NY New Drivers – Under 18

New drivers in New York come in all ages, with those under 18 creating a bit more risk that will require a bit more preparation, although the state of New York imposes training guidelines on all new drivers in the state regardless of age. While other states allow teens at least 15 to obtain a driver's permit, but in New York, you will have to wait until you reach 16 before you can apply for your learner's permit or driver's license. Driver's 18 or older are exempt from this permit, but those under 18 will need it before a junior license is possible.

Those who are 16 and wish to start driving must first complete a driver's education course, apply for their permit, complete the necessary 50 supervised driving hours, and apply for a junior license if they haven't yet reached 17.

New drivers aged 17 are exempt from the 50 supervised driving hours if they have completed their driver's education and prelicensing courses, however will still need to first obtain a driver's permit and junior license before they can apply for their driver's license, which is offered to those who are 17.

New York Graduated License Program

Driving experience can be everything when you get behind the wheel on the road. Sure you could get in a parking lot and drive stress and worry free, but once you encounter other drivers on the roadways, experience is key. Much like other US states, New York has begun regulating teen drivers under 18 with the graduated license program which requires that you take the appropriate steps before a driver's license is possible.

  1. First obtain your New York learner's permit.
  2. Enroll in New York DMV approved driver's ed.
  3. Hold permit for at least 6 months.
  4. Obtain the necessary Certificate of 50 Hours of Supervised Driving.
  5. Apply for your New York junior license.
  6. If you have already reached 17, you can upgrade your junior license to a standard Class D operator's license if your driver's ed course has been completed successfully.
Driver's Education in New York

Driver's education is very important in New York for many reasons. Providing you with the basic driving skills that you really need to ensure that you are well aware of what to expect from driving in the state to giving you the great experience that you will need when you do get your license. There are several different courses offered in New York from high schools, colleges, and other educational institutions that will provide the state approved courses that you need as a driver under 18 to get your learner's permit and your driver's license.

If you are a new resident in New York, you will first have to verify that your driver's ed course from your previous state will still apply by calling the NYS Education Department at 1-518-474-5922 or by requesting by mail through the following address:

New York State Education Department

Driver Safety Education Unit

Room 681-EBA

Albany, NY 5922

Getting Your New York Provisional Permit

If you are a new driver under 18 in New York, an NY issued learning permit is required before you can apply for your driver's license. You will hold this permit for a total of 6 months before a license is possible. So how do you get your learning permit? Follow the simple steps below and get your permit easily and quickly.

  1. Must have reached the age of 16.
  2. Utilize end-of-chapter practice quizzes in New York driver's handbook online
  3. Complete MV-44, Driver's License Application, with parent/guardian consent required for new drivers under 18.
  4. Provide 6 points of your identity – if you don't know what this is, visit Proof of Identity
  5. Provide Social Security card or SSA statement of ineligibility.
  6. Successfully pass vision exam or provide an eye test report completed by your eye doctor.
  7. If you don't have a completion certificate for driver's ed, you will be required to pass your written exam. (Study chapters 4 -11 of online New York driver's manual or sections 2 and 3 of the printed manual.)
  8. Pay appropriate fees.
  9. Complete the process and submit all documents and forms in-office at the local DMV.
  • Your responsibilities with a provisional permit in New York are the same as that with a Class D license, however, you won't be given the freedom obtained through your Class D license. Instead, your driving privileges are restricted to ensure you gain the experience needed before giving full privileges. Teens are thought to be the highest risk on the road behind the wheel, which is why you will be regulated in your driving until you have obtained your standard license at 17 or 18.
  • There are special rules for those with a provisional permit, which include the requirement of a front passenger who is at least 21 years old and license in New York, while you are not permitted to drive with more than one passenger under 21, unless they qualify as immediate family. At no time can the front passenger be unlicensed or under 21.
Supervised Driving Practice

New York requires that you drive at least 50 hours while supervised, at least 15 of these hours at night, in order to prepare adequately for your license road test, as well as to provide adequate documentation for your road exam as these hours are required if you haven't completed driver's ed in New York and obtained a completion certificate to prove successful completion.

  • If you are 17 or under, you will be required to attend either New York prelicensing training or driver's ed before you can start your road test.
Applying for Your New York State Driver's License

You are only eligible to apply for your driver's license in New York if you meet the following qualifications:

  • 16 or older
  • Have a current driver's learning permit held for at least 6 months
  • Have Driver's Ed Completion Certificate or MV-262 Certificate of 50 Supervised Driving Hours
If you are 18 or you are 17 and have been deemed exempt from the above criteria for your new license in New York, you will follow the following process for getting your NY license.

  1. Schedule and complete the driver's road exam.
  2. Obtain your junior license, Class DJ, restricting license privileges. Restrictions for your driving with this license type are found in chapter 1 of your driver's manual.
  3. Obtain standard Class D license, which can be upgraded at 17 with completion of Driver's Ed or automatically when you reach 18.
NY Teen Driver Monitoring

As a teen driver in New York, you are presenting the state roadways with a higher risk than older, more experienced drivers. For this reason, parents and guardians are offered the opportunity to monitor their teen drivers' driving with automatic notification of traffic violations, reportable accidents, or suspension or revocation of their license by mail as it arises on their driving record.

This is not mandatory however, as it is a voluntary program that parents or guardians can enroll in by completing the appropriate form found online at TEENS, and sending by mail to:

Office for the Younger Driver

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles

6 Empire State Plaza

Albany, NY 12228

For more information about the TEENS Service offered by the New York DMV.