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The Graduated License Law and Restrictions for Drivers under 18

In addition to the learner permit restrictions that apply to everyone, the Graduated License Law places restrictions on drivers under 18 years of age who have a junior learner permit or junior driver license (Class DJ, MJ or DJMJ).  The restrictions depend on

  • whether you have a junior learner permit or a junior driver license
  • where and when you will be driving in New York State

If you do not comply with these restrictions, your junior learner permit or junior driver license could be suspended or revoked for 60 days.  


Where will you be driving?

Your driving privileges will vary depending on which of the following three geographic regions you will be driving in

  • Upstate New York (which is defined as any county north of the NYC border)
  • New York City (which is defined by the five Boroughs)
  • Long Island (which includes Nassau and Suffolk County)


Map of Regions
NYS map showing regional restrictions


What is the difference between junior learner permit or a junior driver license?

  • junior learner permit allows a young driver to drive only while supervised
  • depending on the region in which you are driving, a junior driver license, may allow a young driver to drive unsupervised with certain restrictions.


Can I drive outside of New York State with a junior learner permit or a junior driver license?

You may drive outside New York State with your NYS junior learner permit or junior driver license if it is allowed by the laws of the other state. You must obey the junior permit and license restrictions that apply in that state. Check with the police or motor vehicle authorities in the state you will visit.


Can I drive in New York State with a learner permit, junior learner or junior driver license from another state?

If you are under age 16, you cannot drive in New York State, even if you hold a permit or license issued by another state.

If you are age 16 or older and hold a learner permit, junior learner permit, or junior driver license from outside New York State, you must obey

  • any restrictions imposed by the state that issued your permit or driver license, and
  • the New York State general learner permit restrictions and, if you are under age 18,  the regional junior learner permit and junior driver license restrictions explained on these pages

Make sure your learner permit or driver license is valid to drive outside your home state before you drive in New York State.