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Driver’s License & Permits

If you plan to drive in the US, it is important to understand that different laws apply within each state of the country, and the most thorough information is available at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

A valid driver license from another country is also valid in New York State. You do not need to apply for a New York State driver license to drive here.

To get a driver’s license in New York, follow these steps:

  1. You must provide DMV your Social Security Card to initially get a learner’s permit. If you are ineligible for Social Security Card, you must provide a letter from the Social Security Administration that states you are ineligible for a SSN. You will need your I-20 and passport to get this letter from a Social Security Administration near you.
  2. You will then be required to take this letter to your nearest DMV to be qualified for the written test. The written test is pretty simple and can be easily passed with simple knowledge of driving rules. You will be permitted to try this test twice daily until you pass it. Once you pass this test you will immediately be given a learner’s permit.
  3. Once you have your learner’s permit, you will be required to complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course from any of your nearest driving schools. After you complete this course, you will become eligible for road test. You will then need to call or go to the DMV website and schedule your road test. As soon as you pass your road test, you will be issued an official license by the road test examiner and you will become qualified to drive freely.
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