What You Must do When Moving to New York State
If you are a licensed driver and move to New York State to become a resident, you must apply for a New York State driver’s license within 30 days.
In many cases, you may be considered a resident if you live in NY State for 90 days or more. Check the definition of resident below (notes #1)
Students from other states or from other nations who attend school in New York State are normally not considered residents of New York State. They may drive with their out-of-state license or out-of-country license. They don’t need to apply for a New York driver license.
Surrender Your Out-of-State License
If you are a licensed driver and apply for a NY license, you are normally asked to surrender your out-of-state license. In most cases, you can’t have a NY State driver license and a driver license from another state at the same time. You may, however, keep an out-of-country license.
You don’t need to be a US Citizen to get a New York driver license or permit.
You must, however, have documents that supports your legal status in this country. The expiration date from your document is added to your New York State permit or driver license.
If you have DHS documents that identify you as a Temporary Visitor, your New York State driver license or permit will also have the words ‘TEMPORARY VISITOR’ on it.
If your temporary visitor status gets extended, you must bring your updated paperwork to a DMV office. You must also bring a completed Application for Permit or Driver License (MV-44) and 6 points of identification (see New York Driver’s Manual)
1) Definition of Resident per Section 250 (5) of the NY State Vehicle and Traffic Law: “As used in this section, the term ‘resident’ shall mean 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 ninety days is a resident of this state.” To live in a house, a home, an apartment, a room or other similar place in NY State for 90 days is considered “presumptive evidence” that you are a resident of New York State. A police officer can use this as evidence to issue a traffic ticket if you drive in New York State without a NY State driver license or vehicle registration. A judge considers the law and the evidence of your intent and decides if you are a resident of New York State. If you pay taxes or your children attend school in another state, a judge considers these facts to decide if your intent is to make NY State a “fixed and permanent” residence. According to this law, students from other states or from other nations who attend school in New York State are usually not considered residents of NY State. DMV does not decide if you are a resident of New York State, if you must get a NY State driver license, or if you must register your vehicle in New York State.
2) A Temporary Visitor is defined as anyone who is not immigrating to or not permanently residing (living) in the United States. These visitors have US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documentation that supports their legal status in this country.