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How to Transfer Your Out-of-State Driver’s License to New York as a New Resident

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated May 28, 2021

New York is a charming and dynamic state that attracts people with its character, diversity, and endless options for shopping and entertainment. There are many reasons to love the state, but moving requires a bit of paperwork.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to transfer your out-of-state license to a New York driver’s license. As long as you have a valid license, the process will be a breeze. Be sure to read the entire article so you don’t miss any important steps.

When do You Need to Transfer Your Driver's License to New York? 

You will need to transfer your driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a resident in the state. According to the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law, you’ll be considered a resident if you live in a house, apartment, room, or similar adobes for 90 days and plan to make it a fixed and permanent home.

What Constitutes a Non-valid Out-of-State License?

If your license falls under one or more of the following categories, transferring will not be permitted:

●  Suspended or revoked

●  Stolen or lost, in which case you have to apply for a replacement photo of the driver’s license from the previous state

●  A hardship or an employment-only driver’s license, in which case you must apply for a new one

●  Non-renewable or non-transferable, in which case you must also apply for a new one

How to Transfer an Out-of-State Driver's License to New York

1- Schedule an Appointment with New York DMV

First things first, you should schedule an appointment at the NY DMV to get your new license. We recommend that you book your appointment one to two weeks ahead of time.

You can walk in at your local DMV to complete your license transfer on the same day, however, you may face long waiting times. If you choose to take this route, read our guide on the best times to visit the DMV.

2 – Documents You Need to Bring

Preparing all the important documents beforehand will help you avoid unnecessary delays and make your license transfer as smooth as possible. The DMV will require the following documents on the day of your visit.

  1. Proof of Identity
    • U.S. Passport or Passport Card
    • U.S. Birth Certificate issued by a state or local authority
    • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  2. A Valid Out-of-State Driver’s License
    • Must contain a photo of you
    • Is valid or expired for less than 24 months
    • Issued at least six months before you apply for the New York license
  3. License Transfer Fees
    • $65-$75 fee payable by cash, check, or credit/debit card. 

3 – Pass the Vision Test

You’ll be required to take a vision test. Fortunately, this is the only test you’ll need to take when transferring your license.

You can take this test at the NY DMV, which is administered by trained staff. You can also bring an Eye Test Report (MV-619). This report can only be completed by licensed and qualified physicians, physician assistants, nurses, opticians, or supervised staff. You must have a minimum test score of 20/40 in one or both of your eyes, with or without corrective lenses.

4 – Receive Your Temporary License

If the Department of Motor Vehicles accepts your documents, vision test results, and fees, you’ll be granted to transfer your driver’s license to New York. Congratulations!

You’ll receive a temporary license while the department creates your permanent license card. This temporary document is perfectly valid and will allow you to drive around New York legally. It can also be used as an identity credential. Your new license should arrive in the mail within two weeks at the address you provided at the DMV office. It will be valid for a total of five years.

Is Transferring Necessary If You're Studying in New York?

If you’re a student from another state or country who attends school in New York State, you’re not considered a resident and will not need to transfer your current driver’s license.

What If You're from Another Country?

If you have a valid driver’s license from another country, you can drive without having to apply for a new one. However, if you become a New York State resident, you must apply for a new license and surrender your foreign credentials. You also need to pass a written test, perform a pre-licensing course, and pass a road test.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about transferring your out-of-state driver’s license to New York. We hope that this guide has helped you out and that you now feel comfortable with the process. 

We highly recommend that you take a New York refresher course to learn about the specific driving laws throughout your new state. A great way to do that is through our popular course which goes through everything you need to know. 

Take our full course with tests and theory

700+ exam-like questions

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