Here is an excerpt from an article laying out requirements and rules for those getting their permit and license at age 16.
Summary of New York Law Regarding Young Drivers
Brian P. Heermance and Brian L. Battisti
New York Law Journal
On Feb. 22, 2010, New York State enacted changes to the Graduated Driver Licensing Law (GDL)1 as a way of improving teenage driver safety. The changes included reducing the number of non-family passengers under age 21 allowed to ride in a vehicle operated by a junior license holder from two to one; increasing the number of supervised driving hours required before scheduling a road test from 20 to 50 hours, including 15 hours of driving after sunset; and eliminating the limited junior license and requiring that a junior permit be held for a minimum of six months prior to obtaining a junior or senior license.
This article will examine the types of licenses for new drivers, the requirements and restrictions of each, and how license restrictions are enforced throughout New York State.
Graduated Licensing Law
The Graduated Driver Licensing Law is applicable to any driver under the age of 18, even if issued a valid out-of-state permit or license, while driving within New York state. The GDL established a three-stage licensing process: new drivers first earn a junior permit, then a junior license and, finally, a senior license.
Junior Permit. Once a new driver turns 16 and completes the required written test, he or she may drive only when accompanied by a validly licensed supervising driver over the age of 21. The supervising driver must be seated in the front passenger seat.
A driver with a junior permit may only have one passenger under the age of 21, unless they are members of the driver’s immediate family.
A driver may not drive on a street in a New York city park, any bridge or tunnel under the jurisdiction of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, or on the Cross County, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River, or Taconic State parkways in Westchester County.
Every passenger must wear a seat belt. Children under the age of eight must use a proper child restraint system, with children under the age of 4 in a federally approved child safety seat. If the child is over four feet, nine inches tall, he or she is allowed to use a seat belt and shoulder harness.
Once a driver has had a valid permit for six months and has completed 50 hours of supervised driving, of which a minimum of 15 must be after sunset, a road test can be scheduled.
The supervised practice driving must be certified (Certification of Supervised Driving (MV-262)) by a parent or guardian and provided to the examiner at the road test.
New York City. The subject vehicle is required to be equipped with a dual control/brake system.
New York City and Nassau and Suffolk counties.The supervising driver must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor. New drivers are prohibited from driving between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Remainder of State. A new driver may drive with a supervising driver who is at least 21 between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. the supervising driver must be a parent, guardian or driving instructor.
Junior License. If the new driver completes the supervised driving hours and passes the road test, he or she will be issued a junior license. Similar restrictions apply to junior licenses.
A driver with a junior license may only have one passenger under the age of 21 in the motor vehicle, unless the passengers are members of the junior driver’s immediate family. This does not apply if the junior driver is accompanied by a licensed parent/guardian or driving instructor.
New York City. Junior licensed drivers are not permitted to drive within the five boroughs under any circumstances.
Nassau and Suffolk counties. Junior licensed drivers are permitted to drive without a supervising driver if traveling directly between home and work, a work-study program, college, university, or registered evening high school course, or a driver education course.
In the remainder of cases, junior licensed drivers may drive between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. with a supervising driver. Only the supervising driver may sit in the front seat.
Remainder of State. A new driver may drive without a supervising driver between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., junior licensed drivers are permitted to drive without a supervising driver if traveling directly between home and employment or educational courses.
Senior License. Once a junior licensed driver has completed a state-approved driver education course and reached the age of 17, the driver can obtain a class D senior license. The driver simply brings the Certification of Completion (MV-285) to his or her local DMV and the restrictions discussed above will no longer apply.
A junior license becomes a senior license once the driver reaches the age of 18.
Portable Electronic Devices. It is illegal for any driver, including new drivers, who may face suspension or revocation for violations, to text using a portable electronic device while the vehicle is moving.6 In addition, drivers cannot operate a motor vehicle while wearing more than one earphone attached to an audio device.7
As you can see, these rules are much more restrictive they they were when those of us in our 40s got our licenses.