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Thursday, June 3, 2010

New York State Graduated Driver’s License Program

New York State Driving Course
The New York State Graduated Driver License Program limits the driving privileges for New York drivers under the age of 18 and who posses either a junior learners permit or a junior drivers license. Some of the limitations placed on the young drivers include where in New York State they can drive and what times of the day they are permitted to drive. Understanding the privileges and limitations is extremely important because if young drivers are convicted of violating the rules their driving privileges could be suspended or revoked for 60 days. New York State has general restrictions for young drivers with learner permits and junior licenses. However, there are also specific restrictions for young drivers depending on the region of the state in which they are driving.

The general restrictions for young drivers with learners permit are the same throughout the state. Teenagers are eligible to obtain their learner’s permit once they turn 16. After they have held their learners permit for six months they are eligible for their junior driver’s license.

Drivers with learner’s permits are prohibited from driving:

  • On streets within New York City Park’s

  • On bridges or through tunnels under the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority’s jurisdiction

  • On the following parkways in Westchester County: Cross Country, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill Ricer and Taconic State

  • On a DMV Road Test Area

  • Without a proper supervising driver


After someone under the age of 18 has held their permit for at least six months they are eligible to take the road test and obtain their Junior Driver License. Drivers possessing a Junior License are not permitted to have more than one passenger under the age of 21 in their vehicle. The only exception to this rule is for immediate family members. In New York State, in order to get a Senior Drive License at 17 instead of 18 young drivers need to take a driver education course as well as complete 50 hours of supervised driving, 15 of which needs to take place after sunset.

New York State has specific driving restrictions for young drivers depending on which region of they state they are driving in. New York is divided into four regions and each region has different restrictions for young drivers. Below, you will see a breakdown of the restrictions by region for drivers with learner’s permits and junior licenses.

Upstate New York – Junior Learner’s Permit

  • Supervised driving between 5am – 9pm. Under the supervision of someone at least 21 and with a valid license

  • Supervised driving between 9pm – 5am. The supervisor must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor.

  • Only one passenger under the age of 21 is allowed in the vehicle. Unless they passengers are member of your immediate family.



Upstate New York – Junior Driver’s License

  • Unsupervised driving between 5am – 9pm

  • Unsupervised driving between 9pm – 5am only to and from employment (must have proof) or a school course.

  • Supervised driving by a parent, guardian, or driving instructor between 9pm-5am when not driving to or from work or a school course.

  • Only one passenger under 21 that is not immediate family.



Lower Hudson Valley – Junior Learner’s Permit
(Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties)

  • Follows the same privileges and restrictions for as Upstate New York.



Lower Hudson Valley - Junior Driver’s License
(Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties)

  • Follows the same privileges and restrictions for as Upstate New York.



Long Island – Junior Leaner’s Permit
(Nassau and Suffolk Counties)

  • Supervised driving between 5am-9pm. The supervisor must be a parent, guardian, a person with written authorization from your parent or your guardian to supervise your driving or a driving instructor. The supervisor must be at least 21 with a valid driver’s license.

  • Driving is prohibited between 9pm-5am

  • Only the supervising driver may sit in the front seat

  • Only one passenger under 21, unless the passenger(s) are immediate family.


Long Island – Junior Driver’s License
(Nassau and Suffolk Counties)

  • Unsupervised driving between 5am-9pm between home, place of employment (must have proof) and school or driver’s ed courses.

  • Supervised driving between 9pm-5am. The supervisor must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor.

  • No more than one passenger under 21, unless the passenger(s) are immediate family.


New York City – Junior Learner’s Permit
(5 Boroughs)

  • Supervised driving between 5am-9pm. Supervisor must be a parents, guardian or driving instructor.

  • Vehicle being driven must have dual breaks.

  • The only passenger allowed in the front seat is the supervising driver.

  • No more than one passenger under 21 that is not immediate family.


New York City – Junior Driver’s License
(5 Boroughs)

  • Supervised driving between 5am-9pm. Supervisor must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor.

  • Supervised driving between 9pm-5am. Supervisor must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor.

  • The vehicle must have dual breaks.

  • No more than one passenger under 21 that is not immediate family.



Learn more about how Graduated Driver License (GDL) Laws compare between states at our Teen Safe Driving Blog.

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