Yes. The DMV conducts a vision test for you when you apply for your permit. The NY DMV also allows you to have a licensed eye-care professional fill out and sign Form MV-619 (Eye Test Report). If you choose to take your vision test outside of the DMV, make sure that the test is performed no more than 6 months before your permit test.
A straight face is easier to process and distinguish. Since your driver's license photo is used to identify you, the DMV and the police want to reduce fraud or identify theft by making it more difficult to impersonate you. Better facial recognition technology is developing every day, but until then it's recommended that you keep a straight face in your photo.
To apply four your NY Driver's permit, you must be at least 16 years old. Applicants under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the consent section of form MV-44, the driver's license application.
When you apply for your NY license, you should bring with you a completed Form MV-44, your social security card, the application fee and documents that prove your age and identity. If you prefer not to take the vision test at the DMV, you will also need Form MV-619 signed by a licensed eye care professional.
The NY DMV uses a point system to assess what documents are needed. You must bring documents that total up to 6 points. You can find more information about acceptable documents and point values at the NY DMV website. Particularly, you should download Form ID44: https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/id44.pdf
You can apply for your NY Driver's license at your local DMV office. You may find a list of NY DMV offices by visiting the NY DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/offices. Be sure to check that your closest DMV office does offer original licenses and permits.