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Frequently Asked Questions - New York Teen Driver

All new drivers under the age of 18 are on probation for the first six months. If you are convicted of any of the following infractions, your license will be suspended for 60 days:

• Speeding
• Reckless driving
• Following too closely
• Participating in a speed contest
• Any two traffic violations

If you are found guilty of committing one of the above violations and two other moving violations during the probationary period, your license will be revoked for a minimum of six months. After the revocation period, you will be placed on probation for another six months.

When applying for a learner’s permit or driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

• If you are under 18, you must fill out the application form (MV-44) and have it signed by your parent or legal guardian.
• You must submit the Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262) Form signed by your parent or legal guardian certifying that you have completed a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving, with 15 hours completed after sunset.
• If you are 17 years or older and have a Driver Education Student Certificate of Completion (MV-285), you do not need the consent of your parent or legal guardian.
• Submit documents to complete the 6-point identification verification.
• Submit your Social Security card.
• Pay the appropriate fee in cash, check or credit card.

In lieu of taking the vision test, you can submit an Eye Test Report (MV-619) signed by a licensed eye care specialist certifying that your vision meets the basic vision standards required by the DMV.

Once I get my permit, what do I need to do before I can drive with my parents?
The New York State Department of Health recommends that your parents read the “Teen Driving Safety Booklet for Parents” which is available online at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/3084/. The information provided is aimed at keeping teen drivers and their passengers safe while learning how to drive. A written parent/teen driving agreement will help you and your parents to set up rules for driving and the consequences for breaking the agreement.

Before you can make a road test appointment with the DMV, you must do the following:

• Complete an approved pre-licensing safe driving course to obtain an MV-278 Pre-Licensing Course Completion Certificate, or

• Complete a high school or college driver education course to obtain an MV-285 Driver Education Certificate.

The MV-278 Certificate is valid for one year from the date issued. The MV-285 Certificate is valid for two years after the date issued.

The New York DMV requires all applicants to provide proof of identity, age and proof of name. Documents that prove your name are assigned a point value. You must submit proofs that total six points or more. At least one of the proofs must have your signature.

Proof of Identity (Must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation)
• U.S. college identification with photo and transcript
• U.S. marriage or divorce record or court-issued name change document
• New York State professional license
• New York State or New York City Pistol Permit
• St. Regis Mohawk Tribe identification card

Proof of Identity (Must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation)
—1 Point
• Valid U.S. major credit card, ATM card (with pre-printed name and signature), U.S. canceled check (with your pre-printed name) or U.S. bank/financial institution statement/record
• U.S. employee identification card
• U.S. computerized pay stub (must include your name)
• U.S. supermarket check cashing card (must have your pre-printed name and signature
• U.S. insurance policy (in effect at least two years)
• U.S. health insurance card/prescription card
• U.S. utility bill (must have your name and address)
• U.S. high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
• W-2 form (must include Social Security number)
• U.S. union card
• Veteran’s Universal Access photo identification card

Proof of Age (Must be an original document or certified copy)
• Birth certificate issued and certified by the U.S. Department of State or a Board of Health or Bureau of Vital Statistics in the U.S., its territories or possessions
• Certificate of Birth Registration issued by the Department of Health of New York State or New York City
• St. Regis Mohawk Tribe identification card plus a birth certificate issued in Canada
• U.S. military photo identification card
• U.S. passport
• Foreign passport (with INS documentation) or immigration documents
• Certification of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization

Proof of Name—6 Points
• New York State photo driver license, permit or non-driver identification card

Proof of Name—4 Points
• If under age 21, a statement of Identity by Parent/Guardian (MV-45) (see special instructions and requirements on DMV form). Proof of date of birth and an original Social Security card are required for the applicant.
• Valid United States passport

Proof of Name—3 Points
• Foreign passport in English and with a U.S. Visa and valid I-94 or unexpired I-551 stamp or statement on visa. If not in English, a certified translation by the embassy or consulate of the issuing country is required.
• Valid U.S. Re-entry Permit (I-327)
• Valid U.S. Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
• Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization (N-550, N-560, N-561, N-570, N-578 or N-645)
• Permanent Resident Identification Card (INS I-551)
• Valid U.S. Employment Authorization Card (INS I-688B or I-766 with photo)
• U.S. Military Photo Identification Card (issued to military personnel only)
• New York State Medicaid/Benefit/Food Stamp Card with photo (or 2 points without photo)

Proof of Name—2 Points
• Photo driver license issued by another U.S. state, jurisdiction, territory or possession or a Canadian province or territory (must be in effect at least 6 months and not expired for more than 12 months)
• U.S. Military Dependent Photo Identification Card
• New York State DMV non-photo interim license or computer generated learner permit
• New York State Vehicle Certificate of Title
• New York State Vehicle or Boat Registration Document
• U.S. Social Security card (must have your signature)
• U.S. high school identification with report card

To obtain either a Junior Driver’s License of Senior Driver’s License, you must meet the following requirements:

Junior Driver’s License (Class DJ)
• You must be at least 16 years old.
• You must have held a Learner’s Permit for a minimum of six months.
• You must be able to pass the road test.
• You must submit the Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262) Form signed by your parent or legal guardian certifying that you have completed a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving, with 15 hours completed after sunset.
• You must pay the appropriate license fee.

Senior Driver’s License (Class D)
• You must be at least 17 years old.
• You must have an MV-285 Driver Education Certificate issued from a DMV-approved driver’s education program.
• You must pay the appropriate license fee.

If you do not convert your Junior License to a Senior License, you will be subject to the restrictions for junior drivers until you are 18.

The State of New York requires drivers to pass the following tests:

Written Test
• The written test consists of multiple-choice questions about New York traffic laws, road signs and the rules of safe driving. You must correctly answer 14 out of the 20 questions and at least 2 out of the 4 road sign questions to pass the test. If you have Form MV-285 Driver Education Certificate, you do not have to take the written test.

Vision Test
• You must be able to pass the vision test with a minimum visual acuity of 20/40 in either or both eyes, with or without using corrective lenses. If you cannot meet the minimum acuity requirement, you must get a statement from a licensed physician, optometrist or ophthalmologist attesting that you have a minimum acuity of less than 20/40 but not less than 20/70 in either or both eyes with corrective lenses and a horizontal field of vision of not less than 140 degrees.

Road Test
• You must enter the number from Form MV-278 Pre-Licensing Course Certificate or Form MV-285 Driver Education Certificate when scheduling your road test appointment. If the certificate expires before taking the road test, you will have to take another course and obtain a new certificate. Make sure that the vehicle has current registration and insurance. The seat belts, headlights, doors and other equipment must be in proper working order. You must not accumulate more than 30 negative points to pass the test. You will automatically fail the test if you exhibit any dangerous driving behavior, violate the traffic laws or become involved in an auto accident.

The State of New York has the following restrictions:

Learner’s Permit Restrictions
• You must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis”, driver education teacher or driving school instructor. The person must be at least 21 years or older and have a valid license for the type of vehicle being driven. The vehicle must have dual brakes.

• You are allowed to drive in New York City or the five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens) and Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) between the hours of 5 am and 9 pm when supervised by a parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis”, driver education teacher or driving school instructor. The person must be at least 21 years or older and have a valid license for the type of vehicle being driven. The vehicle must have dual brakes.

• You are not allowed to drive in the following places:

1. Any road test area
2. On any street or park in New York City under the jurisdiction of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
3. On any bridge or in any tunnel under the jurisdiction of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
4. On the Cross County, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River or Taconic State parkways in Westchester County

• You are not allowed to have more than one passenger in the vehicle unless they are a member of your immediate family.

• You must be accompanied by a person who is 21 years or older and has a valid license for the type of vehicle being driven when driving between 5 am and 9 pm in all other counties in upstate New York.

• You must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis”, driver education teacher or driving school instructor when driving between 9 pm and 5 am in all other counties in upstate New York. The person must be at least 21 years or older and have a valid license for the type of vehicle being driven.

Junior Driver’s License
• You are not allowed to drive in New York City or the five boroughs (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens) at any time.

• You may drive alone between 5 am and 9 pm on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk counties) only when driving to or from:

1. Your home and place of employment (must have proof of employment)
2. To attend a work-study program (must have proof of enrollment)
3. To attend a course at a college, university or registered evening high school (must have proof of enrollment)
4. To attend a driver education course (must have proof of enrollment)
5. While engaged in farm employment (must have proof of employment)

At all other times you must be accompanied by your licensed parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis”, driver education teacher or driving school instructor.

• You may drive alone between 5 am and 9 pm in all other counties in upstate New York.

• You may drive alone between 9 pm and 5 am in all other counties in upstate New York only when driving to or from:

1. Your home and place of employment
2. Your home and school course

At all other times you must be accompanied by your licensed parent, guardian, person “in loco parentis”, driver education teacher or driving school instructor.

• You are not allowed to have more than one passenger in the vehicle unless they are a member of your immediate family.

The State of New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a Graduated Driver Licensing Program and the following requirements must be met to obtain a Learner’s Permit:

• You must be at least 16 years old.
• You must be able to pass a written and vision test.
• You must have the consent of your parent or legal guardian if under 18. If you are 17 and have a Student Certificate of Completion from a state-approved driver’s education program, you will not need the consent of your parent or legal guardian.
• Pay the appropriate permit fee.

After you hold the Learner’s Permit for six months, you can then apply for a Junior Driver’s License. Your permit will be valid for three to five years, depending upon your age.

Before applying for a learner’s permit, you should study the New York State Driver’s Manual, which covers the following topics:

• Chapter 1—Driver Licenses
• Chapter 2—Keeping Your License
• Chapter 3—Owning a Vehicle
• Chapter 4—Traffic Control
• Chapter 5—Intersections and Turns
• Chapter 6—Passing
• Chapter 7—Parallel Parking
• Chapter 8—Defensive Driving
• Chapter 9—Alcohol and Other Drugs
• Chapter 10—Special Driving Situations
• Chapter 11—Sharing the Road
• Chapter 12—If You Are in a Traffic Crash

The manual can be found online at the New York DMV website or at any DMV office.