How to Pass the New York Permit Test

new-york-road-signConfused about how to pass the New York permit test? Follow this step by step guide to simplify the process and make getting your learners permit a snap. In the state of New York, all young drivers are required to complete a Graduated Driver’s License Program (GDL) before they can go on to obtain full driving privileges. The GDL is a multi-stage process that has been shown to reduce traffic accidents by allowing inexperienced drivers to gain skills slowly while remaining under the supervision of a licensed driver. In New York, the GDL process involves three stages:

  • Learner’s Permit
  • Junior Driver’s License
  • Full Driver’s License

In this guide, we will show you how to pass the New York permit test and go on to receive your full license.

Step I: The New York Learner’s Permit

When you are at least 16 years old, you can apply for your Learner’s Permit in New York. This will require passing a written knowledge test (also known as the permit test) that will check your awareness of the rules of the road as well as various traffic signs. You will not have to take the permit test if you already completed an approved driver’s education course prior to applying. Study Hard and End up Happy Passing the permit test on the first try takes plenty of dedicated study. We offer a free copy of the New York Driver’s Handbook for you to use, and you can request a physical copy by visiting your local New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices. Don’t Skip Practice Exams If you skip taking practice exams, you are missing out on a wonderful resource for study. Our New York practice permit test includes a lot of the material you will see on the actual exam, and taking it can go a long way in preparing you for the real thing. Visit the DMV and Take Your Tests When you feel ready, visit the DMV office and bring:

  • Proofs of identification that meet New York’s six-point requirement. The New York DMV provides a list of accepted proofs and their values.
  • Your Social Security card.
  • A signed and completed Application for Driver License (Form MV-44).
  • Proof of identity (your birth certificate, your U.S. passport).
  • $80-90 in fees, depending on what county you reside in.

At this point, you will take your written permit test and vision exam. When you pass both, you will be given your Learner’s Permit. Begin Your Practice Driving To complete this phase of the GDL process, you will need to practice driving for at least 50 hours with a licensed parent, guardian or driving course instructor. Of those 50 hours, at least 15 must take place at night. You must also complete a special pre-licensing course.

Step II: The New York Junior Driver’s License

When you have held your Learner’s Permit for at least six months and completed all the above-mentioned requirements, you are ready to take your behind-the-wheel road test and earn your Junior Driver’s License. Schedule an appointment at any DMV testing location, and bring along:

  • Your permit.
  • Proof that you completed your required pre-licensing education (Forms MV-285 and MV-278).
  • Proof that you completed your supervised practice driving (Form MV-262), signed and completed by your parent or guardian.
  • A registered and insured vehicle to take the test.
  • Testing fees (may vary by location).

Try to relax and do your best on the road test. After all of the practice you’ve done, it should be very easy to pass as long as you keep your wits about you. When you do, you will receive your Junior Driver’s License. Be aware that it comes with some restrictions:

  • If you live in New York City, you may not drive in any of the five boroughs.
  • Unless accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years or older or driving to and from work or school, you may not drive between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older, you may not carry more than one passenger under the age of 21 unless those passengers are immediate family members.
  • You and all of your passengers must wear safety belts at all times.

Step III: The New York Full License

As long as you took a driver’s education course, you can upgrade to your Full License at 17 years old. However, if you opted to skip driver’s education, you will have to wait until you are 18. If you choose to apply at 17, you will need to show proof that you completed the course (Form MV-285) before you are issued the license.

Additional Information

If you receive any traffic violations while holding your Junior Driver’s License, it will be suspended for 60 days. The requirements for supervised driving may differ depending on the county you live in. For instance, in New York City, the car you practice in must be equipped with dual controls. Since most regular people do not own cars with duel controls, those who live in New York City will most likely have to use a private traffic instructor or school to complete their practice hours.