Ticket School > Blog > New York > Driving in New York: The Difference Between Junior and Senior Driver’s Licenses
Father teaching his son how to drive.

New York State has a graduated license law that results in two different types of licenses: Junior Driver’s Licenses and Senior Driver’s Licenses. Junior licenses are for new drivers who are under the age of 18. Senior licenses are for drivers who are 18 years or older, who have completed all necessary licensing requirements.

What Restrictions Are There on a Junior Driver’s License?

Before you can even think about getting a junior driver’s license, you must first obtain your junior learner’s permit. You must be a least 16 years old to apply for a learner’s permit. You will also need to pass a test at the DMV.

Once you have your learner’s permit, there will be numerous restrictions you need to follow, such as:

  • Driving with Supervision
  • Restricted Driving Hours from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • 6-Month Waiting Period Before Applying for a Junior License

During your learning period, you may need to complete a set number of driving hours. You will also need to complete a pre-licensing course and prepare for a road test. You can also hire a driving instructor to provide supervised driver training.

After the 6-month waiting period, you can apply for your junior driver’s license. You will need to pass a road test at this time as well. After passing the road test, you must pay the appropriate fees and then you will have your new junior license.

Junior licenses still have restricted driving hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. with an exception if the driver is working or attending a school function. After 9 p.m., the driver can drive from work or school and directly home.

Junior drivers are not allowed to have more than one passenger in the vehicle with them unless there is adult supervision. In addition, if a junior driver has a traffic violation, their permit or license can be suspended for a period of 60 days or longer.

Once the license is reinstated, the driver must complete another 6-month probationary period before their license is reinstated. Parents can also revoke driving privileges in New York for a junior driver if they withdraw their consent.

What Steps Are Required to Get a Senior Driver’s License?

Once you turn 18, you will automatically be upgraded to a senior driver’s license provided you have completed all the necessary requirements for driving in New York.

New York does allow 17-year-old drivers to apply for a senior license if they have completed a state-approved driver education course. You must apply for the senior license at the DMV by presenting your course completion certificate in person.

Cheering man with driving license holds his thumb up

What if I Got a Moving Violation and Points on My Junior License?

You can complete an Internet Point Insurance Reduction Program (IPIRP) to have points “forgiven.” Any forgiven points will remain on your driving record but do not count toward accumulated point totals for penalty or license suspension. Additionally, you could qualify for an insurance discount of 10% for three years.

To find out more about the IPIRP or to enroll, please feel free to sign up at Ticket School today! You may also call us at (800) 558-9887 if you need assistance or have further questions about our state-approved driving courses.