You are not required to change drivers’ licenses, vehicle registration, or license plates to New York State, as students you are not considered permanent residents
From the NYS DMV website:
The law defines a resident as a person who lives in NYS with the intent to make NYS a “fixed and permanent” place to live. According to this law, students from other states or from other nations who attend school in NYS are normally not considered residents of NYS.
However, if you wish to qualify for low-income help through New York State (see financial section), you might need to become a resident by changing your drivers’ license, vehicle reg., and license plate. Some low-income assistance will be available using just your electric bill.
If you do change drivers’ licenses, vehicle registration, or license plates to New York State, the best place to go is the White Plains DMV, in the White Plains Mall – 2nd Floor, 200 Hamilton Ave, White Plains, NY 10601 M, T, W & F 8:30 – 4:00 Thursday 10:00 – 6:00. www.nydmv.state.ny.us
*Tip: download and complete ALL documents prior to going to the DMV.
Getting a NY license can be difficult if you are from another country. Here are the steps involved
- Obtain a Learner Permit by taking the written test. You can practice for the test here. It is best to book a time for your test. Do that here.
- When you have gotten your Learner Permit you may take the required 5-hr course in driver safety. This involves basically sitting in a classroom watching videos about drunk driving and the dangers of speeding. One example of a place you can take this course is Perlas Automobile Driving 268 New Main St # 2. It costs around $40. After sitting through the course you get a certificate. With the certificate number you are now able to book a driving test.
- Book a driving test here: https://visit.dmv.ny.gov/onlineReserve/indexB.html. The waiting time for a driving test can be months. You will need to provide your own car, and the test inspector will verify that the car is registered and has insurance. When you take the test you will either have to bring a licensed driver with you, or surrender your foreign license to the DMV. Ask a fellow seminarian to accompany you, and you won’t have to surrender your foreign license. There is no cost for the test, and they are generally preposterously easy to pass.