Get Your Learner Permit and First Driver License
Step 1: Determine the Document Class You Need
Before you apply for a learner permit you must choose what type of document you need based on the type of vehicle you will be driving and how you will be using it. Each type of license has unique requirements.
- Class D: Operator - this is what most people have (or DJ - Junior Operator, if under 18)
- Class A, B, or, C: Commercial (CDL) - required to drive tractor-trailers, buses, etc. Learn about CDLs.
- Class M: Motorcycle - Learn about motorcycle licenses.
- Class E: Taxi or Livery - Learn about taxi and livery licenses.
See information about driver license classes.
Step 2: Determine the Document Type You Need
- beginning May 3, 2023, not accepted to board a domestic (within the U.S.) flight or to enter some federal buildings
- Has 'NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES' on the front
- REAL ID
- can be used to board a domestic (within the U.S.) flight
- has a white star in a black circle on the front
- can be used to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.)
- can be used to enter the U.S. at land crossings from Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean countries
- has a U.S. flag on the front
- costs an additional $30
Learn more about Enhanced, REAL ID, and Standard documents.
Step 3: Prepare to Take Your Permit Test
- Study the New York State Driver's Manual
- Take the permit test practice quizzes.
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 4: Gather the Documents You Will Need
You will need to provide:
- proof of age
- proof of identification
- proof of residence
Complete one of the guides below to determine the documents and proofs of identification you will need before you apply.
Guide for Enhanced or REAL ID 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.
Step 5: 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. You will need access to a web-enabled PC, smartphone, or tablet with a webcam, your proof of identity, and a parent or guardian to supervise your test-taking if you are under 18.
See how to take your permit test online.
At a DMV office
- proofs of identity, age, and residence
- fee for payment – see the fee chart to estimate the 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. If you do not pass you can try again. 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 the location, instructions, and reservation information for your DMV
Step 6: Practice Driving and Take a Pre-licensing Course
Once you have a learner permit, you must have supervised driving practice and take a pre-licensing course or a driver education course before taking your road test. Be sure to follow restrictions on where and when you can drive.
Find a driving school to practice supervised driving.
Find a pre-licensing course and prepare for your road test.
Step 7: Schedule and Take a Road Test
See how to schedule and take a road test.
After your road test, the examiner will give you instructions on how to receive your test results.
If you pass your test, an interim license that allows you to drive will be available online. Keep the interim license with your photo learner permit until your new license arrives in the mail (in about 2 weeks).
For a Class D, Class DJ, and Class E driver license, the expiration date of your learner permit becomes the expiration date of your driver license. The learner permit and the driver license are valid for a maximum of 5 years. When you apply for a learner permit and a driver license, you pay the fee for the length of time that the documents are valid.