Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in New York
Age Take Driver's Education Apply for a Junior Learner’s Permit Complete 50 hours of Supervised Driving Apply for a Junior License Apply for a License age 16 X X X X age 17 X X X X X age 18 or over X
Graduated Driver's License Program
Recognizing the importance of driving experience, New York―like many other states―has adopted a graduated driver's licensing program for drivers under 18 years of age. Under the dictates of this program you must:
- Obtain a learner's permit.
- Enroll in a driver's education class.
- Hold your learner's permit for a minimum of six months.
- Obtain a Certificate of 50 Hours of Driving Experience.
- Apply for a junior driver's license. If you did not complete a driver's education class, you must instead enroll in a pre-licensing safe driving course.
- If age 17, upgrade to a standard Class D license provided you have completed a driver's education course.
You can enroll in a state-approved driver's education course through a high school or college.
New to the State
If you completed a high school or college driver's education class in another state you must check with the New York State Education Department if it will recognize your enrollment. You can call (518) 486-1547 or inquire by letter at:
- NYS Education Department
- Driver Safety Education Unit
- Room 681-EBA
- Albany, NY 5922
You must obtain a learner permit if you're under age 18.
- You must be at least age 16.
- Take a practice test so as to gauge your readiness for the state's written test.
- Complete the Application for Driver License. If you're under age 18, have your parents or guardian sign the application's consent section.
- Have six points of identity.
- Have your Social Security card. If you're ineligible, bring a letter of explanation from the Social Security Administration.
- Be ready to pass a vision test or present a completed Eye Test Report.
- Be prepared to pass the written test. You are exempt if you present a Driver Education Student Certificate of Completion.
- Have all applicable fees.
- Bring all of the above documents to any DMV office.
Provisional Permit Driving Restrictions
Owning a permit does not guarantee absolute freedom. You must adhere to DMV-imposed restrictions designed to help you gain road experience without endangering yourself or other drivers on the road.
Two of the more important restrictions include having another driver who is at least 21 years old with you and, unless you're with immediate family, you cannot have more than one passenger under 21 riding with you. Visit our Drivers Permits page for complete details.
To prepare for taking the road test, you must complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving behind the wheel, with 15 hours at night.
In addition, if you are 17 or younger you must either complete a driver's education class or enroll in a pre-licensing safe driving course before you can take the road test. A driver's education certificate will exempt you from the state's 50-hour requirement rule.
In order to apply for a driver's license you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least age 16.
- Have a learner's permit.
- Have either a driver's education course certificate or a Certificate of 50 Hours of Driving Experience.
Unless you're age 18 years old and exempt from the above requirements, take the following steps to obtain your license:
1) Take the Road Test
If you qualify, here's what to do:
- Have your learner permit and your Student Certificate of Completion or your five-hour pre-licensing course completion certificate. If you are under age 18 and don't have a Student Certificate of Completion, you must instead have a Certificate of 50 Hours of Driving Experience.
- Make sure you have a vehicle that's insured, registered, and in good working condition for the road test. If you need coverage, visit our Insurance Center for quotes.
- Schedule a road test either online or when you call 1-518-402-2100. You will need your learner permit and pre-licensing course certificate or driver's education certificate handy.
If you fail you can schedule a second road test free of charge. If you fail again, however, you must pay the $10 test fee when re-scheduling.
2) Get Your Junior License
If you're 16 after passing the road test you'll obtain a junior license. If you're age 17 and have completed a driver's education course, you'll obtain a standard Class D license.
A junior license comes with many restrictions based on your place of residence. If you live upstate, for instance, you have the freedom to drive alone after 9 p.m. for school or work. But you don't have this option if you reside in New York City.
3) Get Your Standard License
If you're 17 with a junior license, you can upgrade to a standard license after completing a driver's education course. Otherwise, your junior license will automatically upgrade upon turning age 18.
Parents or guardians with drivers under age 18 can be automatically notified by mail when a traffic conviction, reportable accident, or license suspension or revocation surfaces on the teen's driving record.
Enroll in the voluntary program by completing the form, and mailing it to:
- Office for the Younger Driver
- NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
- 6 Empire State Plaza
- Albany, NY 12228
The DMV offers a publication containing additional information on the Teen Electronic Event Notification Service (TEENS) service.
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