New York Permit and Driver's License FAQ

  • Applying for Your NY License
  • Preparing for the NY Permit Test
  • Taking the NY Permit Test
  • Preparing for the NY Driving Test
  • Taking the NY Driving Test
  • Renewing Your NY License
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Applying for Your NY License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

New York has a Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program (GDL) that is designed to have teenagers earn their license in stages so that they gain valuable experience and wisdom prior to their driving privileges expanding. The levels and age requirements for the program are:

  • Learner’s Permit – 16 years old
  • Provisional Driver’s License – 16 years old with Learner’s Permit
  • Senior Driver’s License – 17 years old with driver’s ed
  • Senior Driver’s License – 18 years old without driver’s ed

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in New York?

  • Proof of identity and date of birth – documents that are acceptable to submit as proof
  • Social Security Number
  • Form MV-44 (Application for Driver License)

Where do I file my NY driver’s license application?

File your application at a local DMV office.

How can I contact my local office?

Visit for office locations and contact information.

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

To apply for your Senior Driver’s License at age 17 you must have completed either a state-approved driver’s ed course or a NY pre-licensing course.

What if I am new to New York?

New York does not allow anyone younger than 16 to drive under any circumstances, even if you have an out-of-state permit or license.

If you are over 16 with a full driver’s license from another state you will have 30 days to transfer it to New York. One more thing – you cannot exchange an out-of-state Learner’s Permit for a NY Learner’s Permit or Driver’s License. You will need to satisfy the state’s GDL program requirements.

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Preparing for the NY Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

The New York written test includes questions on traffic laws, road signs and safe driving methods. The questions themselves are drawn from the state Driver’s Manual. Here are two examples of content from the manual that you could be tested on:

  • Double solid lines on a roadway mean you cannot pass or change lanes. You cannot go across the lines except to turn left to enter or leave the highway (e.g., to or from a driveway or to do a U-turn).
  • Many people think chemical test evidence is required to prove you were intoxicated or impaired. However, the testimony of a police officer about the way you drive, your appearance and behavior when arrested can provide enough evidence to convict you, even without a chemical test.

How is the test formatted?

The New York written test is given in multiple choice format.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

All questions on the New York written test are taken from the state driver’s manual – more specifically parts two and three of the driver’s manual. There are no questions expressly designed to “trick” you. Rather the questions are designed to test whether you have the necessary knowledge to drive safely on the state’s roads and streets.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

There are 20 questions on the test and you must answer at least 14 of them correctly to pass – that includes answering at least two road sign questions correctly.

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

You should become familiar with parts two and three of the New York Driver’s Manual extensively. To verify your knowledge and identify if there are any areas that you should focus more of your study time on, take practice tests online.

Where can I get a free New York Driver’s Manual to study?

We offer the New York Driver’s Manual for free on this website.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

At least four of the 20 test questions will cover road signs so be sure to memorize road signs. You should also study parallel parking, intersections, passing, sharing the road, traffic crashes and more. Pay particular attention to numerical information such as measurements, distances and lengths and try to memorize this data as well. You can take practice tests to better assess your knowledge and learn what you need to study more.

What should I do the night before the test?

Plan on reviewing your Driver’s Manual from cover to cover and then taking a practice test to confirm your knowledge. After that, be sure to get a good night’s sleep so that you are well-rested for the test.

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Taking the NY Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

Contact your DMV office to see if appointments are accepted and, if they are, it is recommended that you make one.

Where do I take the written test?

You will take the test at a local DMV office.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

  • Proof of identity and date of birth – documents that are acceptable to submit as proof
  • Social Security Number
  • Form MV-44 (Application for Driver License)

Who should accompany me to the written test?

You should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

Yes, the fee varies based on age and county of residence.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

The New York knowledge test contains 20 questions and at least 4 of those questions will be on road signs. The questions come from parts two and three of the state driver’s manual; however, when you take the test you cannot refer to the manual or to any notes. You must answer at least 14 of the questions correctly to pass, of the correctly answered questions at least two need to be about road signs.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Learner’s Permit.If you pass the written test, you will receive a learner permit that is good for approximately 5 years depending on your date of birth and your learner permit application date.

What happens if I fail the written test?

If you fail the written test, you will be allowed to retake it.

How many times can I retake the written test?

There is no limit to the number of times you can take it. You will also not have to pay a fee again to retake it.

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Preparing for the NY Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written permit test, what are the next steps?

You will receive your Learner’s Permit, which allows you to begin driving practice with a supervising driver age 21 or older. You need to complete 50 hours of driving practice, with at least 15 of those hours coming at night.

How long after getting my Learner’s Permit can I apply for a license?

You must hold your Learner’s Permit for a minimum of six months and you must also complete the 50 hours of supervised driving practice before you can apply for your Provisional Driver’s License.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

No, New York requires you to complete at least 15 hours of supervised driving practice at night.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m driving with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

What should I do if I have a lost New York Learner’s Permit?

You can get a replacement permit by mail or in person at the DMV office. You will need to pay a $17.50 replacement fee, however if you report your permit as stolen the DMV will waive the fee.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

Be sure to practice driving as much as possible. The more comfortable you get behind the wheel the better you will do on the test. Also, be sure to continue studying the state Driver’s Manual and follow the safe driving practices that are outlined on its pages.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

Yes, you should practice turns, including three-point turns; parking, including parallel parking; reversing; stopping; and driving straight and smoothly as these are all usually tested for on the exam.

How can I simulate the driving test?

Be sure to both complete maneuvers such as parking, turning, stopping, starting and parking as well as driving in traffic. You will need to be able to do both well to pass the test. When driving in traffic be sure to use good defensive driving skills, such as checking your mirrors, signaling and not following too closely.

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Taking the NY Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

You can schedule a road test online or by phone at 1-518-402-2100 using the state’s Road Test Scheduling System.

Where do I take the driving test?

You will take the test at an approved road test site.

What should I bring to the driving test?

  • Learner’s Permit
  • Driver’s ed completion certificate
  • Form MV-262 – Certification of Supervised Driving
  • A well-maintained vehicle
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance

Who should bring me to the driving test?

A parent or legal guardian should bring you.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

You will be asked to make various maneuvers, such as park, turn, back up, stop, start and more on a closed maneuver course. You will also be required to drive in traffic where you will need to display good defensive driving skills. You will also need to obey traffic signs and signals and show good awareness of potential road hazards.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

Common reasons for failure include nerves, a lack of practice, failing to signal, speeding and having an accident.

What are five mistakes I should be sure to avoid when taking the driving test?

  • Speeding
  • Not following the examiner’s instructions
  • Failing to signal for a turn
  • Not checking mirrors when changing lanes
  • Not using proper hand position on the steering wheel

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You will be allowed to retake the driving test. If you fail your driver’s license road test, your learner permit will remain valid until the expiration date. If your learner permit expires before your next road test, you must apply for a new learner permit.
To schedule another road test, you must

  • pay additional fees if you failed your

first two road tests

(online or call 1-518-402-2100)

  • wait at least one day after your failed road test to schedule another test

How many times can I retake the driving test?

If you fail the test twice, you will need to pay a $10 fee that will enable you to take the test another two times.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

  • You will receive your New York Provisional Driver’s License from the license examiner. This.  interim license will allow you to drive; keep this document with your photo learner permit.
  • In approximately 2 weeks you will receive your photo driver license in the mail
  • If you are under the age of 18 and possess a Class DJ, MJ or DJMJ driver license, you are required to follow the restrictions for junior drivers (see Graduated Driver License (GDL) Law and restrictions on drivers under age 18)

What restrictions come with a New York license?

Provisional license restrictions vary by the area in which you live. Click the links below to learn specific restrictions for specific areas.

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in New York?

New York requires all drivers to have up-to-date car insurance and failure to maintain that coverage can result in a ticket.

New York is a “no-fault” state and requires drivers to hold at least minimum coverage of:

  • Bodily Injury: Minimum $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
  • Property Damage: Minimum $10,000
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury: Minimum $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
  • Basic Personal Injury Protection: Minimum $50,000
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Renewing Your NY License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

You can renew your license up to one year before the expiration date. The New York DMV will send you a renewal notice approximately 50 days before your expiration date.

You may be able to replace a lost or stolen license online, by mail, and in person depending on your eligibility. Contact the DMV for more information.

Where can I renew my New York driver’s license?

You can renew online, by mail or by visiting a NY DMV office.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

No, in September of 2011 the state decided to no longer require vision tests for renewals in an effort to speed up and simplify its online and mail-in renewal processes.

The New York DMV Test — What You Need to Know

Who wouldn’t want to get their learner’s permit? Imagine the feeling of being able to hop in the car and go wherever you please.  Getting your permit is the first step towards gaining the freedom and independence to go wherever you want when you want.

But before you can start cruising New York’s roads and highways, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires you to pass a driver’s knowledge test.  More commonly known as the New York permit test, this test will ensure you have the knowledge necessary to be a safe and courteous driver.  You’ll face questions on state traffic laws, rules of the road, and safe driving practices.

Increase Your Score With NY DMV Practice Tests

It’s hard to believe that some people fail the written test as many as six times.  In fact, statistics have revealed that 50% of people fail the test every year.  A failed test means more wasted time at the DMV office as you take the exam again.  Who has time for that?

But, the good news is that we’re here to help.

Reduce your test anxiety and build your confidence by using our powerful list of study resources.  Our sample interactive New York practice permit tests will help you get a better feel for the test format and provide you with instant feedback so you know what areas you need to focus on. You’ll also get the official New York Driver’s Manual as a reference.   We know you are eager to pass the NY permit test and get behind the wheel.   You’ll find that with a little preparation, you’ll soon find yourself in the driver’s seat.