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

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New York residents must obtain drivers licenses in order to legally drive a motor vehicle. Obtaining an NY DMV drivers license enables you to operate a motor vehicle on the public roads within the state. Moreover, it serves as an identification document, since it is accepted by government authorities. Driving applicants are required to follow certain requirements set by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, before applying for drivers licenses.

Did you know? More than half of new drivers fail the written drivers test on their first try. If you do not want to be one of them, use our driving practice tests to get yourself prepared for the official drivers exam.

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

  • Visit an NY DMV location.
  • Have a valid New York learners permit.
  • Present the required documentation.
  • Take a vision test.
  • Take and pass the DMV written test.
  • Pass the driving test.
  • Pay the NY drivers license fees.

Find out how to apply for drivers licenses in New York by reviewing the sections below.

Types of Drivers Licenses in New York

New York drivers licenses are available to driving applicants who meet the requirements from the NY DMV. They can apply for either a regular drivers license or a commercial drivers license.

  • Class DJ junior operator license - Issued to teen drivers who operate a motor vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds (GVWR).
  • Class D operator license - Issued to drivers who operate non-commercial vehicles that weigh less than 26,000 pounds (GVWR).
  • Class A, B or C commercial drivers license - Issued to drivers who operate commercial vehicles.
  • Class E license - Issued to drivers who operate a taxi, livery or limo.
  • Class M motorcycle license - Issued to drivers who operate motorcycles.
  • Class MJ junior motorcycle license - Issued to teen drivers who operate a motorcycle under certain restrictions.

First-Time Driver (Under 18) in New York

New York residents must get drivers licenses if they intend to operate a motor vehicle within the state. A New York drivers license will be granted to driving applicants who meet the New York Department of Motor Vehicles' requirements. In addition to eligibility criteria, New York driving license applicants will also need to pass a series of exams and provide certain documentation, as part of the drivers license application process.

For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.

New Drivers in New York (Over 18)

First-time applicants for a New York drivers license must pass a written drivers test as part of the requirements for becoming a licensed driver in the state.

NY Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

DMV drivers license applicants who are 18 years of age or older can get prepared for the written exam by taking a learners permit practice test. Our New York practice permit test will help you learn the traffic laws and get familiar with other topics that will be covered on the actual New York Department of Motor Vehicles written drivers test.

How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in NY

To apply for a New York drivers license, you need to schedule a DMV appointment or visit any local NY DMV office in person. When visiting the nearest driving license office, present the following documentation:

  • Proof of birth date.
  • Proof of name via Social Security card.

NY Drivers License Eligibility Requirements

To apply for a New York DMV drivers license, driving applicants must be at least 16 years of age. They must also provide certain documentation to the nearest DMV office and pass a written drivers test, a vision exam and a road test. Once you successfully pass these three examinations, you qualify for a license to drive in NY.

NY Written/Driving Test

One of the basic requirements for getting drivers licenses in New York State is to pass the written drivers test and the driving skills test. Prepare yourself for these New York DMV license exams by using our online practice driving tests. These driving practice tests contain similar questions to those on the official exam, which are based on the New York Driver's Manual.

NY Driving Test

The New York new drivers license test examines the knowledge of future drivers by testing their ability to perform all of the following driving actions:

  • Steer and accelerate the vehicle smoothly.
  • Bring the vehicle gently to a stop.
  • Understand, follow and obey the traffic signs, signals and markings.
  • Obey the speed limit.
  • Signal properly and turn the vehicle.
  • Follow from a safe distance.
  • Select the proper traffic lane.
  • Observe and communicate with other drivers.
  • Anticipate and react to the possible errors of other drivers.

During your driving skills test, you will not be allowed to carry other passengers in the vehicle except the license examiner. You will be required to bring a vehicle that has a valid registration and inspection in the New York state. After you pass the driving test and pay the required fees, you will be issued a new drivers license.

Drivers have the option of completing a behind-the-wheel course for additional practice.

New York Resident

Drivers who have recently moved to New York need to exchange their out-of-state drivers licenses within 30 days of their move. You have to visit the nearest DMV office and bring your current drivers license, proof of identification and date of birth, your Social Security Card and a completed application form.

In addition to the process of drivers license transfer to New York, you will also have to register your vehicle with the NY DMV. You need to bring the following documentation to the DMV:

  • Original title.
  • New York State insurance ID card.
  • Bill of sale form.
  • New York State drivers license.
  • Vehicle Registration Application.
  • Payment for required fees and taxes.

Replace Drivers License in New York

New York drivers can replace NY drivers licenses online, by mail or at any local DMV office. For detailed information about the process and documents for obtaining duplicate drivers license in New York, click here.

Locate a DMV in New York

Find out the nearest New York DMV location to you by browsing through our NY DMV locations page. Here you can find the numerous DMV offices in your surroundings, as well as their office hours and phone numbers.

Submitted by mariacuke on 17th Nov 2015

My daughter is 16 and just

My daughter is 16 and just passed her road test. She took the 5 hour course but did not take drivers ed. Will her junior license turn to a senior license when she turns 17?

Submitted by dreA2327 on 27th Jan 2016

drivers education certificate

drivers education certificate of completion and $5.00 brought into dmv will be the only way for her to get a senior license at 17 other wise a senior license will be issued at 18

Submitted by rubyhill on 29th Oct 2015

I have a colorado drivers

I have a colorado drivers license that has expired less than 6 months ago. I have previously held a New York DL and wish to obtain a New York DL again. How do I go about this?

Submitted by Schr2688 on 31st Aug 2015

I am a college student My

I am a college student My birthday is approaching soon and I need my 21 year old license. I was wondering if I could have it sent to my school addresss instead of my legal/home address.

Submitted by Campeon on 29th Jul 2015

I hace a Florida license that

I hace a Florida license that expired almost two years ago. I now reside in Brooklyn, N.Y. How do I renew it?

Submitted by johnnylo97 on 3rd Jul 2015

I have my drivers licence

I have my drivers licence from Ontario, Canada when I lived there I am currently a resident of New York do I have to do my written test again or can I keep my current licence? I am 17 years old

Submitted by Yarimar07 on 23rd Apr 2015

i have a new york driving

i have a new york driving permit, i recently turn 21. And i has wondering if they send me a new permit automatically or i gotta replace it myself?

Submitted by serena1 on 14th Dec 2014

I am over the age of 18 and I

I am over the age of 18 and I have a Georgia permit and would like to apply for a New York License, do I have to replace my Georgia permit with a New York permit before I can schedule a road test?

Submitted by Alexyrox on 5th Nov 2014

I'm trying to schedule my

I'm trying to schedule my Road test but when I try to log on it won't let me. I took my first road test on 8/11/14 and failed so I want to schedule a new one anyone know how I can do this/why it won't let me log on?

Submitted by ViktorL26 on 22nd Oct 2014

Hi I'm 26 and a resident of

Hi I'm 26 and a resident of new york. I got a texas drivers license in 2012 and lost it in NY in 2013. What documents can I use to get a NY drivers license?

Submitted by 123 on 16th Sep 2014

if im 16 and i have a

if im 16 and i have a floridas license with a floridas license plate, can i drive in new york with it unsupervised following the rules and curfew?

Submitted by averbaant on 13th Sep 2014

I lost my florida dmv license

I lost my florida dmv license in NYC and would like to replace it with a ny dmv license, but went I went to get it at the NY dmv they asked me for a proof of my dmv when I told them i lost my wallet with my dmv license in it.

Submitted by michaelmcentee on 14th Jun 2014

I'm currently living in New

I'm currently living in New Zealand, but am a resident of New York, I'm 30 years old and would like to obtain my licence How long do I have to come back to New York for in order to achieve this?

Submitted by brooklynny on 27th May 2014

im 16 and have my license in

im 16 and have my license in Tennessee can I drive in new York or get a license change ?

Submitted by bsandy22 (not verified) on 13th Sep 2013

i took and passed my road

i took and passed my road test but i never recived my license and i lost my recipt when i tried to apply for a temporary license online it claims that i only have my permit what should i do because i took the driving test and passed it i belive the lady did not process me

Submitted by shanielala92 (not verified) on 13th May 2013

im 20 going to be 21 this

im 20 going to be 21 this October do you have to get a permit first or can you just get a license? also how much do you have to pay for driver's road test?

Submitted by Htowne10 (not verified) on 13th Mar 2013

I am 20 years old living in

I am 20 years old living in new york. Im going to vegas on my birthday when i turn 21. how do I renew my licence early enough so I have it the day of my birthday. I know when I turn 21 I need get a new license, but some places(bars) will not serve you if you just have the paper (temperary licence). How do i recieve my actual licence on my birthday and no later.

Submitted by deyanira (not verified) on 25th Feb 2013

Hi im 18 and just got my

Hi im 18 and just got my permit how soon can i got for my lisence?

Submitted by Evanniee (not verified) on 15th Dec 2012

I'm getting my Driver's

I'm getting my Driver's License, how many hours of class do I need in order to?

Submitted by salinaxox (not verified) on 13th Nov 2012

I'm 19, I've had my permit

I'm 19, I've had my permit for awhile and I'm going for my license I wanted to know if I have to take a 5 hour course before I sign up for my license

Submitted by sfisk (not verified) on 1st Oct 2012

I am active duty military. My

I am active duty military. My home of record and legal state of resisdence is NY. I have a valid CO driver's license that I want to "trade in" for a NY state license. What do I need to do to accomplish this? Thank you.

Submitted by rurina (not verified) on 7th Sep 2012

My legal name have been

My legal name have been changed. how do i change it on my DL and how much is ths fee?

Submitted by margaretr (not verified) on 5th Nov 2012

my name change by marriage,

my name change by marriage, what the fee, and can i do this by email

Submitted by Irmarosa (not verified) on 27th Aug 2012

Dear Sirs/madam I sent my

Dear Sirs/madam

I sent my application form for my NYC Drivers License renewal well over a month ago and I still haven't heard anything. I am concerned, I sent everything, payment, eye test and proof of ID but so far nothing has come to me.

Can you please let me know how can I get in touch, the phones are aways busy and no one to speak to. Thank you very much.

Submitted by nyhappydrink (not verified) on 18th Jun 2012

i have a comercial class a ,

i have a comercial class a , i need to aply for endorcement, o hazmat, and passenger, can you tell me how. thanks

Submitted by Ls.Silva (not verified) on 16th May 2012

hi I'm a foreign student who

hi I'm a foreign student who have a valid drivers lincense in my country, now that i live and study here I wanted to drive here in new York how can I get a license what procedure do I need to go through.. thank you it would be a huge help..

Submitted by swoo (not verified) on 23rd Apr 2012

Hello, I moved to NYC in

Hello,

I moved to NYC in 2010 from Los Angeles. I need to get a NYC drivers license, but I lost my CA drivers license today. What can I do to get a NYC license? Please help

Submitted by drbetsy (not verified) on 16th Apr 2012

I have lived in NYC for 6

I have lived in NYC for 6 years, but haven't had a drivers license since 2000 when it expired (and that was in Washington State) I now need to get my NYS license and assume I need to re-take the written and drivers test -- is this true? If so, can you point me to the list of things I will need to do/have to make this happen in my situation? Thank you!

Submitted by Anya (not verified) on 15th Apr 2012

Hi :) what kind of papers I

Hi :) what kind of papers I suppose to have to get the license? (I mean in DMV) and 5 hours of training gonna be in one day? Sorry about the weird questions :)

Submitted by kch2012 (not verified) on 13th Apr 2012

Hi, I'm 22 and just getting

Hi, I'm 22 and just getting my license. Am I required to take the 5 hour course (I never took driver's ed in high school), or is that for drivers under 21? Just wondering! Thanks!

Submitted by Hush42 (not verified) on 14th Apr 2012

You still have to take the 5

You still have to take the 5 hour course. They won't let you take the test unless you can provide a valid 5 hour certificate.

Submitted by Mickylee17 (not verified) on 27th Mar 2012

Hi, i need a copy of a police

Hi, i need a copy of a police report of my accident that occured 2 years ago. How do i check which police department do i go to obtain the report?

Submitted by Dantrag0 (not verified) on 15th Mar 2012

I'm a new resident to New

I'm a new resident to New York and have a Texas driver's license, but I have lost my Social Security card years ago. Is there an alaternative form of ID that can be used (eg US Passport, etc)?

Submitted by johnsanowskis (not verified) on 15th Oct 2012

I am in the same situation.

I am in the same situation. Please let me know as soon as possible, Because I am going overseas. Thank you John Sanowskis.

Submitted by CareGab (not verified) on 17th Sep 2012

What forms of identification

What forms of identification are needed?

Submitted by neworleansdriver (not verified) on 13th Mar 2012

I have a license from New

I have a license from New Orleans and I have moved to NYC. My license has since expired and it has been expired longer than a year. Do I have to take the drivers test and all that to turn it in for a NY license?

Submitted by arriba13579 (not verified) on 5th Jul 2012

ho

ho

Submitted by zachmiller1996 (not verified) on 6th Mar 2012

if i am 16 and i take a

if i am 16 and i take a drivers education course can i get my license in 5 months instead of 6 months??? i have heard i can and dont know who i can ask about it!

Submitted by Derek76 (not verified) on 17th Jan 2012

I am moving to NY from

I am moving to NY from Ireland and I have a full Irish Drivers licence. I have used my Irish licence extensively in the US over the past 10 years while visiting. But now that I am moving to NY I want to get a NY driver licence. Is it possible for me to exchange my Irish Drivers licence for a NY one? Do I need to take the 5 hour course? and where can I register to do so? Also, is this course available online??

Submitted by aimaamu on 18th Jul 2016

Did you ever get an answer to

Did you ever get an answer to this question please? I am currently trying to figure the same thing out, I am a US citizen who lived in ireland 9 years and had a full license there for 6 years. Living in NY state now, and need to change to an NY license. Any tips?

Submitted by thornan (not verified) on 15th Nov 2011

can i still get a ny license

can i still get a ny license if i have unpaid tickets in another state

Submitted by Miserylong (not verified) on 14th Oct 2011

Hi im an american citizen but

Hi im an american citizen but lived my whole live in panama I just moved to nyc to study and was wondering if I have my panamanian license what can I do to get one from nyc? Im 19.

Submitted by tjaycox2011 (not verified) on 12th Sep 2011

I have a friend who recently

I have a friend who recently moved to NY and is needing to get her driver's license transfered. How much will it cost? She is 25 yrs old.

Submitted by syj (not verified) on 29th Aug 2011

I got license of washington

I got license of washington state and it has been 3 month.

I just moved to new york for college, what do I need to change my license to new york state license? I am 19 btw.

Submitted by deactee (not verified) on 17th Aug 2011

My son and I have the same

My son and I have the same name , I would like to add Sr to my drivers lic. is it possible? if yes how is it done?

Submitted by Msanti (not verified) on 1st Aug 2011

I'm 18 years old and have no

I'm 18 years old and have no permit. Do I need to get it to get a license? And if not how do I go about getting a license with out it. Thank you:)

Submitted by Danny young (not verified) on 5th Aug 2011

New York state say thast

New York state say thast everyone is required to have a Learner's premit. You must also take the 5 hour course, also you need to hand them your premit. When you take your 5 hour course as well. You do not have to take the written test for your Learner's Premit though.

Submitted by stephb098 (not verified) on 28th Jul 2011

i am 17 years old and i got

i am 17 years old and i got my permit one month ago. i will finish drivers ed next week and have the certificate.. can i take my road test when i get the certificate or do i have to wait 6 months ?

Submitted by underwoodlover10 (not verified) on 14th Jul 2011

do i have to take my 5 hour

do i have to take my 5 hour if im 18?

Submitted by Danny young (not verified) on 5th Aug 2011

Yes, you do.

Yes, you do.