New York residents must get drivers licenses if they intend to operate a motor vehicle within the state. Driving applicants, who meet the New York Department of Motor Vehicles' requirements, will be granted a new drivers license. They will also need to pass series of exams and provide certain documentation, as part of the application process for getting NY drivers licenses.
NOTE: Drivers license applicants need to take the DMV written exam. Get prepared for the exam by practicing with our driving permit practice tests.
How to Apply for a New York Learner's Permit:
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- Pass the written DMV exam.
- Take a vision test.
- Present the required documentation.
- Pay the NY learning permit fees.
Applying for a NY Learners Permit
New drivers in New York must complete a Graduated Driver Licensing program which will get them learners permits as the first step. This program consists of three phases: learners permit, junior driver's license and senior driver's license.
What is the Graduate Driver Licensing Program in New York
The New York Graduated Driver Licensing program is a process that must be completed in order to obtain an NY drivers license. This program consists of the following:
- Learners permit.
- Junior drivers license (provisional driver's license).
- Senior drivers license.
In order to move on to the next stage of the program, you will need to obey certain restrictions and follow a list or requirements set by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. The Graduated Driver Licensing program has also restrictions for drivers less than 18 years of age. The Graduated License Law will determine your driving privileges in the three geographic regions in the state: Upstate New York, New York City and Long Island.
How To Get A NY Learners Permit
Learners Permit Requirements in New York
To get your NY learners permit, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- Pass the DMV written test and a vision exam.
- Complete an Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card, with a signed consent from your parent or legal guardian, if you are less than 18.
- Provide your Social Security Card or a proof of ineligibility for one.
- Provide proof of identification and date of birth.
- Pay the applicable fees.
Preparing for a New York DMV Written Exam
Future New York drivers must pass a DMV written exam in order to get NY learners permit. The DMV written exam consists of 20 multiple-choice questions, 14 of which have to be answered correctly. You also must answer right at least two of the four questions on traffic signs. 70 percent of the questions must be correctly answered in order to pass the written exam.
Prepare for the DMV written exam in advance by taking our practice permit tests. These tests will provide you with similar questions as those on the official exam and will enable you to practice the knowledge you have gained while studying the New York driver's manual.
If you fail the exam on your first try, you can retake it again at any NY DMV location. Click here for a full list of DMV offices in your area, as well as their office hours and phone numbers.
NY Drivers Education
A New York drivers ed certificate of completion from an approved school is required for motorists a minimum of 17 years of age to obtain a senior driver's license without parental consent. A certified drivers education program consists of 24 hours of classroom instruction to comply with the standards set forth by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Even though an NY drivers ed online program does not qualify for state requirements, drivers can use one as a supplementary study tool. First-time drivers who choose to enroll in an online program for additional learning purposes can sign up through a trusted, third-party provider here. Enrolling in an online driving course gives teen motorists the advantage of comprehensive preparation in an environment that fits the needs of their flexible schedules.
The New York drivers ed curriculum includes instruction on the state point system for driving records, information about traffic laws and DUI regulations, strategies for defensive driving and advice for following the road rules. A drivers ed online course can supplement the material taught in the curriculum to improve an applicant's chances of excelling in the written exam and road test on the first attempt.
New York Learners Permit Restrictions
New York drivers who hold a driving permit are allowed to operate a motor vehicle only when accompanied by a licensed driver older than 21. There are other learners permit restrictions that every driver must know. Learners permit holders are not allowed to drive on any street within a park in New York City, in a DMV road test area. You also cannot drive on a bridge or tunnel under jurisdiction of Tri-borough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, or on the Cross County, Saw Mill River, Hutchinson River or Taconic State parkways in Westchester County.
NOTE: In New York, you can apply for a junior (provisional) drivers license at 16 years of age, but only if you hold a learners permit.
New York Provisional Licenses
A provisional drivers license is actually the junior drivers license, or the second stage of the Graduated Driver Licensing program in New York. You need to hold a learners permit in order to be eligible to apply for a provisional license. Provisional license requirements include:
- You must be at least 16 years of age.
- You must hold an NY learners permit for at least six months.
- You must complete 50 hours of supervised driving, with at least 15 hours at night and 10 hours in moderate to heavy traffic.
After you complete these provisional license requirements, you need to schedule an appointment and visit a local NY DMV office to take your road test. The driving test will assess how much of a responsible and safe driver you are. Once you pass the road skills test, you will receive your junior (provisional) drivers license.
NY Provisional License Driving Restrictions
Holders of junior (provisional) drivers licenses have also certain restrictions set by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. Those restrictions depend on the area where you will be driving your motor vehicle:
- Upstate New York.
- New York City.
- Long Island.
Driving with a junior (provisional) drivers license within the boroughs of New York City is strictly prohibited under any circumstances. When driving in Upstate New York or in Long Island, you will be able to operate a motor vehicle between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. without a supervisor. You can drive without a supervising driver between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. but only if the drive is directly from your home to work or school. You are not allowed to carry more than one passenger that is younger than 21 years of age when driving without a supervising driver. All passengers must wear seat belts at all times, while the children must ride in a child safety seat.
Replacing an NY Learners Permit
You can replace your learners permit in case it was lost or stolen. Simply contact the NY DMV and apply for a learners permit replacement in person, by mail or online. You will be required to pay applicable fees for the duplicate learners permit.
Locate a New York DMV
Use our website to browse through our list of New York DMV locations in your area. You will find the contact details of each DMV office in New York, including the addresses, phone numbers and hours.