I have an out-of-state (Florida) driver's license. Only a few days expired (well within the exchange window). I'd like to exchange for a NY State license, because I've been living in NY for a decade now. On the NY DMV site, it states that

If you move to New York State and become a resident, you must get a New York State driver license within 30 days.

However it has been more than 30 days. I cannot find any information on what I need to do in this case. Do I need to retake a driver's test altogether? I'm assuming I cannot undergo the "renew" process with a non-NY State license though this doesn't seem to be made explicit anywhere here.

Sidenote: I've also discovered that I cannot renew for another Florida license online because I've already done it once (and I'd rather not fly there just to visit the DMV).

  • Your link contains a link to this page: New York DMV | Exchange your out-of-state driver license, which should answer your question. Note: it doesn't meantion what happen if you are exchanging it 10 years to late. Is this what you are really asking? Feb 3, 2023 at 21:32
  • @MarkJohnson Right, I am asking what to do after the 30-day residency window. In my case, 10 years.
    – A__
    Feb 3, 2023 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


New York says that you must exchange your license within 30 days. What they don't say is why, or what happens if you don't. The consequence of not doing so is that you do not have permission to drive in New York until you get a New York license. In other words, what they should say is that you "must exchange your license within 30 days if you want to drive in New York State." This is made fairly clear in the footnote, which discusses the possibility of being ticketed for driving without a license.

It doesn't mean that you can only exchange your out-of-state license within 30 days of moving to New York. The conditions for exchanging an out-of-state license are:

Your current license must

  • have your photograph
  • be valid or expired less than 24 months
  • have been issued at least 6 months before you apply for a New York license (unless it is a commercial driver license that has been valid for any amount of time)

You cannot exchange your license if it is

  • suspended or revoked
  • lost or stolen
  • a hardship or an "employment only driver license"
  • marked "non-renewable" or "non-transferable"
  • I'd note that owning ID is not mandatory in any state if you're not planning to drive, unlike European countries where having a valid national ID card is often mandatory. This is true even for foreigners - they do need a federal ID (green card / visa) but aren't obligated to have a state ID. Feb 4, 2023 at 17:46
  • How is not being allowed to drive in NY State enforced? Is something printed on the license to indicate it?
    – A__
    Feb 5, 2023 at 7:57
  • @JonathanReez there is no context where identification is mandatory where the ID has to be issued by a particular jurisdiction. In demanding a driver's license from a driver the purpose of identifying the driver is secondary: the primary purpose is to demonstrate that the driver is licensed to drive. Visas are not identification documents, and the rules for identifying oneself as a foreigner are essentially the same as for a US citizen. Foreigners (but only some foreigners) have an obligation to carry an "alien registration receipt" if they have one, but here too identification is only a...
    – phoog
    Feb 5, 2023 at 17:44
  • ...secondary purpose (and a US visa also does not satisfy this obligation because it is not an "alien registration receipt"). US Border Patrol and more generally CBP like to assert that the law requires foreigners to carry with them documents sufficient to prove their immigration status, but that isn't what the law actually says (and at least one court has agreed, holding that the law cannot be enforced against someone who had entered the country illegally because that person had not been issued an "alien registration receipt").
    – phoog
    Feb 5, 2023 at 17:50
  • 1
    @A__ perhaps you've misconstrued the answer. A New York resident with an out-of-state license is not permitted to drive in New York after having resided there for more than 30 days. Once the person acquires a New York license, the person is permitted to drive in New York (because from then they're using a New York license). I've edited the answer in an attempt to clarify. As the footnote on the linked page explains, it would normally be enforced only if an officer had reason to suspect that a driver presenting an out-of-state license had actually resided in New York for longer than 30 days.
    – phoog
    Feb 5, 2023 at 17:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.