AAA: No 5-hour pre-licensing courses yet, but people can still prep for test

Western New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With no online alternative for it, hundreds of western and central New York students who registered through AAA are still waiting to take the five-hour pre-licensing course for drivers.

That course is required for people who wish to obtain a driver’s license in the state, but right now, classroom instruction isn’t allowed.

AAA Driving Training Manager Mike Formanowicz says many driving students are disappointed, especially since summer is a “prime time for young drivers to get behind the wheel.”

“Our best advice is to wait it out and to continue to log hours of practice driving behind the wheel while taking as much online training as possible,” Formanowicz said.

In-car driving lessons are being offered in the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse regions, but the wait times, especially in Buffalo, could be long. New students are placed on a list that could see them waiting several days or weeks.

For those who taking in-car lessons, safety protocols are in place, including the cleaning of cars after lessons.

Along with practice behind the wheel, there are still other ways students can prepare for the big test. AAA’s online portion of the License to Learn program is available with two options:

  • Complete just the online new driver component only
  • Complete the entire class bundle: the online new driver component, online defensive driving, the 5 hour course (when it becomes available) and 10 in-car driving lessons

The defensive driving portion of the lessons qualifies the driver for an insurance reduction.

AAA can be reached at (800) 836-2582 or this site.

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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