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. Here are the steps you need to take:



Step 1: Be prepared to take the written permit test

  • study the NY State 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

Find your proofs


 Learn more about Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard documents


Step 3: Go to the DMV

  • apply and pay for your permit (use the fee chart to estimate your cost)
  • take your written test (if you fail, you can try again at no additional cost)
  • parent or guardian is not required unless you are using the "Statement of Identity and/or Residence by Parent/Guardian" (MV-45) 


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 



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


Still haven't found what you are looking for?  

See a list of a driver license and learner permit topics.



Help us improve our website!

Please take this short, 3 question survey. We appreciate your feedback!

Start survey