Moving to New York State? Exchange your out-of-state driver license

If you move to New York State and become a resident 1, you must get a NYS driver license within 30 days.

If you have a valid driver license issued by another U.S. state or territory, federal district or Canadian province, you can exchange it for a NYS driver license as long as it

  • has your photograph
  • is valid or has expired in the past 24 months 
  • shows the date it was issued and was issued at least 6 months before you apply for the NYS driver license (or is a commercial driver license that has been valid for any amount of time) 2
  • is not suspended or revoked 3
  • is not lost or stolen 4

You cannot exchange a driver license that

  • was issued outside the U.S. or Canada
  • does not have your photograph
  • is expired for more than 24 months
  • is one of the following
    • a hardship or an "employment only driver license"
    • a non-commercial driver license valid for less than 6 months
    • is marked "non-renewable" or "non-transferable"

You must apply for a new original NYS driver license.

How do I exchange my out-of-state driver license for a NYS driver license?

You must go to a DMV office and bring

You also must

  • pass a vision test at the DMV or bring a valid Eye Test Report (MV-619) completed by an eye care professional
  • surrender your out-of-state driver license unless it is lost or stolen
  • pay the $10.00 application fee and the original driver license fees with cash, check, money order or credit/debit card 6. The fee for an original Class D driver license is between $64.25 and $107.50, depending on your age, the type of license and where you live (see the fee chart below).  There are additional fees for enhanced, commercial and motorcycle licenses. 


Can I exchange my driver license online, by mail or by phone?

No, you can only exchange your out-of-state driver license for a NYS driver license at a DMV office.


If I am a student studying in New York State do I need a New York State driver license?

Students from other states or from other nations who attend school in New York State are normally not considered residents of New York State, so they don’t need to exchange their current driver license.

Fees for an original learner permit and driver license

The fees shown in the table below are the total fees you pay for your first NYS learner permit and driver license or a new learner permit and driver license after a revocation.

 The fees shown include the driver license application fee, the license fee for the class of license and the document fees you would pay based on your age on the date you apply.

 The DMV issues an original driver license that is valid for a maximum of five years. The time period of your original driver license and the total fees depend on your exact age on the date of your application. NYS law requires the DMV to calculate the fee according to each period of six months that your original driver license is valid.

 For information about driver license Classes, see “Types of NYS driver licenses.”

 The table below does not show:

  • driver license renewal fees.
  • fees for a commercial driver licenses (CDL)
  • the additional $30 fee if you apply for an enhanced driver license (EDL) instead of a regular driver license.
  • fees for a non-driver ID card. 

Fees for Original Learner Permits and Driver Licenses

Age of ApplicantClass D or Class DJClass EClass M or Class MJ**
16 to 16½$80.00 $90.00*Not available at this age$85.00 $95.00*
16½ to 17$76.75 $85.75*Not available at this age$81.25 $90.25*
17 to 17½$92.50 $102.50*Not available at this age$97.50 $107.50*
17½ to 18$89.25 $98.25*Not available at this age$93.75 $102.75*
18 to 18½$80.00 $90.00*$110.00 $120.00*$85.00 $95.00*
18½ to 21$76.75 - $80.00
$85.75 - $90.00*
$103.75 - $110.00
$112.75 - $120.00*
$81.25 - $85.00
$90.25 - $95.00*
21 and older$64.25 - $67.50
$73.25 - $77.50*
$91.25 - $97.50
$100.25 - $107.25*
$68.75 - $72.50
$77.75 - $82.50*

* There is a supplemental Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) fee of $1.00 for every six months the permit or driver license will be in effect. The fee is paid by residents of the five New York City counties of: Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Queens and Richmond (Staten Island). The MCTD fee is also paid by residents of the counties of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester.

** A part of the fee for a motorcycle license (Class M, Class MJ) supports the Motorcycle Safety Program in NYS.


Normally, you can’t have a NYS driver license and a driver license from another state, at the same time, but there are exceptions. However, it is a violation of Federal law to hold more than one commercial driver license (CDL).

  • 1. Definition of Resident per Section 250 (5) of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law: "As used in this section, the term 'resident' shall mean domiciliary, that is, one who lives in this state with the intention of making it a fixed and permanent abode. It shall be presumptive evidence that a person who maintains a place of abode in this state for a period of at least ninety days is a resident of this state."

    To live in a house, a home, an apartment, a room or other similar place in NYS for 90 days is considered "presumptive evidence" that you are a resident of New York State. A police officer can use this as evidence to issue a traffic ticket if you drive in New York State without a NYS driver license or vehicle registration.

    A judge considers the law and the evidence of your intent and decides if you are a resident of New York State. If you pay taxes or your children attend school in another state, a judge considers these facts to decide if your intent is to make NYS a "fixed and permanent" residence. According to this law, students from other states or from other nations who attend school in New York State are usually not considered residents of NYS. DMV does not decide if you are a resident of New York State, if you must get a NYS driver license, or if you must register your vehicle in New York State.

  • 2. If your out-of-state photo driver license does not show the date it was issued, get a driver license record or letter from the state that issued the driver license that indicates the date of issue. If you cannot get a letter or abstract, you must apply for a new, original driver license. See Get your first driver license.
  • 3. If your out-of-state driver license or Canadian driver license is suspended or revoked, you cannot apply for a NYS driver license. You must remove the suspension or revocation and bring to a NYS DMV office a valid driver license that meets the requirements listed above.
  • 4. If your out-of-state driver license is lost or stolen apply to the previous state for a replacement photo driver license. The replacement driver license must
    • be a photo driver license
    • show that your out-of-state driver license was valid for at least 6 months

    Instead of a replacement driver license, you can apply to the previous state for a letter or driver abstract, and the letter or driver abstract must be

    • an original document
    • on the letterhead of the agency that issued your driver license
    • issued by the other state within six months before you submit the letter or driver abstract to us
    • the letter or driver abstract must contain all of the following information
      • your name, address, date of birth and driver license identification number
      • the type or class of driver license and any restrictions
      • a list any convictions, suspensions or revocations
      • the date your driver license was issued and the expiration date of your most recent driver license

    A letter or driver abstract has no value as proof of identity or date of birth.

  • 5. If you are not eligible for a Social Security Card, you must provide a letter from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) that states that you are not eligible. The SSA Letter must have been issued within the last 30 days. You must also show an I-94 with one of the following codes: B-1, B-2, E-2, F-2, H4, L-2, M-2, O-3, P-4, Q-3, R-2 or TD. At least 11 months of valid, legal status must remain on your I-94.
  • 6.

    The DMV accepts:

    • American Express® Card
    • Discover Card®/Novus®
    • MasterCard®
    • MasterCard® Debit card without personal identification number (PIN)
    • VISA® Card
    • Visa Debit Card without personal identification number (PIN)

Do it at the DMV

Make sure you  

  • meet our requirements and have all items described on this page
  • have payment for the fee (cash, check, money order or credit card)

Make a reservation online before visiting DMV offices in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Onondaga or Albany Counties.

Make a Reservation

For your convenience, many DMV PDF forms can be filled in online and then printed.