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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in New York

Types of New York Drivers Licenses

If you are interested in obtaining a New York drivers license, you should be aware of the options available to you. These include:

  • Class D driving license: This is for drivers who are 18 years of age or older or 17 years of age with a drivers ed certificate. You cannot operate vehicles with a gross weight rating over 26,000 pounds.
  • Class E license to drive taxi and livery: This type of driving license can be obtained by drivers 18 years or older and can be used to operate for-hire vehicles that carry 14 passengers or less.
  • Teen drivers license: graduated license program drivers can obtain one.
  • Class M motorcycle license
  • Class A, B, and C CDL license: commercial drivers license with accompanying endorsements.

Information Related to New Driver's Licenses

How to Get a Drivers License as a New Resident

If you are a new resident to the state of New York, you have within 30 days of establishing residency to get a New York license to drive. If you currently hold a drivers license from another state, you can transfer your license as long as you do not meet the following exceptions:

  • You only have a learners permit
  • Your drivers license does not have the date of issuance
  • Your drivers license does not have a picture
  • Yours is a temporary license
  • Yours is an employment drivers license
  • Your driver license has been expired for more than two years
  • Your driver's license has not been valid for more than six months
  • Yours is a non-renewable and non-transferrable driver license
  • Yours is a hardship license

As long as you do not meet any of the aforementioned situations, and your driving license has been valid for at least six months, expired for less than 12 months, or a CDL that has is, you are eligible to transfer it for a New York drivers license. In order to do so, you must:

  1. Go to a local DMV office.
  2. Complete and hand in an Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card
  3. Pass a vision test.
  4. Give in your current drivers license.
  5. Provide proof of birthdate and ID- such as your passport or permanent resident card non-U.S. citizens.
  6. Provide a Social Security card.
  7. Pay the $10 fee.

After doing so, you will receive your permanent license in approximately two weeks. Until then, you will be able to drive with a temporary license that you will be issued at the Department of Motor Vehicles office.

NY Eligibility Requirements

Before you begin working on your drivers license application, you must first see if you meet the eligibility requirements put forth by the state of New York:

  • You are at least 18 years old and a new driver
  • You have a non-transferrable drivers license
  • Your drivers license is from a foreign country that is not Canada

As long as you meet the requirements, you can begin applying for drivers license privileges. The steps that you must take are as follows:

  1. Take a drivers ed course or pre-licensing course for adults
  2. Get a driving permit
  3. Take a driving road skills exam and submit a drivers license application

Drivers Education in New York

You need to take drivers ed classes if you are a first-time driver in New York. The only exception is if you can transfer your out-of-state or foreign driving license. Driver school is designed to cover all relevant topics included in the New York Driver Handbook, so that you are well-versed in the rules and signs of the roadways. Furthermore, you are required to provide a drivers training certificate when you go to take your driving test in order to prove that you meet the state's standards for preparation.

How to Apply for a Drivers License

The first thing to remember when you apply for drivers license credentials in New York is that you must first meet all of the state requirements. These include:

  • Holding a learners permit, which means you passed the written knowledge exam.You can take the written exam several times until you pass if you fail the first time.If you would like to take the exam in another language aside from English, contact the DMV for further information.
  • Passing driver safety courses.
  • Scheduling a driving test.
  • Passing your driving test.
  • Having the minimum car insurance for the vehicle you will test in.

If all is in order, then you may go to the local DMV office and provide your valid driving permit and proof of your drivers ed completion to take your road skills exam.

Car Insurance

Car insurance is absolutely necessary when you are a driver in the state of New York. In fact, the state has its own minimum insurance requirements for every driver, and that applies to you on the day of your driving exam. If you do not meet the vehicle insurance requirements that day, you cannot take the test. Furthermore, if you pass the road skills exam and are caught driving on the road without proper auto insurance, you run the risk of:

  • Drivers license suspension
  • Car registration suspension
  • Fees

How to Prepare for Your Driving Test

To schedule a road skills exam, which you can either do online or by phone at 518-402-2100, you must provide the following information:

  • Form MV-278 or MV-285 number (Available only at a DMV drivers license office.)
  • Client ID number, which is listed on your driving permit
  • The ZIP code of where you want to take your exam

Once the day has arrived, you will go to the office in question and:

  1. Yield your learner's permit.
  2. Provide your MV-278 or MV-285 form.
  3. Have your vehicle inspected and its registration verified.
  4. Pay the $10 fee.

As soon as you pass the test, you will be given an interim license while you wait for your permanent one to arrive in the mail.

Study Guides and Practice Tests

Although you do not have the option of getting your drivers license online, that does not mean that you cannot use the Internet to hone your skills. With a study guide and a driving practice test, you can sharpen your knowledge on all of the important driving rules and regulations of New York. Each DMV driving practice test you take will help you learn more about each traffic sign too. They are the perfect supplement to any study session.

How to Study for the Written Test

Since you need to study hard to pass the written knowledge test and the road skills exam, come up with an organized routine to follow. has come up with a short list of steps to help you:

  1. Study the official New York Driver Handbook and familiarize yourself with the road rules and traffic laws.
  2. Use a study guide to brush up on key topics and become an expert.
  3. Take a practice driving test to see where you stand.
  4. Repeat!

When it comes to studying, you want to use the best materials available. Our expert team is the best in the business and have created a full-proof Driver's Practice Test to quiz your knowledge before the official exam. Taking the Driver's Practice Test is guaranteed to prepare you to ace the written exam. If you don't pass on the first try, your Driver's Practice Test purchase is on us!

How to Apply for a Drivers License as a Non-Citizen

If you move to New York from a foreign country that is not Canada, you must get drivers license credentials within 30 days of becoming a resident through a specific process. You must:

  • Pass a pre-license course.
  • Get a learning permit (after passing a written knowledge exam).
  • Pass road skills test.
  • Provide a Social Security card or letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration.
  • Yield your foreign driving license.

How to Apply for a Drivers License as a Military Member

Being issued a drivers license form the Armed Forces grants you 60 days of driving in the state of New York. After that, you must obtain a permanent NY license to drive. However, because you cannot merely transfer a military drivers license, you will need to go through the process of obtaining a new one. This includes:

  • Passing a pre-license class.
  • Passing the written knowledge test (for learners permit).
  • Passing the road skills exam.

Locate a DMV

As you can imagine, the first thing that you are going to have to do before you even print out your drivers license application is to find DMV locations in your area. The DMV drivers license offices are where the tests are administered and where you will be submitting your paperwork. Be sure to look in advance for the nearest DMV to you to eliminate stress before the test. Furthermore, narrowing down the locations of DMV offices that you're interested in is important for when you want to make an appointment. After all, you need to schedule your test before you walk in. Without an appointment, you will be unable to take the test at that point in time.

Buying a Car

Getting drivers license credentials is one thing, but you are going to need a vehicle to enjoy them. Fortunately, it is not difficult to buy a car in New York. You have the option of either:

  • Going in person to a dealership.
  • Shopping to buy a car online.

In any case, there are plenty of factors for you to consider when you are shopping for a new or used vehicle. The first thing you should decide is whether you want to buy new, used or simply lease a car. After you have made this decision, you must ask yourself questions such as:

  • How far is your commute to work?
  • Do you have children?
  • Are you fond of road trips?

Answering all of these questions and others will give you a better idea of what car to purchase.

Moving Out of State

If you are wondering whether or not your New York drivers license will be valid in another location, the answer is yes. However, if you go to another state and decide to move there and establish residency, then your NY driving license will be considered invalid, and you will have to apply for a new license to drive in your new state of residence within a given amount of days, typically 30.
The New York DMV does want drivers moving out of the state to surrender license plates. Mail them at no charge to you to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228    

If you still have some time in your registration, you may ask for a registration refund by filling out a Request for Refund of Fee Paid for Motor Vehicle Registration and Driver Licenses. Keep in mind that in order to receive a refund from the NY DMV, you will need to have a verifiable circumstance. If your reason for moving is not included in the application, you will not receive a vehicle registration refund.

Related Links

Reviews of How to Apply for a New Driver's License in New York

yes u do u have to no matter how old u r


No must be a registered & insured vehichle of NYS. If you dont have one, you can call the auto school and rent a car for the day. It will have the instructor drive around with you about an have hour to hour before if you would like then they take you to the road test destination.

can we take 5 hours classes class online after taking the learners' permit for non-commercial

I live in New York and I have an expired (over 1 year) drivers license. If I need to drive, what do I do next?

By, New York State Law. Your license, must be up to date in order to drive.

I lived in new york and i have an expired florida temporary driver license which expired on june 14 2010. I got my immigration form asc appointment notice. can i apply for ny drivers license

I got married August 2010,need to change my Last name on my License also it has to be renew in June 2012. How do I go about changing my Last name to my new name? will I be able to keep the old License and received a new License with the same picture. What will be the cost? Will I be able to do this online.>

i cant remember my email or password to print out the form ! but my road test is tomrrow ! what do i do

I am 22 yrs old. I live in NY from OK. I still have my OK DL and it doesn't expire for two more years. I travel back and forth between NY and OK. Should i renew my OK DL for a NY DL? If so how do i go about doing so?

im 20 and i want to knew if i can get license class A commercial license

You have to be 21 years old to go for your class A commercial license

i just turned 17 and i took a drivers education course. does that mean that i am able to drive after 9 and have more than one non family member in the car?

By, New York State Law. You must be 18 years or older to drive past 9:00pm. You must also have a full driver's license as well. The time you can drive past 9:00pm, if you are going to work or your taking night classes at school or college.

I have and out of state license and am applying for a ny license. Will I need my social security card or can I just provide the number?

I just want to see the answer to this question, and this stupid thing is making me post something in order to see anything lol

im 19 and i want to know if i can get my permit and license in the same weekend

Did take the 5 hour course??

why wouldnt you just get your license that weekend because it wouldnt make sense to get a permit if you are also applying for a license

im 17 years old and i just got my permit about a month ago. can i go and apply for my drivers license??

You must take the 5 hour course.

no you must have 6 months of drving expirence.. sorry

not until 6 months after you got your permit

im 19 and i want to know if i can get my permit and license in the same weekend

how do i call for my 5 hr test

where can i print out a 50 hour slip for my parents to sign for my road test

I'm 22 years old and i don't got my permit do I need to go get my permit first or can I go right for my driver license?

You're 22 years old and you need to learn English.

Yes, you need your permit.

yeah its manditory

Okay Thank You

I paid for an Address change and received a new license with the same old address. Do I simply send it back with a note?

what documens do i need to obtain a nyc identification. i have a pa drivers license. what is my next step to get the idneede for ny? can anyone help?

I submitted my renewal for my license since the beginning of this month and I have not received it back as yet. My birthday is approaching in April, what do I do

I'm over 21 and now going for my permit again after it expired the first time. After receiving my new permit, do I have to wait 6 months to go for my license?



i lose my new york license in N C

now i m in NC

i don`t know how to apply my license i will back NY next month

i need my license imdeatly

how can i do it???

Hi, I am in New York and I lost my Texas Driver's License and I would not be back until mid August. can you tell me how I can obtain a replacement because I need it. Thanks

i have my permit and im about to take my 5hr next week, and my six months from when i got my permit is in may, do i have to wait another 6 months after i take my 5hr or just 6 months after i got my permit to take my road test for my license

just 6 months after you receive your permit, not 6 months after you take your 5hr course.

If Im 16 And Have A Washington D.C Learners Permit And Move To New York City Whats The Next Licenses Im Able To Obtain?

how many mot i need to take my road test for my drivers license...

looking to take my road test.


where do i sign up for my road test?


I signed up for my road test, but I entered the 5 hour completion course number wrong on accident but it says that my appointment was still scheduled. Does it matter or no? If it does, then what do I do?

is it true that i can take the 5 hours class in the DMV? if not where can i go tke it?

i can not read well can i take test if somone can read it to me? or what do i need to do?