Get a New York Drivers License regardless of immigration status, under the Green Light Law

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is now issuing driver’s licenses for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status! Now any New Yorker, 16 and above, can apply for a standard, not for federal purpose, non-commercial driver’s license or learner permit, regardless of immigration status.

All applicants must provide 6 points worth of documents that prove identity, and also prove date of birth and residency. IDNYC can be used as 1 point of proof of identity and also counts as proof of residency. If you have never been issued a Social Security Number, you must sign an affidavit stating that and bring it with you when you apply.

You cannot apply for a Non-Driver ID Card

The Green Light Law does not apply to Non-Driver ID cards.

Documents you will need to apply

All Applicants for a standard driver license must show a combination of documents that prove 1. name, 2. date of birth, and 3. New York State residency.

In addition to the combination of proofs we currently accept, beginning December 16, 2019, we will also accept

  • a valid, unexpired foreign passport issued by your country of citizenship
  • a valid, unexpired consular identification document issued by a consulate
  • a valid foreign driver license that includes your photo, and which is either unexpired or expired for less than 24 months
  • Permanent Resident Card, which is either unexpired or expired for less than 24 months
  • Employment Authorization Card, which is either unexpired or expired for less than 24 months
  • Border Crossing Card
  • U.S. Municipal ID Card (e.g. NYC ID) with photo
  • foreign marriage or divorce record or court issued name change decree
  • foreign birth certificate

Your license or permit will not look different from other standard New York Driver licenses

All standard New York State driver licenses look the same regardless of the proof documents you provide when you apply.  All standard driver licenses will be marked “NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES”. 

Step 1: Study the New York State Driver Manual and take practice tests

To prepare for the permit written test, read the online NY State Driver’s Manual (or get a paper copy at any DMV office) and take the practice tests for each chapter. If you do not study the Driver Manual, you will not pass the test. 

Step 2: Go to a DMV office to apply for a permit and take the test

Some offices, such as the White Plains, Huntington, and License Express offices, do not offer knowledge tests.  Find an office location and review the services provided before visiting the office for the knowledge test.

Step 3: Practice driving and take an authorized pre-licensing course

While you have the permit, you must practice driving. You must also take a DMV authorized pre-licensing course.  See additional information about getting a permit.

Step 4: Schedule and take the road test to get your license

After you pass the knowledge course and feel comfortable driving, you must take and pass a DMV road test to get your license. During this test, you will be in a car with a DMV Road Test Examiner who will ask you to show that you know how to drive safely. Once you pass this test, you will receive a driver license. See additional information about getting a driver license.

Source: New York State DMV. Click on this link for more information


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

%d bloggers like this: