Exchange your out-of-state driver license
You must exchange your-out-state driver license (from another U.S. state or territory, federal district or Canadian province) within 30 days of becoming a resident of New York. 1
Your out-of-state license must
- have your photograph
- be valid or expired less than 24 months
- have been issued at least 6 months before you apply for a New York license (unless it is commercial driver license that has been valid for any amount of time) 2
You cannot exchange your license if it is
- suspended or revoked 3
- lost or stolen 4
- a hardship or an "employment only driver license" 5
- marked "non-renewable" or "non-transferable" 6
Your New York license will be valid for 5 years.
At the DMV
This transaction can only be processed in person, at a DMV office.
You will need to
- pass a vision test at the DMV or bring a completed Eye Test Report (pdf) (MV-619)
- surrender your out-of-state license, unless it is lost or stolen
- bring proof of identity
Complete this guide to make sure you have the documents and proofs of identity you need.
We will give you a temporary non-photo license document. Allow 2 weeks for your new license to arrive in the mail.
|Standard Driver License (class D, DJ, and N)||$65 or $75*|
|Motorcycle (class M and MJ)||$70 or $80*|
|Taxi, Livery, Limousine (class E)||$95 or $105*|
|Commercial Driver License (class A, B and C)||$127 or $137*|
* Residents of these counties must pay the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD) fee ($10):
Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester.
Enhanced documents have an additional $30.00 fee.
- most credit, pinless debit or prepaid cards (American Express, Discover Card/Novus, MasterCard, VISA)
- a personal check or a money order payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles"
I am studying in New York State. Do I need a New York State driver license?
Students from other states, countries or 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.
Normally, you can’t have a NY State 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).
Drivers from other countries
You can drive in New York State with a valid driver license from another country. You do not need to apply for a New York State driver license unless you become a New York State resident.
To get a New York State driver license, you must pass a written test, complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course and pass a road test. See Get a driver license.
When you pass your road test, you must give your foreign driver license to the DMV road test examiner. The local DMV office will destroy your foreign driver license after 60 days. If you plan to return to your home country and will need your foreign driver license, ask the road test examiner how to make sure that your foreign driver license is not destroyed.
The DMV has additional resources for drivers from other countries.
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- 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 New York State 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 certified driver license record or letter from the state that issued the 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 NY State driver license.
You must remove the suspension or revocation and bring to a NY State 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 certified driver abstract. The letter or 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. You must apply for an original NY State driver license.
- 6. You must apply for an original NY State driver license.