How to Get a Driver's License in New York

New York Drivers License Getting a driver’s license can be crucial for those that want to travel around New York. However, getting a driver’s license might not be easy for those that have never gotten their driver’s license before. Learn what it takes to get your New York state driver’s license before you head out to your local DMV.

Types of Licenses

Before applying for your driver’s license, you’re going to want to understand the various types of licenses New York has to offer. For those looking to drive for work, you’re going to want a commercial driver’s license, which comes in various classes depending on the type of vehicle you are looking to drive. Anyone else not driving commercially can expect to either get an operator or motorcycle license. Ensure that you fully understand the type of license to apply for before heading to your local DMV.

Take a NY Practice Permit Test

Learner’s Permit

Being able to drive at 16 can be a great way to give you the freedom you desire, but you’ll also need to understand the responsibilities that come with it. To make sure teens fully understand driving, it’s required that teens get a learner’s permit before getting their driver’s license. With the permit, teens can drive during certain times of the day as long as they have an adult supervising them in the car. This creates a system in which teens get someone watching over them and giving advice about their driving before taking their driver’s license test at least 6 months after getting their permit. Ensure that you fully understand what a learner’s permit is and how to get one if you are interested in driving under the age of 18.


No matter what age you are, you’re going to have to take multiple tests once you get to the DMV. The first test you take will be written in which you’ll have to answer questions about road signs and what you should be doing in specific situations. Once you’re done with your written test, you’ll either get your learner’s permit if that’s what you’re applying for or move on to the road test. The road test takes you out driving with a DMV tester who will approve or reject your license depending on how you handle important steps while driving like backing up, doing a U-turn, parking, and more. Whether you’re new to driving or think you’re an expert, make sure that you understand what will be on your tests and practice beforehand.

Probational Period

If you’ve passed the road test for the first time, you’ll move on to get your probationary driver’s license. During the six months after getting this license, you’ll be subject to higher punishment if you commit various driving violations like speeding, reckless driving, using a phone, and more. The higher punishment that you’ll be given for the first offense has a 60 day suspension period where you’re not allowed to drive. From there, you’ll have to restart your entire probation period again until you’ve gone six months without any violations. Make sure that you thoroughly look into what violations this probational period includes so that not only you don’t lose your license, but you don’t cause any accidents.


Once every couple of years, you’re required to renew your license if you want to keep driving. This renewal process can be started up to 1 year before your license actually expires by visiting the New York DMV website or visiting one of their offices. Drivers with expired licenses have up to 2 years after expiration to renew their license before they are required to go through the entire driver’s license process again, including the written and road test. Ensure that you keep the date of your license expiration in mind as you could be fined or even have your license taken away if you’re pulled over.