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How to get a New York Driver's License

New York Drivers License
  • New York Driver's License Guidelines
  • How to Prepare for the Written Exam
  • Required ID and Paperwork

NY Drivers License Rules and Requirements

Find out the steps to get your drivers license, pass your DMV written test, replace your out-of-state license and the required paperwork to bring to the DMV office to get your driver's license.

Try Sample Test!

All applicants need to be familiar with the New York Driver's Manual. Think you know the material? Take our DMV practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

Get your NY Driver's Permit

You must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a New York Drivers License.

If this is your first driver's license, you will need to apply for a New York learners permit which requires a written exam on traffic signs, motor vehicle laws and safe driving techniques.

Once you receive a valid instructional permit, you will then need to pass a road skills test and vision test to receive an NY provisional drivers license.

Rules on learner's permits and Junior Driver's Licenses differ depending on the area of New York State in which you live. Make sure you understand the restrictions based on your area of the state.

Applicants under 18 must have held a learners permit for 6 months and must have logged at least 50 hours of supervised driving (15 at night and 15 recommended in moderate to heavy traffic) before taking the road skills test.

Prepare for the Written Knowledge Test

All new drivers are encouraged to study for this driver education exam so you don't miss the opportunity to get your learners permit as soon as you reach the approved age. Online practice tests are available that provide real sample questions from the DMV Exam - Take the New York practice test now and test your driving knowledge.

New New York Residents

New residents with an out-of-state license must obtain a New York driver's license within 30 days of establishing a permanent residence in NY. When heading to the DMV, be sure to bring the license from your former state as you will be required to surrender it in order to obtain the new license.

There is no written exam or road skills testing required to change a valid out-of-state license to a NY driver's license, however you will need to pass the vision test.

If your out-of-state driver's license is more than 12 months expired, you will be required to apply for a license as a new driver and pass all required testing.

International Drivers

NYS recognizes your foreign driver license if you remain a resident of the nation that issued the license. You do not need to have a NYS driver license to drive in NYS unless you become a resident of NYS. After becoming a resident of the State, you'll be required to convert to a New York license. If you have a driver license from any nation except Canada, you must and pass a written test, complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course and pass a road test to qualify for a NYS driver license.

Required Paperwork

Before you head to the New York DMV Office, make sure you have all of the following required documents to get your driver's license:

Once your licensing requirements have been met, you will receive your new:

  • Restricted License (16 to 17 years of age) valid for 3 to 5 years
  • Full driver's license (18 and older) valid for up to 8 years.

Remember... the safe operation of a vehicle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the other drivers and the environment.

New York Driver's License Resources

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