Renewing Your New York Driver License: a Pain-Free Guide to the Renewal Process

Written by Staff Writer

New York Driver License

Renewing your driver license can feel like a pain, but it's a lot easier to handle if you understand the basics of the renewal process ahead of time. If you don't renew your license before it expires and you continue to drive, you could face fines and penalties. These are the things you should keep in mind about renewing your New York driver license.

When to Renew Your License

Your driver license will most likely expire on your birthday, and you'll receive a renewal notice about a month and a half before it expires. If you have a valid New York license, you can renew it up to a year before it expires and up to two years after it expires. If it's been more than two years since you had a valid license, you'll need to apply for a New York State license, which includes a written test, a vision test, a road test, and a required course. Members of the military that are on active duty and stationed outside of New York can complete a form and have their license extended until they return home.

How to Renew Your License

No matter why you're renewing your license or how you renew it, you'll need to pass a new vision test. One way to take a vision test is to visit a vision care professional that's part of the DMV's Online Vision Registry. Vision providers may charge a fee for this service, and you can search for approved providers by zip code on the local DMV website.

In-Person, By Mail, and Online Methods

If you choose to renew your license in-person, you'll need to complete an application form, take a vision test or bring in proof of your recent exam results, and bring payment for your renewal fee. You can renew your license by mail by sending in the required application forms, proof of vision test, proof of identification, and payment. It may be easiest to renew your license online, as long as your license hasn't been suspended or revoked and if you don't need to change your address.

Renewal Fees

The fee to renew your license depends upon your driver license class. At this time, Class D, DJ, and non-CDL Class C licenses can be renewed for between $64.50 and $80.50. Class M and MJ license renewals cost $72.50 to $88.50. And Class E license renewals cost $112.50 to $128.50. Additional fees may apply for certain endorsements and if you live in certain counties. Most major credit cards and debit cards, as well as personal checks, money orders, and cash are accepted for in-person renewals. Mail renewals must be paid for by check or money order and a credit card must be used for online renewals. Clearly, there are a lot of details involve in renewing your New York driver license, but it generally only comes every eight years and you'll avoid costly fines by keeping it up to date!