How to get a learner permit

Overview


Getting a learner driver permit is the first step to getting a driver license. Permits are valid for approximately 5 years (the exact expiration date depends on your date of birth and the date that you apply). You must be 16 years or older to apply.



Follow the steps below to get a Class D - Operator (Car) permit

A Class D - Operator permit is the most common class of permit that people apply for.  The steps on this page outline how to get a Class D Operator permit. 

For information about other types of permits and licenses see

Learn more about New York State driver license types and classes.



Step 1: Prepare for the permit test


Study the NY State Driver's Manual and take the practice tests

Both Class D and M permit tests are given in 16 languages: English, Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Bosnian, Chinese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Polish, Russian and Spanish.



Step 2: Gather what you need to apply


Proof of age, identity, and residence

When you apply, you will need to provide proof of age, identification, and residence.  Your permit will be Standard, Enhanced, or REAL ID, depending on the proofs you bring and the fee. 

What is the difference between a Standard, Enhanced, or Real ID?

See a side-by-side comparison to learn more and determine which type of permit is right for you. 

See what documents you need

Complete one of these guides to ensure you have the documents and proofs of identification you need before you apply.

Guide for Enhanced or REAL ID Permit

 

Guide for Standard Permit

 

You can also see a complete list:  How to Apply for a New York Learner Permit/Driver License/Non-Driver ID Card (PDF) (ID-44).

If you use the "Statement of Identity and/or Residence by Parent/Guardian (PDF)" (MV-45), your parent or guardian must come with you.

If you plan to apply for and take your permit test online, you should have access to a PC or tablet (smartphones may not properly display the questions).

Step 3: Apply and take your permit test

 

You can begin your application online or at a DMV office

 

Online

You can submit your application and take your test online (using a PC or tablet), at home, and come to the DMV to complete your application. Follow these instructions

1:  Use the 'Begin your permit application' button below to Log in to NY.gov ID or create an account if you do not have one 

(We recommended you use the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, Safari, or Firefox browsers - if you use Internet Explorer, make sure Compatibility Mode is disabled)

2:  Tell us who you are

3:  Confirm the type of permit you want (D (car) or M (motorcycle)

4:  Identify the supporting (identification) documents you have and the forms you will need to get a permit

5:  Upload your documents – you must provide scanned or photo images of your documents 

    • DMV will keep your documents safe and secure

6:  Review and confirm your application

7:  Check your email for the permit test link – you must begin your test within 15 minutes of receiving it

    • Expect the test to take 30-40 minutes to complete
    • We recommend you use a PC or tablet (smartphones may not properly display the questions)

8:  Take your permit test (if you fail, do not worry! - you can resubmit your application and try again after a least 6 hours)

9:  After you pass your test, use the link we send you by email to make a reservation to visit a DMV office to

    • Show the originals of the documents you uploaded
    • Have your photo taken
    • Pay the permit fee
    • Get a temporary permit (you will receive your permit within 2 weeks by mail)

Please note: DMV reserves the right to require additional testing of any Online Permit Test applicant prior to the issuance of the applicant’s learner permit.

 

Begin your online permit application

 

At a DMV office

You can come to a DMV to apply (but is easier if you start your application online). Follow these instructions

1:  Bring

2:  Take the written test (if you fail, do not worry! - you can try again at no additional cost)

    • To pass, you must get at least 14 of the 20 multiple-choice questions correct, including the correct answers to at least two of the four questions about road signs

3:  If you pass your written test

    • We will give you a temporary permit at the office
    • You will receive your permit within 2 weeks by mail

See location, instructions and reservation information for your DMV

 

Next step: Get your license


Once you get your permit, you will need to pass a road test to get your full driver license.   

 

First, prepare for your road test

 

Prepare for your road test

 

Next, schedule your road test

  • Take your road test before your permit expires (you cannot renew a permit)
  • Schedule & take a road test
  • After your road test, the examiner will provide instructions on how to receive your test result
  • If you pass your road test,0 an interim license that allows you to drive will be available online
  • Keep the interim license with your photo permit until your new license arrives in the mail (in about 2 weeks) 
  • If you fail, prepare more, and schedule another test


Schedule your road test

 

 

Did you find what you are looking for?  

 

We hope you did. If not, please see a list of learner permit topics.