Getting a New York State Driver's License

Obtain the NYS Learner's Permit:

  1. Read the NYS Driver's Manual and Study Guide and study for the written exam.
     
  2. Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take the written exam.  The DMV is located at 137 Margaret Street.  Bring the following documents with you:
    • Passport
    • F-1 Visa (Not required for Canadian students)
    • Form I-20
    • Form I-94 (small white card)
    • Student ID
    • Official SUNY Plattsburgh transcripts
    • US Social Security Card*
       
      *If you do not have a US Social Security Number, you must:
      • Request a letter from GEO stating that you are not eligible for a Social Security Number
      • Take the letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 14 Durkee Street
      • The SSA will print a second letter saying that you are ineligible for a Social Security Number
      • Take this letter to the DMV with the other documents listed above.
         
  3. Pay the required fees - For most international students the fees for the NYS Learner's Permit and License will be between 67 USD and 90 USD.  You will only pay once for both your NYS Learner's Permit and License, if you choose to complete the licensing process.  For a complete list of fees see the Driver's License Fee Schedule.

Practice Driving

Once you have obtained your NYS Learner's Permit you may drive with someone who already has a NYS Driver's License AND is 21 years or older. The DMV recommends that all learners have a minimum of 50 hours of supervised practice driving before they take their road tests, with at least 15 hours at night (after sunset). It is also recommended that at least 10 hours of supervised practice driving be in moderate to heavy traffic. For more information for new driver's visit: New Drivers: How to Get Your Driver License.

Take the Five-Hour Pre-Licensing  course

Before taking the Road Test all holders of a NYS Learner's Permit must take and pass the Five-Hour Pre-Licensing Course and obtain the MV-278 certificate.  Five-Hour Pre-Licensing courses are offered through the Northern New York Driving Academy located at 8 Colorado Avenue.

Take the Road Test

  1. Read the Road Test Tips & Practice Guide to prepare for your Road Test.
     
  2. Be sure that you have mastered the following driving skills:

    Steering
    Acceleration 
    Braking 
    Shifting/Clutch/Gears
    Speed 
    Following Distance
    Traffic Control Devices
    Stopping Position
    Lane Selection and Position
    Communication
    Observation
    Anticipation and Reaction to other vehicles' movements

  3. Schedule your Road Test online, using your MV-278 and your NYS Learner's Permit.  You can visit the Road Test Scheduling System to complete this process.

  4. Once you have taken and passed your Road Test the DMV will send issue you a paper copy of your Driver's License; your Driver's License card should come to you by mail within about two weeks of passing the Road Test.

 

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you have any questions about international admission or financial aid at SUNY-Plattsburgh, please contact:

Global Education Office
State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Kehoe Administration Building, Room 210
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, New York 12901 USA

Phone: (518) 564-3287
Fax: (518) 564-3292
Email: geo@plattsburgh.edu