Get a learner permit
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. 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.
Step 2: Be ready to take an eye test
You will need to take an eye test, unless you bring an Eye Test Report (MV-619) completed by an eye-care professional.
Step 3: Bring to the DMV
a completed Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (MV-44)
- if you are under 18, your parent/guardian must sign the 'consent' section (they don't need to sign it at the DMV)
- if you are 17 and have a Driver Education Certificate (MV-285), you don't need consent
your Social Security Card (photocopies are not acceptable) or proof of ineligibility 2
acceptable proof of your identity and date of birth (all proofs must be original or certified by the issuing agency)
- if you are under 21 and use the Statement of Identity by Parent/Guardian (MV-45) as proof of identity (you cannot use as proof date of birth), your parent or guardian must sign it at the DMV, and they must present 6 points of proof of identity
payment for the fees 3
see the fee chart to estimate how much you will need to pay
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.
The fee depends on your age and where you live. Use the permit fee chart to estimate your fee.
About the written test
You must take a written test to receive your learner permit. To pass the test, 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.
Class D and M permit tests are given in 14 languages: English, Albania, Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian and Spanish.
If you don't pass, you can take it again
There is no additional fee to retake the written test, and there is no limit to how many times you can take it.
If you pass
We will issue you a learner permit that is valid for approximately 5 years. The exact expiration date depends on your date of birth and the date that you applied for the learner permit. Allow about 2 weeks for it to come in the mail (you will get a temporary permit at the DMV).
After you get your permit
Practice driving and take a pre-licensing course
Once you have a learner permit, you must have supervised driving practice and 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.
Learn how to find a pre-licensing course and prepare for your road test.
You should take your road test before your permit expires. Generally, you cannot renew a permit.
Pass a road test to get your license
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 learner permit until your new license arrives in the mail (in about 2 weeks).
See how to schedule & take a road test.
Still haven't found what you are looking for? 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. If you lost your card, you must get a duplicate from Social Security Administration before going to the DMV. If you are not eligible for a Social Security Number, you must give us a letter from the Social Security Administration that was issued within 30 days of your application to DMV indicating you are not eligible. You must also show the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documentation that was used by the SSA to determine that you are not eligible.
- 3. You can pay by cash, credit/debit card or a check/money order made out to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles".
The DMV accepts:
- American Express® Card
- Discover Card®/Novus®
- MasterCard® Debit card without personal identification number (PIN)
- VISA® Card
- Visa Debit Card without personal identification number (PIN)