How to Get a Learner Permit in NY

April 2, 2021

Once you turn 16 years old in New York, you are old enough to learn how to drive a car. But you cannot just start learning to drive even your father’s car until you apply for and learn how to get a Learner Permit in NY.

A learner’s Permit is the legal document that allows you to learn to drive under a licensed adult who can be a driving school instructor or your father, brother, or friend. In short, you should think about Learner Permit before you think of the driver’s license.

So how do you get a Learner Permit in New York?

1. You Have To Be 16 And Above

How to get a learner permit in NY

Do not attempt to get your Learner’s Permit before turning 16, no matter how eager you are to be behind the wheel. In other words, it is illegal to learn to drive a car if you are below 16 years in New York.

2. Put Paperwork in Order

As you prepare to visit one of the NY DMV offices near you, fill the New York MV-44 Application for Permit or Non-Driver ID Card. If you are 16 but under 18, your parent/guardian has to sign the consent section.

But you don’t need any parental consent if you are 17 and already took a certified New York driver’s ed course.

Meanwhile, you need to study the New York State Drivers Manual as you prepare for the coming test.

3. Visit Your Local NY DMV Office In Person

How to get a learner permit in NY

You can book a reservation online or visit the local New York Department of Motor Vehicles without booking an appointment. Booking a reservation online could be quite complicated and time-consuming, so it is best you visit the NY DMV office early in the morning.

At the NY DMV, you would need to show proof of:

  • Residence
  • Identity
  • Age
  • Social security status (by producing the Social Security card)

4. Fill in the Application Form

Once the documents above are ascertained through the relevant document presented, you then produce the Learners Permit application you should already have completed filling. The form is downloadable, so you can get done with it by the time you visit the local NY DMV office.

5. Pay The Fee

How to get a learner permit in NY

You then pay the application fee. How much does it cost to take a permit test in NY?

The amount you pay depends on your age:

  • $80 for 16-16.5-year-olds
  • $76.75 for 16.5-17-year-olds
  • $92.50 for 17-17.5-year-olds
  • $89.25 for 17.5-18-year-olds

If you are a resident of Kings (Brooklyn), Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Duchess, Queens, Nassau, Richmond (Staten Island), Orange, Rockland, Putnam, Suffolk, or Westchester, you have to pay a Metropolitan Commuter Transportation (MCTD) fee, which is $1 per 6 months.

If you are applying for an Enhanced Driver Permit, you pay an additional $30 fee.

6. Decide The Type Of Permit

The type of permit you get will depend on the fee and the proof you have presented. The following are the types of permits to choose from:

  • REAL ID permit – With this permit, you can board a flight within the US as well as enter federal premises
  • Standard Permit – With this permit, you enjoy the same benefits as for REAL ID permit, except you need another form of ID to board a flight
  • Enhanced Permit – This allows you to cross the US-Mexican and US-Canadian borders without a passport if you are a certified US citizen.

You will answer questions that will help you decide which permit best suits your needs.

7. Take and Pass the Vision Test

How to get a learner permit in NY

You will then take a vision test to check if your eyes are okay. You need to have 20/40  vision in at least one of the eyes, even without corrective lenses.

8. Take the Written Test on the Same Day

You will then sit for Learner’s Permit written test on the same day. The most common type of permit is a Class D Operator permit, so that’s what you should apply for.

How many questions are on the permit test in NY?

This is a multi-choice exam with 20 questions, four of which are about road signs.

You need to score at least 14/20 to have a pass, and that also includes getting right at least two of the road test questions.

If you pass, you qualify to learn how to drive, so you are issued a Learner’s Permit after two weeks. But if you fail, you can take another at no extra cost.

Note that the Class D permit test is given in 14 languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, Albanian, Bosnian, French, Hebrew, Greek, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Russian, Polish, and Spanish.

Can You Take Permit Test Online NY?

How to get a learner permit in NY

Alternatively, you can take the written permit test online via the NY DMV Online Knowledge Test Application (OKTA). If you pass the online permit test, you should bring the receipt to the DMV office.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles is determined to make more of its services available online. This is now treated with more urgency due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The permit test online NY is just one of the programs. You can Google ‘online permit test NYC’ to access the portal.

Is The Permit Test Easy In NY?

The test is basically the same anywhere in the United States. How easy or difficult it is depends on your level of preparation.


Once you have successfully applied for the Learners Permit, you can now learn to drive under supervision. The supervisor must be aged 21 and above and has a valid license.

The Learner Permit comes with some restrictions. With Learner Permit, you must not drive on any park street in New York City or any tunnel or bridge under Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.

You should also not drive through the Cross County, Saw Mill River, Taconic State parkways, and other restricted sites. Take the time to check if your area has any of these restricted places a learner should avoid.

You can join a driving school of your choice because you are qualified to be on the wheel once you get a Learner’s Permit. Pierre Paul Driving School in Brooklyn, New York, is one of the schools you can consider. Contact us today for more information.