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SECTION 394
Drivers' schools
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 3, ARTICLE 12
§ 394. Drivers' schools. 1. Definitions. As used in this section:

(a) "Drivers' school" means the business of giving instruction for
hire in driving motor vehicles or motorcycles.

(b) "Person" includes an individual, firm, corporation, partnership,
joint venture, joint adventurer or association.

(c) "Place of business" means a designated location at which the
business of a drivers' school is transacted and its records kept.

2. License. No person shall engage in the business of conducting a
drivers' school without being the holder of a license for such purpose
issued by the commissioner. An application for license under this
section shall be filed with the commissioner and shall contain such
information as he shall prescribe. Every such application shall be
accompanied by an application fee of fifty dollars, which shall in no
event be refunded. If an application is approved by the commissioner,
the applicant upon the payment of an additional fee of five dollars for
each month or fraction thereof from the date of issuance to the date of
expiration prescribed by the commissioner, but in no event more than a
total of fifty dollars, shall be granted a license which shall be valid
until such date of expiration. The annual fee for renewal thereof shall
be fifty dollars. Upon renewal, the commissioner may in his discretion
issue a license which shall be valid for up to a two-year period. The
fee for a two-year renewal shall be one hundred dollars. Fees for
renewal of a license valid for a period of less than two years shall be
prorated on a quarterly basis and any portion of a quarter shall be
considered a quarter. The commissioner shall issue a license certificate
to each licensee, which certificate shall be conspicuously displayed in
the place of business of the licensee. In case of the loss, mutilation
or destruction of a license certificate, the commissioner shall issue a
duplicate thereof upon proof of the facts and payment of a fee of two
dollars.

3. Place of business. (a) No license shall be issued, nor shall any
renewal of a license be made, for conducting a drivers' school in a city
having a population of two hundred fifty thousand or more according to
the latest federal census, unless the place of business of such school
is located in a store, office or portion of a building devoted
exclusively to nonresidential use.

(b) No license shall be issued, nor shall any renewal of a license be
made for conducting a drivers' school in a city having a population of
fifty thousand or more according to the latest federal census, if the
place of business of such school or branch thereof, is within fifteen
hundred feet of a building owned or leased by the state, the county or a
city, in which motor vehicle registrations or licenses to drive motor
vehicles are issued to the public. The said distance of fifteen hundred
feet shall be measured along the public streets by the nearest route
from such place of business, or branch thereof, to such building.

4. Refusal to issue a license. The commissioner may deny the
application of any person for a license, if, in his discretion, he
determines that:

(a) Such applicant has made a material false statement or concealed a
material fact in connection with his application;

(b) Such applicant, any officer, director, stockholder or partner, or
any other person directly or indirectly interested in the business was
the former holder, or was an officer, director, stockholder or partner,
in a corporation or partnership which was the former holder of a
drivers' school license which was revoked or suspended by the
commissioner;

(c) Such applicant or any officer, director, stockholder, partner,
employee, or any other person directly or indirectly interested in the
business has been convicted of a felony, or of any crime involving
violence, dishonesty, deceit, indecency, degeneracy or moral turpitude;

(d) Such applicant has failed to furnish satisfactory evidence of good
character, reputation and fitness;

(e) Such applicant does not have a place of business as required by
this section;

(f) Such applicant is not the true owner of the drivers' school.

5. Suspension, revocation and refusal to renew a license. The
commissioner, or any employee of the department of motor vehicles
deputized by him, may suspend or revoke a license or refuse to issue a
renewal thereof for any of the following causes:

(a) the conviction of the licensee or any partner, officer, agent or
employee of such licensee, of a felony, or of any crime involving
violence, dishonesty, deceit, indecency, degeneracy or moral turpitude;
(b) where the licensee has made a material false statement or concealed
a material fact in connection with his application for a license or a
renewal thereof; (c) where the licensee has failed to comply with any of
the provisions of this section or any of the rules and regulations of
the commissioner made pursuant thereto: (d) where the licensee or any
partner, officer, agent or employee of such licensee has been guilty of
fraud or fraudulent practices in relation to the business conducted
under the license, or guilty of inducing another to resort to fraud or
fraudulent practices in relation to securing for himself or another a
license to drive a motor vehicle or motorcycle. The term "fraudulent
practices" as used in this section shall include, but shall not be
limited to, any conduct or representation on the part of the licensee,
or any partner, officer, agent, or employee of a licensee, tending to
induce another or to give the impression that a license to operate a
motor vehicle or motorcycle, or any other license, registration or
service granted by the commissioner, may be obtained by any means other
than the ones prescribed by law, or furnishing or obtaining the same by
illegal or improper means, or requesting, accepting, exacting or
collecting money for such purpose.

Notwithstanding the renewal of a license, the commissioner may revoke
or suspend such license for causes and violations, as prescribed by this
section, occurring during the two license periods immediately preceding
the renewal of such license.

The commissioner, or any person deputized by him, in addition to or in
lieu of revoking or suspending a license to conduct a driving school in
accordance with the provisions of this section, may by order require the
licensee to pay to the people of this state a penalty in a sum not
exceeding five hundred dollars for each violation, and upon the failure
of such licensee to pay such penalty within twenty days after the
mailing of such order, postage prepaid, registered or certified, and
addressed to the last known place of business of such licensee, unless
such order is stayed by a court of competent jurisdiction or in
accordance with the provisions of article three-A of this chapter, the
commissioner may revoke the license of such licensee or may suspend the
same for such period as he may determine. Civil penalties assessed under
this subdivision shall be paid to the commissioner for deposit into the
state treasury, and unpaid civil penalties may be recovered by the
commissioner in a civil action in the name of the commissioner. In
addition, as an alternative to such civil action, and provided that no
proceeding for judicial review shall then be pending and the time for
initiation of such proceeding shall have expired, the commissioner may
file with the county clerk of the county in which the licensee is
located a final order of the commissioner containing the amount of the
penalty assessed. The filing of such final order shall have the full
force and effect of a judgment duly docketed in the office of such clerk
and may be enforced in the same manner and with the same effect as that
provided by law in respect to executions issued against property upon
judgments of a court of record.

6. Hearing. Except where a refusal to issue a license or renewal, or
revocation or suspension, is based solely on a court conviction or
convictions, a licensee or applicant shall have an opportunity to be
heard, such hearing to be held at such time and place as the
commissioner shall prescribe. Provided, however, upon a written notice
of temporary suspension delivered by certified mail to the licensee, a
license may be temporarily suspended pending a hearing. Any such notice
of temporary suspension shall provide that the suspension is effective
seventy-two hours after mailing of such notice and shall provide that a
hearing be scheduled within ten days after the effective date of the
temporary suspension.

A licensee or applicant entitled to a hearing shall be given due
notice thereof. The sending of a notice of a hearing by registered mail
to the last known address of a licensee or applicant ten days prior to
the date of the hearing shall be deemed due notice. The commissioner, or
the person deputized by him to conduct a hearing, shall have power to
subpoena witnesses, administer oaths to witnesses and take testimony of
any person or cause his deposition to be taken. A subpoena issued under
this section shall be regulated by the civil practice law and rules.
Officers or employees in the department of taxation and finance, making
service of such subpoenas are not entitled to fees and mileage.

7. Supervision; records. The commissioner shall approve the form of
contract used by all licensees, and may prescribe reasonable rules
governing the terms which may be included in such contracts. Every
licensee shall keep such records as the commissioner may by regulation
require. The records of the licensee shall be open to the inspection of
the commissioner or his representatives at all times during reasonable
business hours. The commissioner shall prescribe such reasonable rules
and regulations as he may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of
this section.

7-a. Certification of driving time. The commissioner shall establish
by regulation a certification process by drivers' schools of the amount
of time a holder of a learner's permit has spent operating a motor
vehicle or motorcycle while under the immediate supervision of a driving
instructor holding an instructor's certificate issued pursuant to
subdivision eight of this section. A certificate issued pursuant to this
section shall be deemed to be proof of all or a portion of the
supervised driving experience required under certification pursuant to
paragraph (d) of subdivision two of section five hundred two of this
chapter.

8. Instructors. (a) No person shall be employed by a licensee as a
driving instructor, nor shall any person give instructions for hire in
the operation of motor vehicles or motorcycles unless such person is the
holder of a driver's license valid for operation in this state and an
instructor's certificate issued by the commissioner. Such certificates
shall be issued only to persons of good reputation and moral character,
whose driving records, as determined by the commissioner, qualify them
as instructors in the operation of motor vehicles or motorcycles. An
application for an instructor's certificate must identify the driving
school or schools in which the applicant is to act as an instructor and
shall contain such other information as the commissioner shall
prescribe. Each such application shall be accompanied by a fee of ten
dollars which shall in no event be refunded. Such certificate shall be
issued without payment of any additional fee and shall be limited to use
in connection with the business of the specified driving school or
schools. Such certificate shall be valid until the date of expiration
prescribed by the commissioner and may be validated for use in
connection with the business of other driving schools without payment of
any additional fee. The fee for annual renewal thereof shall be ten
dollars. Upon renewal, the commissioner may, in his discretion, issue a
renewal which shall be valid for up to a two-year period. The fee for a
two-year renewal shall be twenty dollars. Fees for renewal of a
certificate valid for a period of less than two years shall be prorated
on a quarterly basis and any portion of a quarter shall be considered a
quarter.

(b) The commissioner or any employee of the department of motor
vehicles deputized by him, may suspend or revoke an instructor's
certificate for any of the following causes: (1) expiration, suspension
or revocation of the required license of such instructor; (2) the
commissioner has determined that the driving record of such instructor
indicates that such instructor does not possess the qualities or
competence necessary or desirable for a driving instructor; (3) such
instructor has failed to comply with the rules and regulations
prescribed by the commissioner; (4) conviction of such instructor of a
felony or any crime involving violence, dishonesty, deceit, indecency,
degeneracy or moral turpitude; and (5) such instructor has been guilty
of fraud or fraudulent practices.

8-a. Fees; deposited. Fees assessed under this section shall be paid
to the commissioner for deposit to the general fund.

9. Employees. A licensee may employ, in connection with a driving
school a person who has been convicted of a crime, in accordance with
article twenty-three-A of the correction law.

10. Judicial review. The action of the commissioner in refusing to
issue or renew, or revoking or suspending a license or instructor's
certificate may be reviewed in a proceeding under article seventy-eight
of the civil practice law and rules.

11. Penalties. (a) A violation of any of the provisions of this
section shall constitute a misdemeanor.

(b) During the pendency of any criminal prosecution based upon a
violation of this section or if any such prosecution has been terminated
and the defendant has been sentenced to pay a fine as provided in this
chapter, no proceeding to recover civil penalties under this section
shall be commenced and any such pending proceeding shall be stayed.

12. Unlicensed operation; procedures and penalties. (a) The
commissioner or any person deputized by him shall hear and determine any
allegation that a person has operated a drivers' school without being
licensed as required by subdivision two of this section. Upon a
determination that a person has so operated, the commissioner or person
deputized by him shall assess civil penalties as provided in paragraphs
(b) and (c) of this subdivision.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subdivision, any
person who operates a drivers' school without being licensed shall be
required to pay to the people of this state a civil penalty in the sum
of one thousand dollars. However, any such person against whom such
penalty has been assessed may avoid all but five hundred dollars of such
penalty by obtaining a license as required by this section, provided
that application for such license is made not more than ten days after
the imposition of such penalty.

(c) (i) Any person who operates a drivers' school while his drivers'
school license is revoked or suspended, shall pay to the people of this
state a civil penalty in the sum of one thousand dollars. Such civil
penalty may not be avoided.

(ii) Any person who operates a drivers' school without being licensed
as required by subdivision two of this section who has previously had a
civil penalty assessed for unlicensed operation shall pay to the people
of this state a civil penalty in the sum of one thousand dollars. Such
civil penalty may not be avoided.

(d) Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid to the
commissioner for deposit into the state treasury, and unpaid civil
penalties may be recovered by the commissioner in a civil action in the
name of the commissioner. In addition, as an alternative to such civil
action, and provided that no proceeding for judicial review shall then
be pending and the time for initiation of such proceeding shall have
expired, the commissioner may file with the county clerk of the county
in which the licensee is located a final order of the commissioner
containing the amount of the penalty assessed. The filing of such final
order shall have the full force and effect of a judgment duly docketed
in the office of such clerk and may be enforced in the same manner and
with the same effect as that provided by law in respect to executions
issued against property upon judgments of a court of record.