Exchange your out-of-state driver license
Who must exchange their out of state license
Who is eligible
Your current license must be from another US state or territory out-of-state license must (see instructions below if you are student or a driver from another country),
Your current 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 a commercial driver license that has been valid for any amount of time)
You cannot exchange your license if it is
- suspended or revoked
- lost or stolen
- a hardship or an "employment only driver license"
- marked "non-renewable" or "non-transferable"
Your New York license will be valid for 5 years.
DMV offers three types of licenses: Standard, Enhanced, and REAL ID
- beginning May 3, 2023, not accepted to board a domestic (within U.S.) flight or to enter some federal buildings
- Has 'NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES' on the front
- REAL ID
- can be used to board a domestic (within U.S.) flight
- has a white star in a black circle on the front
- can be used to board a domestic flight (within U.S.)
- can be used to enter U.S. at land crossings from Canada, Mexico and some Carribean countries
- has a U.S. flag on the front
- costs an additional $30
Learn more about Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard documents.
You must exchange your out of state license 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
- to find a complete list of proofs of identity New York accepts, please review How to apply for a New York Learner Permit/ DriverLicense/Non-Driver ID card (PDF) (ID-44), or
- use the buttons below to find what you need
At the DMV, 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 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 do not need to exchange their current driver license.
Normally, you cannot 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 DMV has additional resources for drivers from other countries.
- 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 another 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
- 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.