New York Conditional and Restricted Licenses

A restricted or conditional license in New York allows you to drive for specific purposes such as going to and from work, traveling to work, picking up and dropping off children for daycare, attending court-ordered classes or community service, and doctor's appointments. Suspension of one's license is a common penalty for drunk driving, serious traffic violations, and accumulating points on one's driving record. The best way to avoid suspension and future license complications is to fight the offense.

Types of Conditional and Restricted License in New York

The conditional licenses available include:

Conditional License

Suppose you have not had a conditional license issued within five years. In that case, you may be eligible to complete the Impaired Driver Program (DIP) for a DMV-issued conditional license for those who have had their license suspended or revoked due to drunk driving or other drug/alcohol-related offenses.

Restricted License

Suppose you have had a restricted license in the last five years and otherwise qualify. In that case, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) may issue you a restricted license as long as your license was not revoked for criminal violations or drug or alcohol use.

New York Laws on Restricted or Conditional License

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, a motorist in New York who has had their license suspended due to violating laws against drunk or drugged driving may be issued a conditional license. Under these circumstances, the driver must attend an Impaired Driver Program approved by the state DMV to be granted a conditional license. The DMV may also issue a restricted use license to a motorist whose license has been suspended or revoked for reasons unrelated to drugged or impaired driving or whose license has been suspended or revoked due to certain drug law violations. Motorists with a conditional or restricted license are typically permitted to drive only to and from work; during work hours if the job requires it; to and from the DMV; to classes authorized as part of an Impaired Diver Program; to and from probation activities; to and from accredited educational institutions; to and from a child's school; to medical appointments; and for one other brief designated period as specified. When you receive a conditional or restricted license, you will be given a special Attachment (MV-2020) and your conditional license. This will specify what you are permitted to do.

When You Recieve Your Conditional or Restricted License

If you receive a conditional license or driving privilege, you may only drive under the following conditions:
  • To and from your place of work;
  • If your job requires you to drive a motor vehicle during working hours;
  • To and from a Motor Vehicle office to conduct conditional license business;
  • To and from a class or activity that is an approved component of the IDP;
  • To and from a class or course that you are enrolled in at an accredited school, college, or university, or at a state-approved vocational or technical training institution
  • To and from court-ordered probation activities;
  • Between 5:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. as well as 9:00 p.m. once a week – unless this privilege is amended, the assigned period will not be changed;
  • To and from a medical appointment as part of necessary treatment for you or a member of your household – you must carry a written statement from your licensed medical practitioner as evidence and show it to any police officer who requests to see it;
  • To and from a child's school/daycare if the child's attendance at the school/daycare is required for you to keep your job or enroll in an accredited school, college, or university, or a state-approved vocational or technical training institution.
Although your driving ability is limited, performing essential tasks allows you to support yourself and your family. Violations of license conditions can result in severe penalties such as increased license suspension, fines, or jail time.


If you drive outside of permitted activities or commit any moving violations while driving on a conditional or restricted license, your license will be revoked. You may also be ticketed for a traffic violation under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 530(6). Violations of section 530(6) can result in fines of several hundred dollars, depending on whether or not the offense was a first offense. In some cases, a motorist who violates the terms of a restricted license may face incarceration.

Out-of-state Residents

Obtaining a conditional license is more difficult if you are an out-of-state defendant who was charged in New York. Because they have no jurisdiction over licensing in another state, the Department of Motor Vehicles cannot issue a conditional license for an out-of-state license. They also cannot issue a conditional license to someone who does not have a New York State license. To obtain a New York State license, you may be able to request an adjournment. Your New York State license would then be suspended, and you could be issued a conditional license in the state. As previously stated, it is more complicated. The conditional licensing statute was recently amended to allow New York State to issue the conditional privilege of "operating a motor vehicle in this state," which is essentially the same as a conditional license and allows you to operate a vehicle in New York State without a New York State license.