Few teen experiences are more exciting than learning how to drive. It’s the first taste of freedom after being driven around by mom and dad for your whole life. In New York, there are a two kinds of licenses you must hold before you can get your full-fledged driver’s license. The first is the learner’s permit, which allows you to practice driving with an adult in the car. After 6 months, you can get your junior driver’s license if you pass the road test.
While you have your junior (DJ) license, there are many restrictions you must follow. Breaking these rules (as well as committing any traffic violation that carries 3 points or more) can result in your license being suspended for 60 days. Avoid this punishment by making sure you are familiar with the specific rules for each area of New York State:
In the City
If you hold a junior driver’s license, it is illegal for you to drive within the five boroughs at any time, for any reason. The roads of the city are fast-paced, and a junior driver who isn’t sure what they are doing can be highly dangerous. Moreover, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that any person who plans to drive in New York City extensively should wait until their 18th birthday to take their road test. That way, they can get more time learning to drive with an approved driver in a vehicle that allows the teacher to hit the brakes.
The exception to this rule is 17-year-old drivers who completed a driver’s ed course and therefore get their class D license before they turn 18. These drivers are allowed to drive anywhere within New York State.
In Long Island
Rules about driving in Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) are more lax than those within the city itself. With a junior driver’s license, you may drive if you are supervised by:
- A parent or guardian, including a person acting in loco parentis
- A person authorized by your parent or guardian to supervise you
- A driver’s ed teacher
The person supervising you must be at least 21 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. They must ride in the front seat of the car, and you may not have more than one passenger under the age of 21 unless they are immediate family members.
There are some exceptions to having a supervisor. Between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., you can drive between home and:
- Your job
- A work-study program
- Your college, if you’re dual-enrolled
- Your school
- Driver’s ed
Between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., you may only drive alone from home to the same places, except work. Junior drivers may not drive between work and home after 9 p.m. unless they work on a farm.
In Upstate NY
Driving rules in Upstate New York are similar to those in Long Island. However, these rules are less stringent than in any other region of the state. Junior drivers don’t need supervision between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. However, you may only have one passenger under the age of 21, unless they are immediate family. At night, between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., there are more rules regarding when you can drive.
You may only drive unsupervised at night to and from home and work or a school course. Otherwise, you must be supervised under the same guidelines given under the Long Island section.
It’s important to note that, in each area of New York, you may have your license revoked if you are ticketed for texting and driving. Getting your license reinstated after revocation is a long and sometimes costly process. If you get a ticket with a junior license in New York, contact the attorneys at Feifer & Greenberg today for a free consultation.