Department of Motor Vehicles

Administration and Monitoring of Driving School Programs

Privately-owned driving schools in New York State provide a variety of instructional programs, such as programs taken by new drivers before they can be licensed to drive and programs in defensive driving that reduce the number of violation points on a driverís license. These schools and their instructors are licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. We examined the Departmentís licensing practices and found that instructor licenses had been issued to individuals with repeated driving infractions and individuals with criminal convictions that may be inconsistent with the intent of the instructional programs. We also examined the Departmentís monitoring practices and found that, because of certain weaknesses, the Department was less likely to identify unqualified instructors, instructional vehicles lacking required safety equipment, and instances in which certificates of completion were issued to drivers who did not complete the required instruction or did not pass a qualifying test. At some of the schools we visited, blank certificates of course completion had been pre-signed and qualifying tests had been incorrectly graded. We also found indications that unlicensed schools may be in operation. We recommended that a number of improvements be made in the Departmentís administration of driving schools.

For a complete copy of Report 2000-S-4 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.