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Could you drive alone with a permit in the state of New York?


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a new drivers brochure which gives information on the restrictions and conditions for those with learner's permits and junior permits and licenses. This informational document gives the general rules for all drivers with learner permits. Here it states that no matter what age you are, if you hold a learner permit, you may not drive:

  • Unless accompanied by a supervising driver at least age 21 who has a license valid for operating the vehicle you are driving. For example, only a person with a motorcycle license may supervise a motorcycle learner.
  • In a DMV road test area.
  • On any street within a park in New York City, or any bridge or tunnel under the jurisdiction of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority.
  • On the Cross County, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River, or Taconic State parkways in Westchester County.

So, you are not allowed drive alone with a NYS learner's permit according to the restrictions on this type of graduated license. Also if you hold a learner permit, junior permit, or junior driver license from outside New York State, you must obey the restrictions NYS places on their permit and junior drivers, in addition to those from your home state.

So you cannot drive without a supervising driver of at least 21 years of age who has a valid full driver's license whether your permit is from New York or out of state. If you are under age 16, you may not drive in New York State even if you hold a permit or license issued outside the state.

Special rules for junior drivers are also listed by the NYS DMV. Here it notes that you are a junior driver if you have a junior learner permit or junior driver license. As a junior driver:

  • A Class DJ license allows you to drive passenger cars and trucks with an unladen weight or a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs. or less. A class DJ driver can drive a vehicle that tows another vehicle (for example a trailer) with a GVWR of 3,000 lbs. or less.
  • You may not drive with more than two passengers under the age of 21 unless they are members of your immediate family, or your accompanying driver is your licensed parent, guardian, person "in loco parentis," driver education teacher or driving school instructor.
  • You and each passenger must wear a seat belt: one per person. All children under age 4 must ride in federally-approved child safety seats, or if also over 40 pounds in weight use an appropriate child restraint system such as a booster seat. Children under age 7 must use an appropriate child restraint system. Children more than four feet nine inches tall are allowed to use a seat belt and shoulder harness.
  • The only passenger allowed in the front seat is your accompanying driver.
  • Your junior permit, license, or privileges will be suspended for 60 days if you are convicted of committing a serious traffic violation (generally three points or more) or two other violations while you hold a junior permit or license.
  • Your junior permit, license, or privileges will be revoked for 60 days if you are convicted of a serious violation (generally three points or more) or two other violations within the first six months after you receive your license or privileges back following a suspension or revocation.

To get more information regarding the conditions and restriction of a New York State learner's permit, contact the NYS DMV.


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