New York Learners Permit

Getting a New York DMV Learner’s Permit: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Sep 13, 2021

Are you looking to get your NY learner’s permit? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The process may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. In this article, we’ll go through all the details so you know exactly what to expect. 

The learner’s permit is the first step in the licensing journey, and you can get your permit as early as 16. Regardless of your age, you’ll need to hold one before you can progress through the GDL.

How to Get a Learner’s Permit in New York

  1. You must apply in person at the NY DMV. While you don’t need to make a reservation, it may be in your best interest to avoid potentially long lines at the office. If you are under 18, a parent or legal guardian must join you.
  2. Complete the driver’s license application. You can fill it out online and print it or grab a copy at the DMV. 
  3. You will need to provide proof of birthdate, social security status, identification, and residence. The full list of needed documents is available here.
  4. A vision test will be administered when you go in to get your driver’s permit. To pass the exam, you will need to score a 20/40 or better in at least one eye.
  5. The written test is one of the most important parts of the GDL program. This exam will cover core driving concepts and traffic laws in the state of New York. There are 20 questions on the exam and you must answer 14 correctly, including at least two of four questions about road signs. 

It is also one of the hardest parts of getting your New York learners permit with over a 50% fail rate nation-wide, so we recommend that you study with a proper study resource. That’s where Zutobi comes in – we make studying for your test easy with our summarized driver’s handbook, up-to-date online practice tests, and gamified learning experience. There’s a reason 95% of our students pass on their 1st try.

  1. At this point, you’ll be charged a permit fee based on your age. If you are in one of the following counties: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, or Westchester, you will be charged a Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District Fee (MCTD*). 
    • Ages 16 to 16 ½ = $80 / $90*
    • Ages 16 ½ to 17 = $76.25 / $85.75*
    • Ages 17 to 17 ½ = $92.50 / $102.50*
    • Ages 18 to 18 ½ = $80 / $90*
    • Ages 18 ½ to 21 = $80 / $90*
    • Ages 21 or older = $67.50 / $77.50*

NY Permit Restrictions

You did not think that you would be able to drive unrestricted, did you? There are a lot of restrictions for learner drivers with a permit. 

  • May not drive on any street within a park in NYC
  • May not drive on any bridge or tunnel under jurisdiction of the Tri-Borough Bridge or Tunnel Authority
  • May not drive unless accompanied by an adult 21 years or older

You will need to hold your permit for six months before applying for a junior license, which you can read more about in this guide.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about getting your learner’s permit in New York. If you need any help studying for your upcoming knowledge or driving exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, NY practice tests, and a gamified learning experience.

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