Understanding The Driving Laws In New York State

Understanding The Driving Laws In New York State

New York State is truly one of the most beautiful and diverse states in our country. Upstate, you can experience the vivid landscapes, mountainsides, and rural life that has come to be associated with upstate New York. In the southern part of the state lies the most famous city in the world, New York City. The amount of people, diversity, and activity that goes on down there is a complete 180º from what you would see in the northern part of the state.

As a driver, you have to adjust to the different aspects of New York state when it is necessary. There are different rules when driving in a city compared to the countryside. There are also laws that are universal. In order to be prepared, you are required to attend a drivers education course as a teenager.

At, we pride ourselves in our information regarding driving education and the various laws throughout the country. We want to make sure you are prepared as possible when getting on the road. Therefore, here is some helpful information regarding driving in New York State.

What are the Required To Drive In New York State?

In order to drive a car or motorcycle in New York State, you must be a least 16 years of age, and have either have a valid New York State drivers license/learner permit, or a driver license/learner permit that is valid for driving in New York State issued by another state or country.

Are you someone who isn’t a resident of New York state? That’s okay! If you’re from another country or state, you can drive in New York State with a valid driver license. You don’t need to apply for a New York State driver license unless you become a New York State resident. If you decide to become a New York State resident, you must get a New York State driver license within 30 days. You may be eligible to exchange your out-of-state or Canadian license for a New York driver license. If your license was issued outside the U.S. or Canada, you must apply for a new original NYS driver license at a DMV office.

How Do I Get My New York State License?

There a few things you must do to get a New York State driver license. First off, you must pass a written test, which will cover materials covered in your drivers education class. Next, you must complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course. Lastly, you must pass a road test to qualify for a New York State driver license. The road test will cover all of the important aspects of driving; including changing lanes and parallel parking.

Once you pass your road test, you must serve a six month probationary period. This sentence is meant to keep you check, and make sure that you’re following the rules of the road. During this probationary period, if you are caught speeding, reckless driving, texting while driving, your license will be suspended for 60 days. With that being said, just be smart on the road, and you’ll be fine.

Another noteworthy point deals with the expiration of your first drivers license. For a Class D, DJ, or E driver license (the most common license you’ll come across), your learner permit will become the expiration date of your drivers license. This learner permit/drivers license are valid for up to five years. Following that, you must go back to the DMV and update your license.

New York State License Renewal

In New York, you can renew your driver’s license one year before it expires and up to two years after the expiration date.

If you fail to apply within that given time frame, you will be required to re-apply for an original license – this means you’ll have to pass the vision and written test all over again. And, you’ll have to take the 5-hour pre-licensing course and road test AGAIN!

Meanwhile, for those who are turning 21 soon, you must renew your license within 40 days before your 21st birthday – this is so that the “UNDER 21” designation will no longer be displayed in your renewed license card.

There are three ways to renew your license in New York: online, by mail, or by visiting a DMV office.

 To renew online, visit this page here and make sure to read the reminders on what you’ll need to submit before you click “Continue”. Some requirements may differ depending on whether your license expired from March 1, 2020, through August 31, 2021, or not, so READ CAREFULLY.

Once you complete the process, you can download and print a temporary license (valid for 60 days). You can use it until your new license arrives. 

 If you choose to renew by mail, you just need to follow the steps provided in the renewal notice that you will receive and mail your requirements, along with your payment to:

NYS Department of Motor Vehicles

207 Genesee Street, Suite 6

Utica, NY 13501-2874

Meanwhile, you are required to renew in person by visiting a DMV office near you if you want to change from a standard ID to an Enhanced or REAL ID or if you want to update your photo or change your license class.

Dealing With A Lost Or Stolen Drivers License

If you happen to lose your drivers license, either by theft or just unfortunate circumstances, there are several replacement options available to you. If your license was in fact stolen, make sure you report it to the police! Doing so will allow the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to waive your replacement fee.

You may apply for a replacement online, by mail, or in person. There are certain circumstances for each method. In order to see if you are qualified to ask for a replacement online, visit the New York DMV website for more information. They lay out everything in great detail.

Visit Drive-Safely For More Information On New York State Driving Laws

With all of the being said, are you ready to take your driving test and be on the road? At, we provide in depth reviews for critically acclaimed online driving schools, as well as discounts and coupons that you can use when signing up. These online drivers ed classes will help prepare for driving in New York, and other areas of the country. Please visit our website for more information!

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