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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in New Jersey

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    Applying for a New Driver’s License in New Jersey

    To legally operate a vehicle in New Jersey, you must obtain a NJ driver’s license.

    Whether you are a new resident, a first-time driver, or a non-U.S. citizen, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Agency (MVC) requires you to complete several steps before you will be issued your driver’s license.

    New to New Jersey?

    You must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 60 days of moving to New Jersey OR before it expires (whichever occurs first).

    NOTE: If you are younger than 18 years old, you may not transfer your out-of-state driver’s license. The NJ MVC will require you to fulfill each requirement of the GDL program. See our page on Applying for New License (Teen Drivers) in New Jersey for more information.

    To apply, you must visit your local New Jersey MVC office and:

    • Surrender your out-of-state driver’s license, if you have it.
    • Pass the 6 Point ID and residency requirement.
    • Pass the written and driving tests, unless you have a valid, non-provisional license that was issued in the United States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory.
    • Pay the $10 new driver's license fee.

    Your New Jersey driver’s license will be valid for 4 years.

    Non-U.S. Citizens

    If you are NOT a U.S. citizen, you must meet certain criteria to be eligible for a New Jersey driver’s license. The New Jersey MVC will also use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system to verify your immigration status. For specific information about driver’s license requirements for non-citizens, please visit the NJ MVC website.

    Types of New Jersey Driver’s Licenses

    The New Jersey MVC issues the following types of driver’s licenses:

    New Driver’s License Eligibility Requirements

    If you’re younger than 21 years old, you must satisfy the requirements of the GDL young adult road process. For more information, see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in New Jersey page.

    If you’re 21 years old or older, you will need to complete the following steps to obtain your first new driver’s license:

    • Examination permit.
    • Probationary driver’s license: Eligible after holding an examination permit for 3 months.
    • Driver’s license: Eligible after holding a probationary license for 1 year.

    Continue reading below for information on how to apply for each of these licenses.

    New Jersey Examination Permit

    The first step to getting your new New Jersey driver’s license is to obtain your examination permit.

    To apply, visit your local New Jersey MVC office and:

    • Pass a written permit test and vision screening.
    • Submit proof of your identity, such as your:
      • Certified birth certificate.
      • Passport.
    • Adoption or citizenship papers.
    • Pay the $10 examination permit fee.

    Examination Permit Restrictions & Driving Practice

    With your examination permit, you must:

    • Be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has a minimum of 3 years of driving experience.
    • NOT use any electronic device while driving, including cell phones.
    • Wear your seat belt at all times.

    Before you can move on to your probationary driver’s license, you must practice supervised driving for at least 3 months.

    For more information about New Jersey learner’s permits, visit our Driver’s Permits in New Jersey page.

    Apply for Your New NJ Driver’s License

    Before you can get your full driver’s license, you will need to obtain your probationary driver’s license.

    Provisional License

    You can apply for your probationary driver’s license after you have held your examination permit for at least 3 months.

    To apply, visit your local NJ MVC agency and:

    With your provisional license, you will be allowed to drive unsupervised, but you:

    • MUST NOT use any hand held electronic devices, including cell phones, while driving.
    • MUST wear your seat belt at all times.

    Full Driver’s License

    You can apply for your full New Jersey driver’s license once you’ve held your probationary driver’s license for at least 1 year and have practiced driving unsupervised.

    To apply for your new driver's license, visit your local New Jersey MVC and:

    • Provide your provisional license.
    • Provide documents to meet the 6 Point ID requirement.
    • Pay the $24 new driver's license fee.
    • Have your photo taken.