Get a learner permit
Getting a permit is the first step to get your driver license. Most people apply for a Class 'D - Operator' permit. 1 You must be 16 or older and must apply in person at a DMV office. You do not need an appointment for the written test. Here are the steps you need to take:
Step 1: Be prepared to take the written permit test
- study the NYS Driver's Manual and take the practice tests so you can pass the test
- class D and M permit tests are given in 14 languages: English, Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish
- you must get at least 14 of the 20 multiple-choice questions correct
- this includes the correct answers to at least two of the four questions about road signs
- if you are applying for a motorcycle permit, you must get at least three out of the five motorcycle questions correct
Step 2: Know what to bring to the DMV
- complete this guide to make sure you have the documents and proofs of identification you need BEFORE going to the DMV
Learn more about Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard documents.
Step 3: Go to the DMV
- apply and pay for your permit 2
- take your written test (if you fail, you can try again at no additional cost)
For quicker service, make a reservation online before visiting offices in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Onondaga or Albany Counties. See offices where this service is available.
Step 4: Wait up to 2 weeks for your permit to come in the mail
- your permit will be valid for approximately 5 years (the exact expiration date depends on your date of birth and the date that you applied)
- once you have your permit, you can move onto Step 5.
Step 5: Prepare for your road test
- you must have supervised driving practice 3
- you must take a pre-licensing course or a driver education course before you take your road test
- you will need to follow all learner permit restrictions
Step 6: Take your road test
- take your road test before your permit expires (you cannot renew a permit)
- if you pass your 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, start again at Step 5
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See a list of a driver license and learner permit topics.
- 1. There are special requirements to apply for a motorcycle permit/license, a commercial learner permit, a taxi license, or enhanced permit.
- 2. The permit fee depends on your age and where you live. Use the fee chart to estimate your fee.
- 3. if you are under 18, a Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262) completed by your parent or guardian.