Getting a New York State Drivers License
Think you’re ready to get your New York drivers license? The anticipation may be great, but you’ll want to be sure that you’re completely ready to take to New York’s roads. Along with getting the proper amount of instruction, there’s some paperwork and testing you’ll need to get through. We’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you make sure that the road to your New York license is a smooth one.
Before You Apply for Your NY License
Can you get your license at 17 without a permit? If you’re a first-time driver, you must be 16 or older to apply for your New York drivers license. But before you can get your license, you need to get your NY learners permit. And that’s not all.
The state of New York requires that all new drivers under the age of 18 complete an approved 5-hour driver education course (also called a Pre-Licensing Course). The standardized curriculum will give you all the information about New York driving laws and safe driving habits you’ll need to know. But it’s not all you’ll need to do – after all, it’s hard to learn how to drive without actually doing it.
Your learners permit gives you the ability to get behind the wheel and learn how to safely operate a car. You don’t just do this alone, of course; you’ll need to have an instructor with you. That instructor can be a parent or legal guardian. You’ll need to complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving practice; 15 of those hours need to be done at night, and 10 hours need to be done in moderate to heavy traffic. Keep in mind that you are not eligible to apply for your drivers license until you’ve held your learners permit for 6 months – so you’ll have plenty of time to develop your driving skills.
When you’ve completed your NYS driver education course and behind-the-wheel training, and those 6 months have passed, you’ll be ready to test for your drivers license. Before you go, make sure you’ve got all of the paperwork you’ll need; you’ll be bringing it with you to your road test. This will include the following:
- You will need to complete the New York MV-44 Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card. If you’re under 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign the consent section. If you’re 17 and have taken a certified New York drivers ed course, you won’t need parental consent.
- You’ll need to bring a completed Certification of Supervised Driving, signed by your parent or guardian.
- You’ll need to bring a certificate of completion from your driver education course. (This will be provided by your driving school, or high school or college if you took your course there.)
- You’ll need to be able to provide proof of identity and age.
Testing for Your NY Drivers License
Ready to take your test? You’ll need to schedule it at your local DMV office. You can do that at the New York DMV’s Road Test Scheduling System page. The DMV recommends that you get there up to 30 minutes before your test is scheduled to begin. Along with the paperwork mentioned above, you’ll need to be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older, and a car to drive for your road test. The vehicle must have current registration and be in proper working condition with all of its safety features intact.
Once you’ve passed your road test (congrats!) you’ll receive an interim license, which you’ll keep along with your learners permit until your photo driver license arrives in the mail. Remember that if you’re under the age of 18, New York’s Graduated License Law applies to you! This means that there will be some restrictions placed on your driving, depending on which of three geographic regions you live in – Upstate New York, New York City, and Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk). You can find a complete listing of these restrictions at the DMV’s Graduated License Law webpage.