How to get a learner permit
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
- Class M - Motorcycle permit/license
- Class 'E' ('taxi / livery') license
- Commercial learner permit (CLP) and commercial license (CDL)
Learn more about New York State driver license types and classes.
Step 1: Prepare for the permit test
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.
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.
Step 3: Apply and take your permit test
You can begin your application online or at a DMV office.
You can submit your application and take your test online, 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)
- If you are under 18
- Your parent/guardian must supervise the test
- That parent/guardian must come with you to a DMV office to complete your process, and sign the Online Permit Test Parent/Guardian Certification (PDF) (MV-263) in front of a DMV representative
- If you are 18 or older
- You must sign the Online Permit Test Attestation for Applicants 18 Years of Age and Older (PDF) (MV-264) at a DMV office, in front of a DMV representative
- To pass the test, you must correctly answer at least
- 80% of the overall questions, and
- 50% of the questions relating to road signs
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)
At a DMV office
You can come to a DMV to apply (but is easier if you start your application online). Follow these instructions
- Your application
- Your proofs of identity, age, and residence
- Fee for payment – see the fee chart to estimate the cost
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
Please note: Office procedures have changed due to COVID-19. We recommend you conduct your DMV business at the office or by mail in the County where you are a resident. See instructions and reservation information for your County.
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
- You must have supervised driving practice
- You must take a pre-licensing course or a driver education course before you take your road test
- Learn how to find a pre-licensing course and prepare for your road test
- You will need to follow all learner permit restrictions
- If you are under age 18, you must wait at least 6 months from the date you received your learner permit to schedule 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
- If you pass your road test, the examiner will give you an interim license that allows you to drive
- 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
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We hope you did. If not, please see a list of learner permit topics.