Transferring a Drivers License to New York
Are you planning on transferring a drivers license to New York?
Drivers From the US or Canada Who Move to NYS
NYS recognizes valid driver licenses held by residents of other US states, US territories and Federal districts and Canadian provinces. If you become a resident of NYS, you must apply for a NYS driver license not more than 30 days after you become a NYS resident.
You can exchange an out-of-state driver license or Canadian driver license for a NYS driver license if the driver license has your photograph, the driver license is not suspended or revoked and the driver license:
*has been valid for at least 6 months, or
*has expired in the past 12 months, or
*is a valid CDL and has been valid for any amount of time, and
The driver license that you exchange must show the date that your driver license was issued. The date is required to verify that the driver license was issued at least six months before you applied for a NYS driver license. If your out-of-state photo driver license does not show the date of issue, get a driver license record or letter from the state that issued the driver license that indicates the date of issue. The letter or driver record must be an original and must be on the letterhead of the Department of Motor Vehicles of the other state. The letter or driver abstract cannot be a copy or a fax.
If your out-of-state driver license or Canadian driver license is suspended or revoked, you cannot apply for a NYS driver license. You must remove the suspension or revocation and bring to a NYS DMV office a valid driver license that meets the requirements listed above.
If you have only a driver license like those listed below, you must apply for a NYS driver license as a new driver. See “New Drivers-How to Apply”.
You cannot exchange the following types of driver licenses for a NYS driver license:
*a driver license with no photo
*a driver license that does not show the date that the driver license was issued. Read the information about the requirement that your driver license show the date of issue.
*a learner permit
*a temporary driver license or an interim driver license
*a hardship driver license or an “employment only driver license”
*a driver license expired for more than 12 months
*a non-commercial driver license valid for less than 6 months.
*a driver license marked “non-renewable” or “non-transferable”
To exchange an acceptable out-of-state photo driver license for a NYS driver license:
*Complete application form MV-44 and apply at a local DMV office.
*Pass a vision test at the DMV office, or bring a valid form MV-619 (Eye Test Report) completed by an eye-care professional. If the form MV-619 has a print date of 9/03 or earlier, the form is valid for 6 months after the date of the eye test. If the form has a print date of 3/04 or later, the eye-care professional marks a box on the form to indicate if the form is valid for 6 months or for 12 months after the date of the eye test.
*Surrender your out-of-state driver license. See the information below if your out-of-state driver license is lost or stolen.
*Provide at least two points of identification and proof of date of birth, and your out-of-state photo driver license and your Social Security Card.
*Show your Social Security Card.
If you are not eligible for a Social Security Card, you must provide a letter from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) that states that you are not eligible. The SSA Letter must have been issued within the last 30 days. You must also show an I-94 with one of the following codes: B-1, B-2, E-2, F-2, H4, L-2, M-2, O-3, P-4, Q-3, R-2 or TD. At least 11 months of valid, legal status must remain on your I-94.
*Pay the $10 application fee and the driver license fee with cash, check, money order or credit card.
If Your Out-of-State Driver License is Lost or Stolen.
If your out-of-state photo driver license is lost or stolen, you can apply to the previous state for a duplicate photo driver license. The duplicate driver license must be a photo driver license. The driver license or a letter from the state DMV must show that your out-of-state driver license was valid for at least 6 months.
Instead of a duplicate driver license, you can apply to the previous state for a letter or driver abstract. The letter or driver abstract must be an original and must be on the letterhead of the Department of Motor Vehicles of the other state. The letter or driver abstract must have been issued by the other state within six months before you submit the letter or driver abstract to the NYSDMV. The letter or driver abstract cannot be a copy or a fax. The letter or driver abstract must contain all of the following information:
*your name, address, date of birth and driver license identification number,
*type or class of driver license and any restrictions.
*any convictions, suspensions or revocations, and
*the date your driver license was issued, and the expiration date of your latest driver license.
Bring the letter, driver abstract or duplicate photo driver license to a DMV office to apply for your NYS driver license. Remember that you must have six points of identification and proof of date of birth. A letter or driver abstract has no value as proof of identity or date of birth.
NYS Vehicle Registration: See “register your out-of-state vehicle” to learn how to get a NYS registration and title certificate for your vehicles.
Drivers From Other Nations.
A valid driver license from another country is also valid in NYS. You do not need to apply for a NYS driver license unless you become a resident of NYS.
According to NYS law, a resident of another country can get a NYS driver license. The DMV does not recommend this because:
*NYS recognizes your foreign driver license if you remain a resident of the nation that issued the license. You do not need to have a NYS driver license to drive in NYS unless you become a resident of NYS.
*If you have a driver license from any nation except Canada, you must pass a written test, complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course and pass a road test to qualify for a NYS driver license. See “New Drivers – How to Apply”.
*You must show a Social Security Card. If you are not eligible for a Social Security Card, you must provide a letter or form SSA-L676 from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) that states that you are not eligible. The SSA Letter or form must have been issued no more than 30 days before the date of your application. You must also show the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documents that the SSA used to determine that you are not eligible for a Social Security Card. The USCIS was formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Read the specific requirements on the identification requirements page.
*When you receive your NYS driver license, you must surrender your foreign driver license to the DMV road test examiner. The local DMV office keeps your foreign driver license, and then destroys the license after 60 days. If you plan to return to your home country and use your foreign driver license, ask the road test examiner how to make sure that your foreign driver license is not destroyed. If you need to get your foreign driver license, go to the local DMV office where you applied for your NYS driver license.
International Driving Permit: An International Driving Permit is not a driver license. The permit only verifies that you hold a valid driver license in your home country. Your foreign driver license, not the International Driving Permit, allows you to drive in NYS. Contact the authorities in your home country to get an International Driving Permit. If you are not a resident of the US, you cannot apply for an International Driving Permit in the US.
You are not required to have an International Driving Permit to drive in NYS, but the permit has value. The permit verifies, in several languages, that you have a valid foreign driver license. A police officer who cannot read the language on your foreign driver license can read the permit.
Note for US residents: The DMV does not issue International Driving Permits. Contact an automobile club that is a member of the American Automobile Association (AAA).
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