Renewing Your License in New York
Renewing your driver license?
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It’s against the law to drive a motor vehicle without a valid license. Luckily, keeping your driving privileges up to date is a fairly simple process.
As you're renewing your license, don’t forget that proof of financial responsibility is required for all drivers. In most cases, the best way to satisfy this requirement is to purchase an auto insurance policy. To learn more about how to find a policy that provides the coverage you need at a price you can afford, visit our Insurance Center.
New driver licenses are usually valid four to five years, expiring on your birthday. A renewed license, which you may get up to one year before your license expires or for up to two years afterward, is valid for an additional eight years.
You have three options when renewing your license:
- By mail
- In person
If you need to see if your license is still valid, request a copy of your driving record or check the listed expiration date.
NOTE: To learn how to renew a commercial license, visit our CDL section.
If your license has expired you have the same options to renew as those who hold a valid driver's license:
- By mail
- In person
You can see if your license has expired by requesting a copy of your driving record or checking the listed expiration date.
To see if your license has been suspended, you may request a copy of your driving record.
In many cases, you can pay your suspension fees online to receive a new driver's license. Details regarding this step will be provided in the notice the DMV sends when you're eligible to receive a new license.
Your insurance premiums may also increase after a license suspension. Comparing rates through our Insurance Center is an easy way to help find a policy that’s within your household budget.
For more information on how to regain your driver’s license, please see our section on suspended licenses.
Since your license is commonly required as a form of legal identification, it's important to replace a lost or stolen driver's license as soon as possible. You can visit our page on Replacing a Lost License to learn how to receive a duplicate license.
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send you a renewal notice 45 to 60 days before your license or ID card is due to expire. The notice will be sent to the address listed on your license.
You must meet several requirements to be able to enjoy the convenience of renewing your driver license online. To renew online:
- You must pass a vision test and have an eye care professional complete Form MV-619 (Eye Test Report). This form will remain valid for six or 12 months.
- You must not have moved. If your current address doesn't match the one the DMV has in its records, you can't renew online.
- The date that you renew must be within one year before or two years after the expiration date of your license.
- Your mailing address must be within the United States, even if you are posted on a military base.
- The DMV must have a record of your Social Security number.
- You can't renew online if you're in jail, your license has been suspended or revoked, your license is conditional or restricted, you participate in the Ignition Interlock Device Program, or your license displays the words, "Valid Without Photo."
You will be asked for some information from Form MV-619, and you will provide credit card information to pay the renewal fee. The DMV will use the same photo and signature as on your previous license to issue you a new license, which will arrive by mail in at least four weeks.
To renew by mail:
- Have an eye care professional fill out Form MV-619.
- Complete the renewal application form that was included in the renewal notice you received in the mail or fill out Form MV-44.
- Send all the forms and the renewal fee via U.S. Postal Service to:
- DMV License Production Bureau
- P.O. Box 2688-ESP
- Albany, NY 12220-0668
- If sending by FedEx, UPS, or other express service, use this address:
- DMV License Production Bureau
- Room 223
- 6 Empire State Plaza
- Albany, NY 12228
The DMV will use the same photo and signature as on your previous license to issue you a new license, which will arrive by mail in at least four weeks. Visit the DMV's renewal by mail page for more information.
If you don't meet the requirements to renew online or by mail, you'll need to renew in person at your local DMV office.
- Bring along the renewal form that the DMV mailed you, or fill out Form MV-44. If you're renewing a non-driver photo ID card, you must also bring your Social Security card or proof that you are not eligible for one.
- Take the vision test, unless you provide Form MV-619.
- Pay the renewal fee.
Updating your driving skills as you renew your driver’s license is a smart move. If you complete a supplemental traffic school course, you will improve your knowledge of the rules of the road and maybe even lower your insurance premiums in the process. Visit our Insurance Center to look for a policy if your current carrier doesn’t provide such a discount.
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