NYS-DTSE teacher.
Completion of Basic Driver Education Teacher Preparation, Risk Management, and Trends and Problems in Driver Education are required to apply for Permanent approval as a NYS-DTSE teacher.
Once provisionally approved, a NYS-DTSE teacher has four years to complete the required course work and apply for Permanent approval as a NYS-DTSE teacher.
NYS-DTSE teacher preparation courses must be offered by an accredited teacher preparation institution.
The necessary minimum requirements for presenting any course leading to NYS-DTSE teacher approval are:
the course must be taught by an individual who has received permanent approval as a NYS-DTSE teacher; and
this individual must hold a master’s degree in education or safety education.
Basic Driver Education Teacher Preparation
Trends and Problems in Driver Education
Commercial Driving School Participation
All NYS-DTSE courses must be under the direct organization, administration, and supervision of the public or nonpublic school, college, or BOCES administration.
Public and nonpublic schools, colleges, or BOCES may contract with a NYSDMV licensed commercial driving school for the behind-the-wheel, and in-car observation hours of an approved NYSED-DTSE course.
Schools, colleges, or BOCES contracting with a NYS commercial driving school must submit to the NYSED a signed contract (along with their Course Approval DE-1 form) indicating the responsibilities of each party in implementing the NYSED-DTSE course.
All NYS-DTSE students’ related monetary transactions must be administered by the school, college, or BOCES.
Commercial driving schools may not advertise or promote their services on school, college, or BOCES grounds, and/or during the delivery of laboratory instruction for which they have been contracted.
Commercial driving schools may not issue a Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285).
Classroom, simulation, and range instruction can only be delivered by an approved NYS-DTSE teacher.
Commercial driving school instructors providing behind-the-wheel or in-car observation instruction in an approved NYS-DTSE course must possess:
a valid commercial driving school instructor’s license (MV-524); and
an acceptable driving abstract.
Commercial driving school instructors providing behind-the-wheel or in-car observation instruction in an approved NYS-DTSE course must have completed:
at least one year of in-car instruction; and
the basic 30 hour instructor’s course, as specified by the NYSDMV. This must be communicated with the school, college or BOCES being contracted with, and then affirmed on form DE-1 section VII labeled “30 hour instructor course verification”.
Covered schools who hire commercial driving school instructors for an approved NYS-DTSE course must comply with the fingerprinting requirement for prospective school employees set forth in 8 NYCRR Part 87. An employee of a NYSDMV driving school is considered to be placed within the covered school if the arrangements for the course are made through the covered school.
The name, driver’s license number, copy of MV-524, and proof of completion of the basic 30 hour instructor’s course of all instructors providing behind-the-wheel or in-car observation instruction in an approved NYS-DTSE course must accompany a school, college, or BOCES Driver Education Course Approval DE-1.
Personal vehicles may not be used for laboratory instruction.
Commercial driving schools supplying a vehicle for laboratory instruction must provide for all costs associated with proper vehicle use, safety, and maintenance. All vehicles must meet the same requirements for vehicles as outlined in Section VII.
Commercial driving school instructors must log the type and number of instructional hours delivered to each student, and then submit that log to the contractor’s DTSE administrator upon course completion.
Commercial driving schools may want to consider monitoring (via NYSDMV LENS system http://nysdmv.com/lens.htm) all of their instructors who provide behind-the-wheel or in-car observation instruction in an approved NYS-DTSE course.
In accordance with the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule ED-1 section 185.12, 8 NYCRR (Appendix 1), records regarding the delivery of driver education courses must be maintained as follows:
Written records for all vehicles used for instruction should be maintained for a minimum of six (6) years. All vehicle records must include: time, mileage devoted to instruction, fuel consumed, and maintenance information.
The MV-285R (Roster), which includes laboratory hours, classroom hours, and total hours in attendance for each student, must be kept for a minimum of six (6) years from course completion date.
BOCES: Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Critical Components: The listed items on form DE-1 (Driver Education Course Approval) that must be kept up to date with the NYSED and the NYSDMV.
^ An official or formal document issued by an out-of-state motor vehicle administrator outlining the driving record and history of the licensee.
Classroom Instruction: The minimum required 24 hours of instruction delivered by a NYS-DTSE teacher (MV-283) in a classroom setting located at the public or non-public school, college, or BOCES approved via the DE-1.
^ One of two types of New York State Driver & Traffic Safety Education (DTSE) course being offered: Credit Bearing or Tuition Based.
Credit Bearing: A New York State Driver & Traffic Safety Education course being offered as an elective course for ½ unit of credit. The course must meet the unit of study seat time requirements outlined in the Commissioner’s Regulations 100.4 located at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/part100/pages/1001.html#a, as well as the 48 hours of instruction outlined in section V: Minimum Time Requirements.
Tuition Based: A New York State Driver & Traffic Safety Education course being offered outside the regular school day. The course must meet the 48 hours of instruction outlined in section V: Minimum Time Requirements.
^ Public School districts, charter schools, BOCES and those nonpublic school districts that have opted into the State Education Department’s Criminal History Records Check program for perspective school employees set forth in 8 NYCRR Part 87.
Critical Components: The listed items on form DE-1 (Driver Education Course Approval) Section IX that must be kept up-to-date with the NYSED and the NYSDMV.
^ A convex mirror which allows the instructor to observe the head and eye movements of the trainee in the mirror.
Junior Permit: A Learner Permit issued to someone who is under the age of 18. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age and pass a vision and written test provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
^ : Behind-the-wheel, in-car observation, simulation, and/or range instruction. NYS-DTSE teachers may deliver instruction in any of the aforementioned modes. NYSDMV driving school instructors holding an MV-524 (NYSDMV Driving School Instructor Approval Card) may deliver the behind-the-wheel and in-car observation modes of laboratory instruction.
Behind-The-Wheel Instruction: The portion of the driver education laboratory instruction where the enrollee is actually seated behind the wheel of a vehicle, operating it either in real or simulated traffic situations, through the direct guidance of a approved Driver & Traffic Safety Education teacher (MV-283 card holder) or driving instructor (MV-524 card holder).
In-Car Observation: The time an enrollee in a driver education course spends in the vehicle, under the direct guidance of a certified driver education teacher, observing another driver operate the controls of the vehicle.
Range Instruction: The portion of the driver education laboratory instruction that enables the certified driver education teacher, positioned outside multiple cars and using electronic or oral communication, to teach and supervise several students simultaneously, each of who is operating a car on an off-street driving range designed specifically for such instruction. Driving ranges must have minimum equipment (i.e., numbers identifying each vehicle on the range, cones for exercises, communication system, written rules for engagement and written lesson plans and evaluation tools). Range hours count towards observation time.
Simulation Instruction: The portion of the driver education laboratory instruction, under the direct guidance of an approved New York State Driver & Traffic Safety Education teacher, using a system that includes vehicle simulator units with an instructor unit for monitoring performance.
LENS: License Event Notification Service is a Department of Motor Vehicles program that provides notification to employers when drivers enrolled in the program have a reportable event occur on their DMV record. These events include convictions, suspensions, revocations and crashes. For Government agencies (public schools, public colleges, and BOCES) enrollment in this program is free. For more information please visit: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/lens.htm
^ New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. http://nysdmv.com/
NYS-DTSE: New York State Driver and Traffic Safety Education.
NYSDTSEA: New York State Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association. http://www.nysdtsea.org/
NYSED: New York State Education Department. http://www.nysed.gov/
Secondary Classroom Teaching Certificate: A New York State license to teach academic content aligned to New York State Learning Standards at the Commencement level.
DE-1: Driver Education Course Approval form. http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/cte/de/forms.html
DE-2: Driver and Traffic Safety Education Teacher Approval form. http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/cte/de/forms.html
MV-44: Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card. http://nysdmv.com/forms/mv44.pdf
MV-278: NYSDMV Pre-Licensing Certificate, issued upon completion of the pre-licensing course (also known as the 5-hour course).
MV-278.7: Authorization and Approval for Pre-Licensing Form. Schools approved to teach the Pre-Licensing Course must complete and submit this form to the NYSDMV in order for instructors at the approved school to receive authorization to issue Pre-Licensing Course Completion Certificates (MV-278). http://www.nysdmv.com/forms/mv2787.pdf
MV-278.5N Roster and Control: Must be completed by schools to record information about MV-278 certificates issued to students who complete the pre-licensing course requirements. http://www.nysdmv.com/forms/mv2785n.pdf
MV-278.8ssc: Form used by secondary schools and colleges (high schools, colleges and BOCES) to order MV-278 pre-licensing course completion certificate books. http://www.nysdmv.com/forms/mv2788ssc.pdf
MV-283: NYSDMV-DTSE Teacher Approval Card.
MV-285: Student Certificate of Completion (casually referred to as the “Blue Card”) issued to students who successfully complete the NYSED Driver & Traffic Safety Education (DTSE) course.
MV-285R: Student MV-285 Roster listing the names of students who are eligible to receive MV-285 certificate of completion. http://nysdmv.com/forms/mv285r.pdf
MV-524: NYSDMV Driving School Instructor Approval Card. For purposes of NYS-DTSE this approval is limited to the laboratory: behind-the-wheel, and laboratory: observation modes of the course.