This Step: Get a Learner Permit
Get a Learner Permit in New York
New York enlists a graduated drivers licensing program for teens looking to get behind the wheel. You can start the process by taking a written permit test when you turn 16 years old. If you have completed drivers ed and have a form MV-285 Driver Education Certificate, you can skip the written test and move on to the next step.
A) Ace a Few DMV Practice Tests
Take multiple online practice permit tests before you head to a New York DMV office to take your written test. Sample test questions cover topics you’ll come across on the actual permit exam. You should also study the New York Driver's Manual.
B) Gather the Appropriate Documents and License Fees
Bring the following requirements with you on test day:
- A completed Driver License Application* (form MV-44);
- Proofs of identity and date of birth totaling six points; if you lack six points of proof, have your parent or legal guardian complete form MV-45 at the DMV office
- A valid Eye Test Report (form MV-619) completed by an eye care professional (or you can take a vision exam at the DMV)
- Proper application and drivers license fees (payable with cash, check or credit card)
This application form is used for both your first learner permit and your first driver license. You'll pay the application fees on your visit to complete the application. At this time, the DMV creates a digital image of your photo and signature, keeping both for future use.
*If you're younger than 18, your parent or guardian is not required to accompany you. Just have them sign the application as proof of consent. If you are 17 years old and you have a Driver Education Certificate, consent is NOT required.
C) Take the NY Written Knowledge Test
After gathering your requirements, take your written knowledge exam (permit test) at any local NY DMV office. To pass, you must correctly answer at least 14 of the 20 multiple-choice questions (including at least two of the four questions about road signs). If you fail, the state allows you to retest multiple times without paying any additional fees.