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Apply for a New York Learners Permit

New York Drivers Permit Application

If you seek to achieve a drivers license, you will have to start by applying for a New York learners permit first. The application procedure that you need to follow largely depends on your age, since drivers permit applicants under the age of 18 need to meet all New York graduated license law requirements. Although the minimum age for receiving a New York learners permit is 16, you should start the application process much sooner, in fact, you can start it as soon as you reach the age of 15. Good preparation is the key so make sure you know what you're doing before you head down to the NYS DMV and submit your application for a New York learners permit.

New York Graduated Driver's License

The graduated drivers license rules apply only to those who choose to receive a New York learners permit before the age of 18 years. The program was developed as a response to high crash rates among teen drivers and it addresses the most common causes of traffic accidents, such as distracted driving, lack of driving experience and failure to take basic safety precautions while driving. The New York graduated drivers license program sets a number of additional requirements on top of the ones that apply to older drivers. You can obtain detailed information about the graduated driver's license program in the New York DMV permit handbook that is published and distributed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Tests Required

Applying for a New York drivers permit will require you to go through a number of testing procedures that will determine whether you are mentally and physically fit to drive. At the moment, every learner's permit applicant is required to take two tests - a vision exam and a New York permit test.

Vision Test

To pass the vision test, you must have 20/40 vision in at least one eye with or without corrective lenses. If you cannot pass this test or if you wear telescopic lenses, contact a DMV Call Center for further guidance.

Written Permit Test

The permit test in New York consist of 20 multiple choice questions on the state driving rules, road signs, safe driving practices and effects of drugs and alcohol on driving. In order to pass the test, you need to answer at least 14 of these questions correctly and you must correctly answer at least two out of four questions on road signs. All of the NY permit test questions are based on the information put forth in the DMV learners permit manual.

When it comes to taking the permit test, teenagers have two options. The drivers permit test can be taken at the DMV office or through your high school, if the school is participating in the the DMV Online Knowledge Test Application (OKTA) program. If you take the test at school, your school officials will provide you with a receipt to present at the DMV office when you go in to hand in your paperwork and apply for a New York drivers permit.

If you are unsure as to whether you are ready to take the permit test, practice permit test NY can help you make this decision. Practice permit tests are based on the same materials as the real exam, they are completely free and you can take them as many times as you need.

Paperwork Required

When you are applying for a New York DMV learners permit, you will be required to present the following paperwork:

  • proof of name
  • proof of birth date
  • Social Security Card

Once at the office, you will also need to fill an Application for a Drivers License MV-44.

If you have taken a learners permit test through the OKTA system at your high school, you will also need to present the receipt that was given to you by your high school officials as proof of your test results.

If you would list to find out what the acceptable proof of name and date of birth documents in New York are, a detailed list of documents is available in the drivers permit book.

Applying for a Drivers Permit - Under 18 Years of Age

The minimum age when you can apply for a New York driver's permit is 16 years, however you can take a learners permit test though the online knowledge permit test application program if you are at least 15 years of age. If you choose to take the test through your high school, make sure to keep the receipt, you will need to present it at the DMV office when you go in to file your paperwork.

The law does not require you to complete a New York drivers education course prior to applying for a drivers permit, however we strongly advise to do so. If you choose not to complete a drivers education course at high school, you will be required to complete a 5 hour drivers safety course prior to taking your New York drivers test. Plus, drivers ed courses give you a strong solid knowledge of driving rules, so they are of great help to those getting ready to pass the permit test.

Even if you took the written knowledge test online at your high school, you must still visit the DMV, take a vision test and file the paperwork before you can apply for an NYS learners permit. The permit should be issued on the spot.

Applying for a Learner's Permit - 18 Years of Age and Older

Application for a New York learners permit for those who are already 18 years of age is very similar to that for younger drivers, the only real different is that you will not be able to take the DMV permit test online and will have to do that through your local DMV office. Go down to the office, submit the required paperwork, pass both a vision exam and a driver's permit test and you have your New York learners permit.

Operating Under a Driver Permit

Keep in mind that the main purpose of a New York learner permit is to allow you to get behind the wheel and practice driving. The permit does not grant you full driving privileges and you must observe all New York permit restrictions until you apply for an NYS drivers license and pass your drivers license test. While operating under a permit, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a licensed driver at least 21 years of age accompany you at all times. In Long Island and New York City, the supervising person must be the driver's parent, legal guardian or a professional driving instructor.