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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 mcavagnaro (not verified) on 6th Sep 2011

what if ur 23?

what if ur 23?

Submitted by shawn f (not verified) on 9th Nov 2011

yes u do u have to no matter

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

Submitted by dakim713 (not verified) on 11th Jun 2011

IM TAKING MY ROADTEST TEST IN

IM TAKING MY ROADTEST TEST IN 2WKS ,CAN I USE A REGISTERED&INSURED CARS WITH OUT OF STATE PLATES

Submitted by aambless (not verified) on 15th Jul 2011

No must be a registered &

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.

Submitted by roshan.vannam (not verified) on 9th Jun 2011

can we take 5 hours classes

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

Submitted by Stephiegalli (not verified) on 8th Jun 2011

I live in New York and I have

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?

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

By, New York State Law. Your

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

Submitted by SHAAN1982 (not verified) on 21st Jun 2011

I lived in new york and i

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

Submitted by mponce (not verified) on 18th May 2011

I got married August

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.>

Submitted by Anonymous on 3rd May 2011

i cant remember my email or

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 21st Apr 2011

I am 22 yrs old. I live in NY

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?

Submitted by Anonymous on 21st Apr 2011

im 20 and i want to knew if i

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 24th Apr 2011

You have to be 21 years old

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 20th Apr 2011

i just turned 17 and i took a

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?

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

By, New York State Law. You

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.

Submitted by Anonymous on 18th Apr 2011

I have and out of state

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?

Submitted by mdelga (not verified) on 7th Sep 2011

I just want to see the answer

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 12th Apr 2011

im 19 and i want to know if i

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

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

Did take the 5 hour course??

Did take the 5 hour course??

Submitted by Anonymous on 26th Apr 2011

why wouldnt you just get your

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 9th Apr 2011

im 17 years old and i just

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

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

You must take the 5 hour

You must take the 5 hour course.

Submitted by Anonymous on 13th Apr 2011

no you must have 6 months of

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 11th Apr 2011

not until 6 months after you

not until 6 months after you got your permit

Submitted by Anonymous on 12th Apr 2011

im 19 and i want to know if i

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 6th Apr 2011

how do i call for my 5 hr

how do i call for my 5 hr test

Submitted by Anonymous on 2nd Apr 2011

where can i print out a 50

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 29th Mar 2011

I'm 22 years old and i don't

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?

Submitted by Anonymous on 11th May 2011

You're 22 years old and you

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 31st Mar 2011

Yes, you need your permit.

Yes, you need your permit.

Submitted by Anonymous on 31st Mar 2011

yeah its manditory

yeah its manditory

Submitted by Anonymous on 7th Apr 2011

Okay Thank You

Okay Thank You

Submitted by Anonymous on 23rd Mar 2011

I paid for an Address change

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?

Submitted by Anonymous on 20th Mar 2011

what documens do i need to

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?

Submitted by Anonymous on 16th Mar 2011

I submitted my renewal for my

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 14th Mar 2011

I'm over 21 and now going for

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?

Submitted by Anonymous on 22nd Mar 2011

no

no

Submitted by Anonymous on 9th Mar 2011

I RENEWED MY DRIVERS LICENSE

I RENEWED MY DRIVERS LICENSE OVER 2 MONTHS NOW AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED MY NEW DRIVERS LICENSE,MY BIRTHDAY IS APPROACHING ON MARCH 16TH AND i NEED MY LICENSE.

Submitted by Anonymous on 8th Mar 2011

i lose my new york license in

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???

Submitted by Anonymous on 20th Mar 2011

Hi, I am in New York and I

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 28th Feb 2011

i have my permit and im about

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 6th Mar 2011

just 6 months after you

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 22nd Feb 2011

If Im 16 And Have A

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?

Submitted by Anonymous on 1st Feb 2011

how many mot i need to take

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

Submitted by d.kid (not verified) on 30th Mar 2010

looking to take my road

looking to take my road test.

Submitted by Anonymous on 5th May 2011

Sheesh.

Sheesh.

Submitted by vcx10101 (not verified) on 19th Jan 2010

where do i sign up for my

where do i sign up for my road test?

Submitted by dmvprincessofnyc (not verified) on 16th Dec 2009

HOW MUCH IS A NYC ID CARD

HOW MUCH IS A NYC ID CARD FROM NYSDMV NOT A DRIVER LICENSE

Submitted by schnizzer1020938 (not verified) on 30th Nov 2009

I signed 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?

Submitted by bendecida09 (not verified) on 6th Nov 2009

is it true that i can take

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