Why You Should Keep Your DMV Address Current

When you move, don’t forget the change your address with the DMV.  Filling out a United States Postal Service Change of Address Form is not enough.  The NY DMV requires that you fill out their form as well.

Luckily, you can do this online at the NYS DMV website.  Whether it’s your Driver’s License, Permit, Non-Driver ID or vehicle registration, the DMV change of address must be done within ten days of moving.

How to: DMV Change of Address NY

If you like to do things the old fashioned way, or if you like to torture yourself by standing in an endless line at the DMV, you can visit a DMV location near you to perform your change of address transaction.  Fill out MV-232 Change of Address and bring it with you to the DMV office.  Likewise, if you’re changing the address on a title or registration it’s the MV-82 Vehicle Registration/Title Application. Both forms can be found on the DMV NY website in PDF format.  You can print them out and fill them out at home if you like.

Do I Get a New License?

No you don’t have to purchase a new driver’s license.  The NYS DMV asks that you simply write your new address on your license.  If you want, you can get a new license with the new address.  There will be a charge of $17.50.

What if I Owe TVB Fines?

if you have TVB tickets, you’ll have to pay up before changing your address with the DMV.   You must call TVB (Traffic Violation Bureau) and settle up.  Their number is:

  • for Suffolk County & NYC: (718) 488-5710
  • for Buffalo & Rochester: (518) 474-0941
  • for TVB locations, check the NYS DMV website here.  Note: these are TVB offices only.  No DMV services are available.
  • TVB tickets are tickets received in Buffalo, Rochester or New York City.
  • Non-TVB tickets are processed under criminal courts or traffic court where they were received.

 

 

Why Are You Trying to Call the NYS DMV?

Calling the DMV NY Phone Number and trying to get a quick answer is like getting in your car to run a “quick” errand during rush hour in a major city: it ain’t happening!

Good thing there’s the NYS DMV Website to answer most of your questions.  You can also perform many DMV tasks online…ones which in the past would have required a trip to the DMV office nearest you.  Thank goodness for the internet!

Think You Need the DMV NY Phone Number?

If you just need to speak to a person and you have loads of patience then try the  DMV NY Phone Number that’s associated with your need.  There are special telephone numbers for different DMV-related tasks and subjects.

However, there is also a general DMV NY Phone Number for your area, based on the area code in which you live.  You can reach a live person between 8:00am and 4:00pm on weekdays except state holidays.

NYS DMV phone numbers

Area Code NYS DMV General Phone Number
212 1-212-645-5550 or 1-718-966-6155
347 1-212-645-5550 or 1-718-966-6155
646 1-212-645-5550 or 1-718-966-6155
718 1-212-645-5550 or 1-718-966-6155
917 1-212-645-5550 or 1-718-966-6155
929 1-212-645-5550 or 1-718-966-6155
516 1-718-477-4820
631 1-718-477-4820
845 1-718-477-4820
914 1-718-477-4820
315 1-518-486-9786
518 1-518-486-9786
585 1-518-486-9786
607 1-518-486-9786
716 1-518-486-9786
outside NYS 1-518-473-5595
 TDD  1-800-368-1186

 

But before you call, don’t be a dummy: see if you can accomplish your task or get your information online first.

Specialized DMV NY Phone Numbers

For some high-traffic types of DMV NY calls, specialized phone numbers have been set up just to handle those topics.  If you find your issue below, just click and you’ll be taken to the NYS DMV website, where those phone numbers are published.

Unless otherwise indicated, each DMV NY Phone Number is available 8:00am to 4:00pm on weekdays.

Other Ways to Get Answers From  the NYS DMV

There’s an online knowledge database of frequently asked questions here.  Browse by topic or perform a search.

6 Easy Steps to Getting Your Learner’s Permit in New York State

Ready for your DMV NY Permit?  You must have just turned 16, or else you’re perhaps from a place where driving wasn’t necessary so you never got a license?  Whatever the case may be, if you’re ready to start practicing driving, it’s time for the DMV NY Permit Test.

While the only real “test” involved in getting your NYS Driver’s Permit is a written test, plus supplying documents and passing a Vision test, there are a few hoops to jump through to get your Permit.  There is no road test at this point.

Also, this is one of the few things  for which you must visit an actual NYS DMV office in order to complete.  That’s because it involves having a DMV employee look at and approve your proofs of identity.  Also, you will be taking the NYS Written Test at the DMV office.  This test is based on the Driver’s Manual, which you should study before taking the test.

What You Need to Get a DMV NYS Driver’s Permit

Aside from having already turned 16, here are the other requirements before you’ll get a Driver’s Permit, the first step towards getting a NYS Driver’s License.

1.  You will Need to Prove Your Identity.

Proof if identity: prove your date of birth and your name.  This is of course hard to do without a driver’s license!  Here are the forms of ID accepted for proving date of birth:

  1. with a US Birth certificate
  2. US passport
  3. US military photo ID card,
  4. Certificate of Citizenship
  5. Certificate of Naturalization
  6. Employment Authorization Card
  7. Permanent Resident Card
  8. Reentry Permit
  9. Refugee travel Document
  10. Foreign Passport with a valid I-551 stamp
  11. Foreign Passport with a Visa and a valid I-94
  12. Canadian Birth Certificate with a St Regis Mohawk connotation

You also must prove your name, and the most common form of ID for this is the Social Security Card plus enough documents to total 4 points.  One of the documents must be signed by you, and none of them can be expired.  The complete list of acceptable documents and how many points each one is worth is available here on the DMV NY Permit Test page on the State website.

2.  You Will Need to Show Your Social Security Card

3.  You Will Need to Complete the DMV NY Permit Test Application

This can be found on the DMV NYS Forms page on their website, where a PDF version is available.

4.  You Will Need to Pass an Eye Test

Get a vision test done by an NYS approved vision center, and have them fill out the Eye Test Report (MV-619).  Get a copy, and you will bring it with you to the DMV office when you apply for the Permit.

5.  Bring $$

It’s not free.

6.  Last But Certainly Not Least: Pass the Written DMV NY Permit Test

Study study study.

 

How to Drive in New York: the NYS DMV Road Test

To get a driver’s license in NYS, one must take the NYS DMV Road Test.  The test is not easy, and many people fail the first time.  But before you can even take the NYS DMV Road Test there are a few hurdles to jump over:

How to Prepare for the NYS DMV Road Test

1.  Get a Learner’s Permit

First you get a learner’s permit.  This is a “mini” driver’s license that permits you to practice driving so you can prepare for the NYS DMV Road Test.  There are several restrictions on the license, like:

  • someone older than 21 must be with you at all times
  • of course that person much be a licensed driver
  • they don’t let you practice in the DMV road test area, either!
  • you cannot practice in the parks in NYC
  • certain highways in Westchester County are also off limits for practicing
  • so are tunnels and bridges in the NYC area
  • you can get a driver’s permit at age 16, but until you reach the age of 18 you must follow additional restrictions

Although it’s technically possible to get a driver’s license any time after the age of 16, until you’re 18 years old it’s going to be called a Junior Driver’s License.  Some areas of NYS allow someone with a Junior Driver’s License to drive unsupervised.  Otherwise, there must be someone over 21 in the car (and who has a valid driver’s license).

2.  Take a 5-Hour Driver’s Course

This can be taken at a high school (Driver’s Ed).  You can also find them a local colleges or even private driving schools.  It must be DMV-approved.

Want to see a sneak peak of what’s covered in class?  You can download the instructor’s manual here on the website where all the NYS DMV forms are located.

When you finish you get a Driver’s Ed Certificate, which is good for one year.

3.  Practice Driving

Drive at night.  Drive in heavy traffic.  Park.  Get lost, drive some more.  However you do it, practice practice practice.  Rules for the  NYS DMV Road Test say to get at least 50 hours of practice in before you go for the test.

4.  Schedule Your NYS DMV Road Test

You can do this online: schedule a NYS DMV Road Test for whenever you feel you’ll be ready, then show up and show them your stuff!

You’ll be tested on things like…

  1. braking (too abruptly?  fail!)
  2. clutch/gears (grinding?  fail!)
  3. acceleration (too jerkily?  fail!)
  4. steering (not smoothly?  fail!)
  5. lanes (wrong lane?  fail!)
  6. speed (dangerous speed?  fail!)
  7. signs (don’t get them?  fail!)
  8. observation (not aware of your surroundings?  fail!)
  9. following distance (tailgating?  double fail!)
  10. communication (not using your signals?  fail!)
  11. Parallel parking (can’t do it?  fail!)

You better practice parallel parking, since this is a tricky one and you will fail if you can’t do it.

 

 

 

Why the State Doesn’t Want You to Use NYS DMV Forms

All NYS DMV Forms are available in PDF format on their website at http://dmv.ny.gov/forms.  Keep in mind that many of the tasks you think you need NYS DMV forms for are actually doable online, too.  Printing out the forms and mailing them in to the NYS DMV locations will definitely add more days to the turnaround time of your transaction.

Using Printed NYS DMV Forms vs. Online Transactions

For example, to restore your license after it’s been revoked, you can do it online and submit the request that day, or you can print out the applicable NYS DMV Forms, mail them in and wait twelve weeks before the Driver Improvement Unit processes them!

Which NYS DMV Forms Do You Need?

There are nineteen pages of NYS DMV Forms on their website.  If you go to the forms section, they encourage you to search by activity…for example what is it that you’re trying to do?

  • renew your registration
  • pay a TBV ticket
  • change your address
  • restore your license after a revocation
  • renew your license

If you click on your choice, you’ll be directed to a web page for that task, and present first with a way to do it online.  If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see a way to conduct your business through the mail, or by going into one of the NYS DMV locations.

Forget NYS DMV Forms, Do it Online Instead

The NYS DMV clearly wants people to conduct DMV-related tasks online!  And well they should, since it saves paper, saves time, and saves taxpayers money.  Therefore, you should want the same thing.  Save a tree?

Conducting your DMV business online rather than through the mail or in person means you will get faster results with less hassle.

You’ll Be Surprised at the NYS DMV Forms You Can See Online

For anyone who has the time and the interest, the NYS DMV Forms you can look at online are pretty interesting.  For example, did you know you could see the checklist used for NYS inspections?  You can see the list of safety features that should be up to par before you  pass inspection, for example:

  • mirrors
  • windshield
  • steering
  • suspension
  • front end
  • parking brake
  • horn
  • seat belts
  • fuel leaks
  • lighting
  • reflectors
  • tires
  • service brake system

You can also read about the legalities of window tinting, get a list of approved Drinking Driver Programs in New York State, or see what it takes to become a NYS DMV Motor Vehicle Inspection Station.  Pretty Cool!

Why NYS DMV Locations Don’t Matter

There are NYS DMV locations in almost area general location, so almost everyone is within at most 20 miles of an office.   But this shouldn’t matter to you unless you absolutely must visit an actual DMV office…and these days there are fewer and fewer reasons for having to do so.

You Can Do Almost Anything Online

Gone are the days when you must stand in a long line at the DMV.  Just like banking, taxes, stock trading and communications, it’s all moved over to the internet and is now easier and quicker to do from home at your own PC.

If you’ve seen long lines at NYS DMV locations, then those lines are full of people who either…

  1. don’t have a secure home internet connection or…
  2. don’t realize they can do almost all DMV functions online or…
  3. like to do things the old fashioned way, even if it means suffering in a long line

Need to renew your vehicle registration?

It would be a waste of time to go to an actual NYS DMV location when you could do it online in under five minutes.  The only reason to trek out to an office would be if your registration has been suspended, expired for more than a year, revoked, or not inspected in the past year.

Need to Change Your Address?

Yes, you can do this online too.  Create an account at MyDMV and have your driver’s license & SS# handy.  However, if you need to change your name or if you want a new photo, you’ll have to go to one of the nearest NYS DMV locations.

Need to Renew Your License?

You can renew your license online unless it’s a CDL (commercial driver license).  You’ll need proof that you passed a vision test.  If you want a new photo you’ll have to visit a DMV location.

You’ll get your license within two weeks after applying online.  You can check the mailing status of your license online, too.

Need to Restore Your License After it Was Revoked?

You can do this online: request approval from the DMV Driver Improvement Unit to have your license restored.  Once you have approval, you can apply for a new Driver’s License.

Need to Check the Status of Your Driver’s License?

If you’d like to see how many violation points you have, or see if your license if valid or suspended or revoked, you can also do these things online.

Also, if you’ve ordered a document and it hasn’t arrived yet, you can check the status of that too.

Need to Get a Replacement License or Permit?

You can definitely apply online to get a replacement license, as long as it’s not expired.

Need to Replace a Title Certificate?

If you own a vehicle (including a boat), and you need a new title then the best way is online.  Even if you were to go to a NYS  DMV office to get a replacement title, you wouldn’t get it that day because they mail them out.

 

Some Things You Can Do Online Only Sometimes

Need to pay a TVB (Traffic Violation Bureau) ticket?  Well if you got that TVB ticket in Buffalo, Rochester or New York City, you can not only pay it online but you can also:

  • plead guilty
  • plead not guilty
  • pay the fine
  • change your plea from not guilty to guilty
  • re-schedule your hearing

 

How to Skip Ahead in Line at the NYS DMV

Alert!  Before you go traipsing down the the New York DMV office, first find out if what you need is available online.  You’ll be glad you did, since during DMV New York office hours, the lines can get pretty long.  That’s because so many people still don’t think about doing things online yet.

They (and you) could save a lot of trouble if you check for your requested service online first.

But if you’ve checked and found that what you need simply can’t be offered via the DMV’s website, here are the DMV New York Hours.

The DMV New York Hours

The hours of operation of the NYS DMV vary according to which town you live in.  Usually most people can find an office within 15 miles of their home.

Try the NYS DMV’s handy office locator to find specific hours of operation for the office nearest you.

  1. Just go to www.dmv.ny.gov and click on the “DMV Offices” tab.
  2. Type in your Zip Code.
  3.  You’ll get a list of DMV offices near you.
  4. When you click on one, the DMV New York hours will come up.

Although the DMV hours vary by town, in general they are as follows:

9:00 am – 3:45pm

or

8:30am – 4:45pm (summer: close at 3:45pm)

or

9:00am – 5pm

Something like that.

Heading Out to the NYS DMV Office?

If you absolutely must go to the DMV office, now you can make a reservation online.   For license or ID services, registration or plates services, you can schedule a reservation and avoid waiting in long lines.

 

This is how you skip ahead in line at the NYS DMV, by the way.

These types of appointments are also reservation-ready:

  • return license plates
  • suspensions/revocations of licenses
  • change your address
  • replace a NY title
  • driving record
  • transfer from another state
  • commercial or car/motorcycle written test or permit

Right now, not every New York State DMV is accepting reservations.  It’s actually the larger, busier offices that make use of the reservation system, so they can manage the huge influx of people they get during office hours.   Here are the areas where making a DMV reservation is possible:

  • New York City
  • Albany County
  • Onondaga County
  • Rockland County
  • Suffolk County
  • Nassau County
  • Westchester County

The reservations are made in 15-minute chunks, and you must give your full name, email address (reservation confirmation will be sent here), phone number, and current driver license number/ID number or current registration or license plate number.

You will need to supply identification when you arrive for your reservation appointment at the NYS DMV.

Why New York State Has the Best Drivers

Are You Ready to Drive in NY State?

If you need to get a driver’s license because you are a new driver, then the first step is to get a Learner’s Permit.  The hardest part of that is passing the written test.  This is a test of your knowledge of the NYS Driver’s Manual.  The good news is, it’s easy to prepare for the written test.  Al you have to do is:

  1. study the Driver’s Manual
  2. use the practice permit test

The NYS Driver’s Manual is available online or you can pick up a copy of the printed manual at the DMV.

For the practice permit test NY state makes available a great online tool.  It’s on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website.  You study the online manual in sections, then take a practice quiz at the end of each chapter to put your knowledge to the test.

Why New York State Has the Best Drivers

Unlike many other states, New York state takes the driver’s test very seriously.  You will notice that drivers in NY are better drivers:

  • they actually use their turn signals
  • they don’t stop unexpectedly in the road
  • they keep a safe speed on highways…not to slow and not too fast
  • slower vehicles stay to the right so faster vehicles can pass them
  • they don’t unnecessarily tailgate other drivers
  • they know how to merge into traffic
  • they know how to change lanes when the situation requires it
  • they know how to use their mirrors to view all angles around their vehicle
  • they know how to deal with unexpected situations like rain, snow, bicyclists, and pedestrians
  • they do not bully other drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians on the road

In fact, NY state drivers are better drivers because the DMV in that state does its job and really educates its drivers.  That’s what taxpayers are paying for.  In states like Florida, where education in general is not a priority, you can imagine how bad the drivers are.

What to Expect on the Practice Test

Chapters 4-12 of the Driver’s Manual contain the “meat” of the information that’s included on the Practice Test.  NY teaches Defensive Driving, which is covered in Chapter 8.  This is one of the most useful chapters, since it teaches general principles of driving which you can apply later in life to any driving situation.

Basically, Chapter 8 is common sense but since so many drivers don’t have that, it’s a necessary portion of the Practice Test in NY.  Here are a few tidbits from Chapter 8:

  • don’t let your attention wander while driving
  • keep your eyes moving and notice what’s happening around you, including on either side of you and behind you
  • anticipate mistakes that will be made by other drivers, and prepare for them to happen (know what you will do).  assume they will make those mistakes

Here’s an example of a quiz question from Chapter 8, covering the same material.  It is multiple choice.

Which one is a rule of defensive driving?
Keep your eyes straight ahead while driving.
Be alert and keep your eyes moving.
If you make driving errors, other drivers will accommodate you.
If there’s danger, you’ll always come out OK.

 

So you see, it’s common sense but you’d be surprised at the number of drivers who don’t use these principles while driving.  By the way, the correct choice is #2 Be alert and keep your eyes moving.

It’s all because of the Practice Permit Test, NY takes so very seriously, that the state has the best drivers.