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    Learner’s Permits in New York

    In New York, the NY Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees the process for getting a learner’s permit and driver’s license. As part of the state’s graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program, the first step toward getting your very first driver’s license is obtaining a New York learner’s permit.

    If you already have your learner’s permit and you’re ready to get your junior driver’s license, please visit our NY Teen Licensing page.

    New to New York?

    If you’re new to the state and you have a learner’s permit from your previous state, it will not transfer to New York. You must apply for a NY learner’s permit following the same steps below. In addition, if you’re under 16 years old, you are not allowed to drive in New York under any circumstances.

    Apply for Your New York Learner’s Permit

    To apply for a learner’s permit, you are required to be at least 16 years old. You do not have to first complete a driver’s education course; however, if you do choose to take one, you will be exempt from your written knowledge exam.

    Head to your local NY DMV office and:

    • Provide proof of identity totaling 6 points, with your signature on at least one of these documents. Required proofs include:
      • Proof of name and birth date (e.g. birth certificate, U.S. passport, certificate of citizenship).
      • Social Security card.
    • Complete and submit an Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44). Make sure your parent or legal guardian signs the application.
    • Submit a Driver Education Certificate (Form MV-285), if you have completed a NY driver’s education course.
    • If you have completed Driver’s Ed, you do not have to take the written permit test. For details on driver’s education in New York, please visit our NY Driver’s Ed page.
    • Take a vision test.
    • Pass a written knowledge exam (see below).

    Take the Written NY Permit Test

    The New York learner’s permit exam is based on information about New York traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving techniques discussed in the New York Driver’s Manual. The test consists of 20 questions, of which you must answer 14 questions. If you don’t pass the test on your first try, don’t worry; the NY DMV allows you to retake the permit test an unlimited amount of times.

    Pass The Written Test On Your First Try

    To help you prepare for the written exam, the DMV provides a basic practice test. In addition to this test, we suggest using an online practice test from our state-approved partner. 

    NOTE: You are not required to take the written test if you have a Driver Ed Certificate (Form MV-285).

    Learner’s Permit Driving Restrictions in NY

    Once you have your New York learner’s permit, you are allowed to drive when accompanied by a licensed supervising driver who is at least 21 years old. During this time, you must log 50 hours of supervised driving time with 15 hours being driven at night.

    However, there are a few exceptions. With a learner’s permit, you are not allowed to drive:

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

    There are additional restrictions based on what part of the state you’ll be driving in. You can learn more about these location-based restrictions on the NY DMV’s interactive permit map.

    Replacing Your New York Learner’s Permit

    If you need to replace or renew a lost, stolen, or damaged learner’s permit in New York, you do so by mail or by visiting the DMV office in person. Certain requirements may apply and differ.

    The fee to replace a learner’s permit is $17.50. If you report your permit stolen, the DMV will waive your replacement fee

    For more information on replacing your learner’s permit refer to our Replacing a NY Permit or License page.

    New York Junior Driver’s License

    Once you have your New York learner’s permit in hand, you’re ready to continue your quest to get your driver’s license. The next step in the GDL process is to get your NY junior driver’s license. For steps and details on how to do so, please visit our NY Teen Driver’s License page.

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