If you want to help people drive more safely, consider becoming a defensive driving teacher. The steps for becoming an instructor in New York may differ from other states. An instructor should have good communication skills and patience since he is teaching others driving skills. Many instructor training schools offer online classes for those who can't attend a traditional school setting.

Graduate with a high school diploma or earn a General Education Development (GED) certificate. You must also be at least 19 years of age to teach a class. Be prepared to show proof of your high school completion.

Obtain a license in the state of New York. You must have held a driver's license for at least three years in New York to obtain a license to instruct. You must also be clear of any license suspensions or revocations within the past five years, and any alcohol-related driving violations in the past seven years.

Find a reputable defensive driver training school. Any school, including an online school, is acceptable in New York as long as it has been licensed for at least five years. Research several schools and choose one that is accredited and offers courses that consist of New York state traffic laws, operating a motor vehicle, driving defensively and teaching others these concepts.The course should be approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles in New York and is required to provide at least six hours of training. While many employers will accept online schools, a local training school may also consider you as a candidate for employment after you complete its course.

Pay the fee of $10, as of March 2010, for an instructor license. Contact the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to submit your application. Be prepared to provide your instructor's certification number that indicates your instructor course completion. Download the application from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website. Allow six to eight weeks for the application to be processed.

Submit a job application to the school where you desire to provide services. Provide information on your application regarding any criminal convictions that involve lying or fraud, if applicable.

Provide reputable references who can verify or attest to your driving ability. This may include instructors who trained you and past employers.

Stay current on traffic safety research. Be prepared to complete a refresher traffic course at least every two years.


As an instructor, you will not certify your students who have completed the course, but will provide a list of the graduates to the course provider. The course provider will provide certificates of completion to the students.


Don't withhold information regarding any criminal convictions since it can lead to your termination if the employer discovers your dishonesty.

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