There’s a reason people move to New York State, and no we’re not talking of the New York Cheese Pizza, even though that should count. We’re talking of the state’s scenic beauty, its mighty New York City, and the state’s proximity to different economic hubs.

One of the biggest pains of moving is changing your addresses. And what with the digital age sweeping in, there are so many documents that need to be updated, and one of them is your driver’s license. While you might take a big sign and say “here we go again,” you don’t need to worry even a tiny bit!

The process is simple, and we’re here to make things much much easier for you. We’ve given you a detailed and step by step of the entire process, so keep reading!

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving to New York From Another State

When moving from another state to New York, you might notice that the process of changing your address on your driver’s license is very similar to many other DMVs across America. But, there are still many things to read through and keep in mind, so let’s start with the process of registering your vehicle in New York State.

1.Register Your Vehicle In New York State

To get the registration process done, New York State gives you a period of 30 days which is quite a long period compared to most other American state DMVs.

To get your vehicle registered, you can visit your nearest DMV, and to save you some time, we’ll give you a list of the exact documents you’ll have to carry with you:

  • A completed application form for Title/Registration also called the MV-82.
  • Your original out-of-state vehicle title that was last issued. It should prove ownership of the vehicle that you’re registering.
  • Sales tax proof.
  • Identification proof. You can find an entire list of acceptable documents on the state DMV website.
  • Proof of payment of fees.

While the cost might vary, we can tell you that the title certificate is usually $50 while the plates will cost you an approximate of $25. You must note though that the price is determined based on the weight of your vehicle, the local sales tax, vehicle type, and vehicle sale price among other factors.

Tip: Use the online tool by the New York DMV to estimate how much a vehicle registration fee could come to which you can find here.

Once the registration process is complete, you will receive the following documents within a period of 14 days:

  1. Your Vehicle Plates
  2. Registration documents
  3. 10-day inspection extension sticker

You will receive your title within a period of 90 days.

2. Apply For A Change Of Address

Let’s look at the steps you need to take to apply for a change of address on your driver’s license once you’ve moved to New York State. Like the time period for registration, you have 30 days for this step as well.

For a New York license is $65, but this amount increases to $75 if you have moved to the areas of Kings (Brooklyn), Nassau, Orange, Richmond (Staten Island), Suffolk, New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Queens, Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester counties.

As expected, you’ll have to visit the nearest DMV website in New York to apply for the same, and note that this, unfortunately, cannot be done online. To get a headstart, you should do the following in advance:

  1. Schedule an appointment with a New York State DMV online.
  2. Fill the change of address form also called the MV-82.

Now that you’ve carried these steps out, it’s time to visit the DMV office where you schedule your appointment. But, when you go, you need to carry the following documents with you since the state DMV carries out a 6-point proof of name check:

  1. Your current out-of-state driver’s license. It will be accepted even if it’s expired, provided that the period is less than 24 months.
  2. Your Social Security card.
  3. Proof of residency in New York state. You can show the following as proof of residency – residential lease, utility bill, property deed, etc. For an entire list of acceptable documents refer to the state DMV website.
  4. Proof of birth for which you can show your Birth Certificate which was issued in the United States, a certificate of Naturalization of Citizenship, or even your United States Passport.

We recommend you look at the checklist that the state DMV has provided to ascertain whether your documents are in order to pass the 6-point proof of name check. What’s different about the New York DMV is that they require you to give a vision test after your documents have been verified. You can also submit a Vision test report also called the MV-619 that’s been authorized by a physician, registered nurse, and optician among others. Find the exact details here.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Your documents must in no way be damaged or mutilated
  • Cross check to see that all your documents are in English or have been translated to the English language
  • All your documents must be unexpired
  • Carry a hardcopy of all the documents that you need according to the checklist. Remember that the DMV office will not accept digital or photocopies of your documents.

Do I need a New York State driver’s license if I’m studying in the state?

No, you don’t. Students from other states and countries can drive in the state with a valid driver’s license and don’t need to apply for a New York State driver’s license since they’re not residents of the state. However, to drive you must pass a written test, a road test, and a five-hour pre-licensing course.

If you’re an international student, remember that since you aren’t a resident, your international driver’s license will not be valid for an infinite amount of time. To read up on New York State’s policy for international residents driving in the state, you can refer to the state DMV website.

Is the 5 hour course mandatory in NY?

Yes. Irrespective of age, the state DMV requires that you take the course.

See also: Moving to New York City – Relocation Guide

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving Within New York State

There are a few significant things that change in the process if you’re moving within the state of New York and want your address changed. One of the biggest differences is that the registration process is much simpler. On the other hand, the state only gives you a period of 10 days to change your address, so you need to buck up.

There are four ways in which you can change your address when you move within New York State. Let’s get into the details:

For those of you who are skeptical of doing work related to documentation online, we assure you that the process is highly straightforward and simple. You’ll have to follow the following steps to change the address on your driver’s license online:

  • First, create a MyDMV account.
  • Once you Sign In, click “Change my Address” under the tab “My DMV services”
  • Enter the information asked
  • Click on “Verify”
  • Update your new New York State residential address

As opposed to the common notion, you don’t require the long list of documents that you usually do when you change your address on the DMV website. All you will require is your Social Security Card or your Non-driver ID card.

Note: Changing your address with the USPS does not mean that your DMV records will also be updated automatically. You have to do both by yourself!

2. Via mail

Not comfortable with the online method? You can try the mail method as well. Once you download and print the Change of Address form (MV-232), fill it and mail it to the following address:

NYS DMV License Production Bureau
PO Box 2895
Albany, NY 12220-0895

  1. In-Person

Not a fan of either online or mail? Try physically changing the address on your own accord. Visit the nearest state DMV office and fill in the same Change of Address form.

You can write your new address at the back of your driver’s license and other documents, but the state recommends that you order new DMV documents that support your new address which might cost around $17. Also, note that you won’t be charged anything else for the application process.

How long will a New York State driver’s license last?

New York State DMV will issue a driver’s license that will last for 5 years.

See also: Best Local Movers

When You’re Moving Out Of New York State

Even though you’re moving out of New York state, there are a few things that you need to do by yourself before you leave. One of the first things is to surrender your license plates to the state DMV. You also need to fill and submit the Plate Surrender Application (PD-7) before you surrender your license plates.

Either visit your nearest New York State DMV office to submit them or mail them to:
NYS DMV, 6 Empire State Plaza, Room B240, Albany, NY 12228.

You won’t be charged additionally for this purpose. Once you move, that particular state’s DMV rules might require you to provide other documentation so make sure to go through their rules thoroughly. Also note that when you submit your license plates to the New York State DMV, your New York driver’s license will not be canceled automatically.

See also: Best Out of State Movers

Is It Illegal To Not Change Your Address When You Move?

We just have this to say – it might as well be! While not changing your address on your license is penalized in numerous states, there are other reasons why you should just get done with the biggest is obviously for the sake of convenience. You’ll need your driver’s license for various purposes like voter registration, taxes, or even to establish your domicile in the state

Since a driver’s license also acts as a form of identification, not updating your address on it means that you’ll be walking around with an invalid license which could get you into trouble. Your license is also used by the police in case of unfortunate accidents or traffic violations.

Must read: How to Change Your Address When You Move?


While the process of changing your address might seem tedious, it’s really not the case since New York State’s DMV has made the process as easy as possible for you. From their online portal to in-person and mailing options, you have multiple pathways to choose from. Remember to have photocopies of all your documents and check the state’s 6-point verification checklist thoroughly.