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 New York
US : Driving

The law in the state of New York...

New York honors foreign licenses. Under international agreements, most notably the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic, a signatory nation agrees to honor a license issued by another signatory nation for one year from the date a person enters the jurisdiction. With few exceptions, all nations are signatories to such agreements. Therefore, New York, and all other U.S. States, are required to honor licenses from signatory nations for one year from the date the driver enters the U.S. (provided the home license is, and remains, valid). However, New York State voluntarily extends reciprocity to such licenses until the license is no longer valid, or the driver becomes a resident of New York. In the latter case, the person then has 30 days to obtain a New York license. In general then, there is no need for a person validly licensed in his or her home nation to apply for a New York license.

International Driving Permits. An International Driving Permit is not a license to drive and, by itself, is not valid for driving in New York State. The permit merely confirms that the person is validly licensed in his or her home jurisdiction. It is the underlying home license that New York honors, not the permit. The permit merely informs authorities, in their native language, that the person has a valid license. (NOTE: U.S. residents usually obtain International Driving Permits from local auto clubs affiliated with the AAA. The NY DMV does not issue International Driving Permits).

Definition of Resident. For the purpose of driver license and vehicle registration requirements, Section 250 (5) of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law defines the term "resident" as "domiciliary, that is, one who lives in this state with the intention of making it a fixed and permanent abode. It shall be presumptive evidence that a person who maintains a place of abode in this state for a period of at least 90 days is a resident of this state." If the issue of residency were presented to a court, evidence of non-residency, such as where the person pays taxes, could be used to argue against the presumption of residency provision.

Non-US Resident Applicants. There is nothing in the Vehicle and Traffic Law which prohibits a non-US-resident from applying for and receiving a New York State license. However, we recommend against this for several reasons: In most cases, because of the international agreements, it is not necessary; New York will honor your foreign license. We require the applicant to surrender the foreign license and it will not be returned when he or she is ready to return home An applicant from any nation other than Canada must pass a written test, complete a 5-hour pre-licensing course and pass a road test in order to qualify for a license.

To get more infos, Department of Motor Vehicles (NY):

Reproducted with the authorization from the DMV of NY



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