Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take a motorcycle training course?
While it is not required for you to take a training course to obtain a motorcycle permit, the state of New York requires that you pass a pre-licensing course or drivers education class before getting a motorcycle drivers license. Furthermore, taking an approved rider course can help you get your written exam requirement waived.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

Am I required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
The state of New York requires the use of helmets for both motorcycle drivers and their passengers. In addition, state law also requires the use of protective eyewear. So if you have a motorcycle license endorsement, you must wear an approved helmet or face getting a ticket.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

Can I renew my commercial drivers license online?
No, in New York commercial drivers cannot renew CDL licenses online. You are only allowed to renew your CDL license in person or by mail. The by mail option requires a vision test report.

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

Can I take the DMV written test online?
No, a DMV written test is not available online. You must go in person to a local DMV in order to take the driving permit written exam. It’s advised that you make an appointment at your local DMV office.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

Can I use my state CDL anywhere in the United States?
A CDL license is valid for personal driving in all states. If you have an interstate CDL license, then you are licensed to drive commercially in any US state. If you have an NY intrastate CDL, you are restricted to driving commercial vehicles only in New York state.

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter or moped?
Yes, you must have a drivers license to operate both of these kinds of vehicles. However, the kind of license you need depends on the class they fall under:

  • Class A mopeds, which reach speeds between 30 and 40 miles per hour, require a Class M or Class MJ motorcycle license
  • Class B vehicles, with speeds between 20 and 30 mph, require any license
  • Class C vehicles, with speeds of 20 mph or below, require any license

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

Do I need to take a drivers ed course?
Yes, you need to take a drivers ed course before taking the DMV road skills exam. Although are not required to take a drivers ed course to get your New York learners permit, passing a drivers ed course will exempt you from the DMV written knowledge exam.

You are required to take a drivers ed or pre-licensing course before you take the road skills test for your driving license.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

How can I get a veteran designation on my ID card?
In order to have a veteran designation on your DMV ID card in New York, you will have to provide proof of honorable discharge. You can do so by mail or in person at a local DMV office. Acceptable documents to prove honorable discharge include:

  • A DD-215 form, indicating honorable discharge.
  • A U.S. Department of Defense DD-214 form, indicating honorable discharge.

In addition, if you were discharged before January 1, 1950, the following Honorable Discharge forms are acceptable:

  • WD AGO 53
  • WD AGO 55
  • WD AGO 53-55
  • NAVPERS 553
  • NAVMC 78PD
  • NAVCG 553
  • Enlisted Separation Paper

You can apply for veteran designation when you renew your license or ID card by mail with your renewal notice. However, if you would like to get the designation before this time, you can file for a replacement by filling out the Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card and sending it, along with payment of $12.50 fee (fees may vary), a written request to add the designation, and a photocopy of your honorable discharge to the following address:

DMV License Production Bureau Room 331 6 Empire State Plaza Albany, NY 12228

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

How do I apply for a commercial drivers license?
If you want to obtain a commercial drivers license in New York, you must already have a Class D, Class E, or non-CDL Class C driving license. In addition, you could also have a CDL in another state to apply for credentials in New York. However if you are applying for your first commercial license, you must:

  • Read the Commercial Drivers Manual.
  • Pass the written knowledge test.
  • Pay the $10 application fee, and show your Social Security card, current driver license, and Medical Certification Requirements for Commercial Drivers (Form MC-11A) to obtain your commercial permit. Keep in mind that fees may vary.
  • Practice driving the type of commercial vehicle your permit applies to.
  • Pass the road skills exam.

Additionally, if you want to obtain an endorsement for your CDL, there will be fees and further testing.

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

How do I apply for a learner’s permit?
In order to apply for a learning permit in New York, you must be at least 16 years old and be able to go to your local DMV office. You are required to:

  • Present proof of ID which totals six points and have one document with your signature:
    • Social Security card
    • Birth certificate, U.S. passport, or certificate of citizenship to prove name and birthdate
  • Fill out and hand in an Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44)
  • Provide Drivers Education Certificate (if applicable) to have your knowledge test requirement waived.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass the written knowledge exam.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?
The process for obtaining a motorcycle license in New York is similar to that associated with getting a driver license. However, motorcycle riders are required to:

  • Familiarize themselves with two manuals:
    • Motorcycle Manual
    • Drivers Manual
  • Take both written knowledge exams:
    • Written driver test
    • Written motorcycle test

Other than that, applicants must still go to the local DMV office, submit an Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44), and pay the fee for the original license. Then you will receive a Class M or Class MJ learners permit. Once you have said permit, you must complete the following steps before you can obtain your motorcycle endorsement:

  • Practice riding with a supervisor
  • Take a pre-licensing or drivers education course
  • Pass the driving road skills exam

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

How do I get a duplicate ID card?
If you want to replace ID card credentials because yours was damaged, stolen or lost, you can do so in person at a local DMV office by mail, or you can order a replacement online. You can also get a duplicate ID if you would like to update the address that appears on the document or if you want to remove an “Under 21” designation.

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

How do I renew my driving permit?
You have to renew or replace your permit for driving if it was stolen, lost, or damaged. You can do so by mail or by visiting a local DMV office in person. Unless your permit was stolen, you will need to pay the $17.50 replacement fee (this may vary). To have replacement learners permit fee waived, file a report with the police station and bring the police report in person with you.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

How do I renew my ID card?
You can renew your DMV ID card online, in person, or by mail. However, regardless of the method you choose to employ, you must keep in mind that:

  • Your ID card will expire on your birthday.
  • It can be renewed up to a year before its expiration.
  • It can be renewed up to two years after its expiration.
  • It can be renewed for less money or no fee at all if you are 62 or older and receive Supplemental Security Income.
  • It will keep the words UNDER 21 if you renew it 41 days or more before you are age 21.

However, there are also a number of instances in which you are required to renew your ID card in person:

  • If you want to upgrade to an enhanced ID card
  • If your current document says VALID WITHOUT PHOTO
  • If you want to take a new picture for your ID card

Otherwise, you will be able to renew your ID card online through the NY DMV website, or by mail to this address:

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles 207 Genesee Street, Suite 6 Utica, NY 13501-2874

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

How do I renew my medical report for a commercial license?
One must update their medical record before every issuance or renewal of a commercial driving license at a local DMV office. Thus, you must fill out the Medical Certification Requirements for Commercial Drivers (Form MC-11A) before you arrive.

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

How do I renew my motorcycle license?
Renewing your New York motorcycle license endorsement requires the same process as renewing a standard driving license. You have three options to choose from:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • In person

Online

If you meet the following qualifications, you will be able to renew your motorcycle license online at the NY DMV website:

  • Your Social Security number is registered with the DMV.
  • You do not want to upgrade to an enhanced driver license.
  • Your current address is not different to what is on the DMV file.
  • Your license is not suspended, revoked, or restricted.
  • Your license is not valid without a photo.
  • You do not have residency out of the United States.
  • You do not want to remove a hearing or vision restriction.

By Mail

In order to renew your license by mail, you will have to provide:

In Person

To renew your license in person at a local DMV office, you will need to bring in:

Military

If you are currently on active duty in the military outside of New York, you may have the validity of your motorcycle license extended for a period of time. However, you must mail in a Notification of Military Service form, which must include:

  • The date you entered service.
  • Your current active duty status.

Keep in mind that fees may vary for all the aforementioned.

For more information: How to Renew/Replace a Motorcycle License in New York

How does a military member obtain a motorcycle license?
If you are a member of the United States Armed Forces and you want to obtain a motorcycle endorsement, completing a MSF Basic Rider Course through the military while out of state and on active duty will waive your need to take the motorcycle road exam.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

How long do I need my learners permit before I can get my drivers license?
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to hold a drivers permit for at least six months before you take the road test to obtain your drivers license. In addition, you must log a minimum of 50 hours with a supervised driver who is at least 21 years old. 15 of those hours must be at night.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

How long will it take to get my new ID card?
Typically, you should allow two weeks to receive identification cards in the mail. However, while you wait, you can check the mailing status of your order by going to the NY DMV website and providing the following:

  • Your name or Client ID Number
  • Your birthdate
  • Your gender

In the event that your document does not arrive in this time frame, it is recommended that you contact the DMV directly.

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

If I’m out of state and lost my ID, how can I get a new one?
If you must replace ID card documents while out of state, you will have to apply by mail. In order to do so, you must:

  • Fill out an Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44) or complete an online duplicate ID portal.
  • Make a photocopy of a document that proves your birthdate:
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • U.S. passport
    • Citizenship certificate
  • Make copies of documents that show proof of your name and total six points:
    • U.S. passport
    • Citizenship certificate
    • College or high school ID
  • Enclose a check for the applicable fee, and make it payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
  • Include a pre-paid and self-addressed envelope

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

Is there a minimum age I have to be to get a commercial drivers license?
Yes. You must be at least 18 years of age to hold a commercial driving license. However, if you are under 21, you will not be able to drive a commercial vehicle outside of your state of residence.

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the age restrictions to ride a motorcycle?
In order to ride a motorcycle in New York, you must be at least 16 years old. However, if you do not yet have a NY motorcycle license and are using a permit, you must be supervised by a driver who is at least 21 years of age.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

What are the available commercial license endorsements?
There are five separate commercial drivers license endorsements available to you:

  • Hazardous materials (H)
  • Tank vehicles (N)
  • Passenger vehicles (P)
  • School buses (S)
  • Double or Triple Trailers (T)

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the fees associated with an ID card?
The breakdown of ID card fees in the state of New York is as follows:

  • Eight-year ID card: $14
  • Four-year ID card: $10
  • 10-year ID card: $6.50

The 10-year ID card is reserved for drivers who are under 62 and receive Supplemental Security Income, or over the age of 62. In addition, if you are over 62 and receive SSI, your 10-year ID card is free.

Keep in mind that fees may vary.

The NY DMV accepts cash, personal checks, money orders, credit and debit cards.

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

What are the learners permit restrictions during my first year?
In terms of restrictions, your driving permit will only allow you to operate a vehicle if you have a supervising driver who is at least 21 years old in the car with you. During this time, you must log 50 hours of driving, with 15 of those being at night, before you can upgrade your permit. In addition, you are not allowed to drive in any of the following circumstances:

  • On any street that is inside of a New York City park
  • On any tunnel or bridge that is under Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority’s jurisdiction
  • In any of the following parkways of Westchester County:
    • Cross County
    • Hutchinson River
    • Saw Mill River
    • Taconic State

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

What are the medical certifications required to obtain a CDL?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all New York CDL license drivers to be medically fit to drive their commercial vehicles. If operating a vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds, one must pass a physical examination and have a U.S. Department of Transportation medical certificate on their person at all times.

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket with a driver’s permit?
The penalties you face will depend on the violation you have committed. Penalties can range from traffic fines for less serious offenses, to a drivers license suspension in the most serious of cases. Whenever in doubt, it is advised that you consult a traffic attorney to explore your options.

For more information: Traffic Tickets and Violations in New York

What are the requirements to operate a three-wheel motorcycle?
In order to operate a three-wheel motorcycle in New York, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have your three-wheel motorcycle registered with the NY DMV.
  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Have an NY motorcycle license.

Furthermore, it is important to note that if you take your road test on a three-wheel motorcycle, your license will be limited to operating a three-wheel motorcycle.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

What documents do I need to get a learner’s permit?
When you go to the local New York DMV office to obtain your drivers permit, you will have to provide the following documents:

  • An Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44)
  • Driver Education Course Certificate (if applicable)
  • A total of six points of ID, with at least one document featuring your signature:
    • Proof of name and date of birth: birth certificate, United States passport, citizenship certificate
    • Social Security card

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

What documents do I need to get a motorcycle license?
In order to obtain a motorcycle driving license, you must be able to present the following documentation when you go take your road skills exam:

However, if you already have a Class M or MJ license from out-of-state and want to transfer it, then you must:

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

What exams do I need to pass to get a motorcycle license?
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles requires that you pass the following exams before obtaining your motorcycle endorsement:

  • Written knowledge driving test
  • Written knowledge motorcycle test
  • Road skills exam

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in New York

What happens to my commercial driver license if I am convicted of a DUI?
In the event you are convicted of a DUI or DWI, your CDL license will be suspended or revoked for a specified period of time. Keep in mind that additional convictions will result in more severe penalties.

A commercial driver will be convicted of DUI if he or she has a blood alcohol content of at least:

  • 0.04 percent, if 21 or older.
  • 0.02 percent, if under 21.

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What is an ID card?
A New York ID card is a non-driver photo identification that serves as proof of identity. It is highly recommended that you obtain one if you do not have a drivers license, as identification cards allow you to open bank accounts, vote in a state elections, get public benefits, and get apartments.

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

What is the passing score for a written test?
In order to pass the written knowledge exam and obtain your learners permit, you must answer at least 14 of the 20 multiple-choice questions correctly, which must include at least two correct answers on the four questions concerning road signs.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

What test do I need to take for my learners permit?
You are required to take a vision test and a written knowledge test before you obtain your permit to drive in New York. The written exam requirement can be waived if you pass a drivers education course and submit the certificate to the NY DMV.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York

What tests do I have to take to obtain a CDL?
In order to obtain a license to drive commercial vehicles in the state of New York, you will have to take the following exams:

  • Written knowledge test
  • Driving road skills exam
  • Endorsement tests (if applicable)

For more information: New York Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

When does my ID card expire?
Your NY ID card is set to expire on your birthday. However, the exact time that expiration will occur depends on the kind of ID card you purchased. If you were under age 62 and your birthday was less than six months away, your card expires four years after issuance. If you were under 62 and your birthday was more than six months away, your card expires eight years after it was issued. Finally, if you were over 62 or under 62 and receive SSI, your ID card will expire 10 years after it was issued.

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

Where can I obtain an ID card?
You can obtain an ID card at any local DMV office.

For more information: How to Apply for a New York Identification Card

Who can sign for my permit or license if I am under 18?
A parent or legal guardian must be present to sign your driving permit application.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in New York