How to Get Your Learners Permit & Drivers License

Learner’s Permits

When you turn 16, you are eligible to apply for a learner’s permit with the permission of your parent or guardian. When you go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), fill out form MV-44. You must bring your birth certificate plus six points of identification. One must be a social security card which is worth two points. If you do not have four or more points, you can have a parent sign a MV-45 if they have a New York license. 

Study the New York State Driver’s Manual to make sure you are ready to take the test. When you are ready to take the test, make sure you check with your local DMV for hours of testing. You must pass an eye test, then a 20 question written test. You must get 14 of the 20 questions right, including two of the four questions on road signs. You must also pay a fee, which depends on your age. However, if you completed Driver’s Education, you do not need to take the written test.

Driver's License

After you get your learner’s permit, you should practice often to get driving experience. If you don’t practice enough you risk failing your driver’s test. You must complete a pre-licensing course, or “5-hour-course,” if you have not completed Driver’s Education. You must also bring a form stating you have had 20 hours of driving practice, called the MV-262 that must be signed by your parent or guardian. You can take these at your high school or through a private driving company. 

When you’re sure you are ready, you can schedule an appointment online or on the phone. Your appointment is usually three to eight weeks after you schedule it, and it may take longer during the summer. If you fail, there is no charge to take the test a second time. If you fail twice, then you must pay $10 for an additional two tests.

After You Get Your Driver's License

Until you are 18 years old, you have a DJ, or junior driver’s license. If you take Driver’s Education and show your MV-285 form of completion to the instructor after your road test, you will receive your senior license after you turn 17. If you
complete driver’s education after your test but before your 18th birthday, you must bring the certificate into the DMV and pay a $10 fee to upgrade your license.