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Parent's Corner


Role Modeling

How do you become a better role model? The best instruction you can give your teen is your own behavior. Be the kind of driver you want your teen to be. And as a result, maybe your own driving habits will improve. Your teens have been watching you drive ever since they can remember at the age of 3. They will emulate your driving habits, good and bad. It's never too late for all of us to work on safer driving habits. Show your teen that all of us need to treat driving as a serious responsibility… not just when you're learning, but for life!

Your role also is to coach, which will require endless patience. By remaining calm and showing that you care about and love them, you will improve your "working" relationship with your teen. Which of your own driving qualities do you most want your teen to emulate? Why? Do you practice defensive driving? Are you obeying all traffic laws? Are you avoiding aggressive behaviors? If so, good job! You're setting a great example for your teen.

What driving behaviors of yours do you want your teen driver to avoid? Why? Do you text, talk or email on the phone while driving? Do you multi-task by putting on makeup, shaving or eating while you drive? Your teen will follow your example. Telling your teen to "do as I say, not as I do" is a weak argument and you will lose your credibility as their driving instructor.

Lastly, don't forget to point out the good things they do, not just the bad. By doing this, you reward and encourage the good behaviors and decisions, and the teen feels positive and confident behind the wheel.


Videos to assist you


Eight Danger Zones Eight teens a day are killed in car crashes...

Make sure your young driver is aware of the leading causes of teen crashes, and put rules in place to help your teen stay safe.

  •  1: Driver inexperience. Most crashes happen during the first year a teen has a license. Provide at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over at least six months. Make sure to practice on a variety of roads, at different times of day, and in varied weather and traffic conditions. This will help your teen gain the skills he or she needs to be safe.
  • 2: Driving with teen passengers. Crash risk goes up when teens drive with other teens in the car. Follow your state’s teen driving law for passenger restrictions. If your state doesn’t have such a rule, limit the number of teen passengers your child can have to zero or one. Keep this rule for at least the first six months.
  • 3: Nighttime driving. For all ages, fatal crashes are more likely to occur at night; but the risk is highest for teens. Make sure your teen is off the road by 9 or 10 p.m. for at least the first six months of licensed driving.
  • 4: Not using seat belts. The simplest way to prevent car crash deaths is to buckle up.  Require your teen to wear a seat belt on every trip. This simple step can reduce your teen’s risk of dying or being badly injured in a crash by about half. 
  • 5: Distracted driving. Distractions increase your teen’s risk of being in a crash.Don’t allow activities that may take your teen’s attention away from driving, such as talking on a cell phone, texting, eating, or playing with the radio.
  • 6: Drowsy driving. Young drivers are athighest risk for drowsy driving, which causes thousands of crashes every year. Teens are most tired and at risk when driving in the early morning or late at night. Be sure your teen is fully rested before he or she gets behind the wheel.
  • 7: Impaired driving.Even one drink will impair your teen’s driving ability and increase the risk of a crash. Be a good role model: don’t drink and drive, and reinforce this message with your teen.
  • 8: Reckless driving. Research shows that teens lack the experience, judgment, and maturity to assess risky situations. Help your teen avoid the following unsafe behaviors.
    • Speeding:Make sure your teen knows to follow the speed limit and adjust speed to road conditions.
    • Tailgating:Remind your teen to maintain enough space behind the vehicle ahead to avoid a crash in case of a sudden stop.
    • Insufficient scanning:Stress the importance of always knowing the location of other vehicles on the road. 


Driver Education Completion Certificate - MV 285

Completion of a driver education course entitles the student to receive a MV 285 Certificate, which is a document that can be used to sign up for a road test and also upgrade a junior license to a senior license when turning 17. 

The upper part of the original certificate must be used at the road test site.   Show your insurance company the lower part of the certificate provided. This is documentation that the student has completed a NYS (50 hour) certified high school driver education program. You can see if there are any discounts that the insurance company might provide to novice drivers. 

Please note:  Insurance company policies vary, so we encourage you to speak to your own agent to see what type of discounts they offer.  We recommend shopping around for the best rates and discounts.   Make copies of this certificate so that if you change insurance companies you will have proof of completion of this course.

Students should learn the name of their insurance company, meet their insurance agent and discuss with their parents how much it costs to insure the vehicle that they will be driving.  Most insurance companies offer some sort of discount on the vehicle that students will be driving.  It is up to each family to check with their own insurance company for the type and amount of discounts/savings that they offer. We encourage students to shop around for the best rates, now and in the future.

Special Note: The MV 285 certificate is good for two years.  There is no need to take the Five hour Pre License course.  The MV 285 Driver Education Certificate is in lieu of the Pre Licensing Course Certificate MV 278. 

Students who already have a driver's license can turn in their certificate when they turn 17 to receive the upgrade for the Senior License status.  Students who take the road test with the MV285 will automatically receive an upgraded license after their 17th birthday.   

So that there is no confusion - the Driver Education Course is a "State Education Program". DMV must be notified either when the student takes the road test or by visiting the DMV when they turn 17 and turn in the MV 285 document. 

State Education does not send this information to DMV you need to present this certificate of completion to DMV.

Remember to detach the insurance certificate form from your certificate to show your insurance company. Your insurance company will let you know about the discounts they offer. Make copies in case you change insurance companies.  Should an insurance company not offer a discount for this Dr Ed program, families can investigate the NYS Point and Insurance Reduction programs, (PIRP) in our area for insurance discounts. See info below.


The PIRP is a 6 hour Defensive Driving course offered by various agencies in our state. Most participants in this course are licensed drivers who wish to improve their driving and receive a discount on their insurance.  Parents and family members can take this course every three years. It's a great way to save money and stay current with driving trends.

Check with your own insurance company to see what courses they endorse. 
PIRP Course providers.
or the DMV site for more information about this program.


Reduce points and insurance rate

The Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP)PIRP is also known as the Defensive Driving Course or Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course. It is a comprehensive driver safety course which provides knowledge and techniques for safe and lawful driving.  Private companies and organizations all over the state offer the course.  To be approved by DMV, courses must meet strict standards for the type of information presented and program effectiveness. 

The day of your road test, you must be on time.

  • arrive up to 30 minutes before the time of your test
  • if you are late, the license examiner may need to reschedule your road test.  

Here's what you need to bring the day of your road test:

  • your photo learner permit 
  • glasses or contacts, if your permit indicates you need corrective lenses
  • your original Pre-licensing Course Certificate (MV-278) or Driver Education Certificate (MV-285), copies are not acceptable
  • if you are under 18, a Certification of Supervised Driving(MV-262) completed by your parent or guardian - this must be given to the license examiner each time you take a road test
  • a driver age 21 or older who has a license valid to operate the test vehicle
  • a vehicle to drive during the test that has a valid registration and inspection, operates properly and is in clean condition 
  • If you are taking a motorcycle road test you will also need
  • a properly operating, registered and inspected motorcycle 
  • a properly operating, registered and inspected motor vehicle and a driver with a valid driver license to transport the license examiner during your road test.

Schedule & take a road test

How do I schedule my road test?
You can schedule a road test online ( or by phone at 1-518-402-2100 using the Road Test Scheduling System. You are not required to take your road test in the area of the state where you live. To get the earliest appointment possible, be sure to check multiple locations. 


Schedule and take a road test | New York State of ...

You do not need to take your test in the area of the state where you live. To get the earliest appointment possible, be sure to check multiple locations.

What do I need to schedule a road test?

To schedule a road test, you must

  • have a valid New York State Learner Permit
  • have an original Pre-Licensing Course Certificate (MV-278) or a Driver Education Certificate  (MV-285) that has not expired 
  • provide your DMV ID Number from your Learner Permit (Client ID Number) and date of birth 
  • have at least one unused test available 
  • Your ZIP Code - find test locations, directions and ZIP Codes

About the Road Test Scheduling System

  • The system offers several of the earliest available dates and times at several sites near your chosen ZIP Code 
  • if you need to reschedule your test, you must cancel your appointment before you can search for a new date (you cannot have more than one appointment at a time)
  • tests are almost always on weekdays (only rarely do we schedule road tests on Saturday)
  • if you already have an appointment, you can confirm it by entering your 9-digit DMV ID Number from your Learner Permit (Client ID Number)

Thursday, November 21, 2019