lost license nightmare
September 8, 2016 1:35 PM   Subscribe

I used to live in NY, and I have an NY driver's license with my old address on it. Then I moved, and failed to update my address. Now I lost my license, and I'm moving again. What do I do???

When I moved out of NY a few years ago, I didn't bother to update my license — I'm only here in IL temporarily, I don't really drive, and IL doesn't make a big deal of it. This was very much my mistake.

Now I lost my social security card and my driver's license in so many days (I'm packing, it's a mess — I don't think they were ever in the same place and I still have my wallet, so I'm not seriously worried about identity theft, just the hassle).

I have my passport, thank god, so I can still fly, but at this point it isn't clear to me if I'll need to take the driver's exam in PA like a non-driver? Should I try to get a replacement NY driver's license, and if so, how? Is there no way to get proof that I am in fact a licensed driver without lying to the state of New York about my current address?

Oh my god please help me
posted by you're a kitty! to Law & Government (13 answers total)
For $17.50, the NY DMV will send you a replacement license, and they will mail it to an address other than the one they have on file for you if you ask:
Can I ask that my document be sent to a different address than what will be on my document?

When you order by mail or at a DMV office, you may ask that your replacement document be sent to an address that is different from the address on your document. If you want your new driver license sent to an alternate address, include an additional note and clearly print the alternate address. Don’t write the alternate address on form MV-44. The mailing address you write on form MV-44 must be the address that is listed on your photo document and your DMV record.
You can also order the license online, and be provided immediately with a temporary license that you can use until your "real" replacement arrives in the mail. This might even be acceptable to the PA DMV in order to make the switch-over, but I suspect you'd be better off with the printed replacement.

All of this assumes that your old license would still be valid if you had it — if it had expired, then you may have to take the PA driver's test.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2016

Call the PA DMV and ask them.

Judging from their website, you would have to get a permit and take the test again if you can't prove you had a license before. But there may be some provision for people who've had this happen that isn't specifically stated.

Also see this.

To replace your social security card is trivially easy-- go to SSA with the application and pay the fee. They will mail it to you.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:01 PM on September 8, 2016

The website says you can change your address online, and then renew. Caveat: if your license is more than 2 years past expiration, you can't anymore.

You already looked here, right?

"You can first change your address online and then renew. There is no guarantee that the (US Postal Service) USPS will forward your DMV documents to your new address." (That second sentence is a warning that you should change address first and then renew, since the USPS can't be counted on to handle the forwarding. Which is fine.)

Looks like since you're not in-state you'll need to have the eye test administered by whoever and they fill this out for you.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:02 PM on September 8, 2016

Thanks everyone. Unfortunately I need to sign a legally binding document with the NY DMV to replace my license online or by mail affirming that I still live at my old address, and I don't. So... that probably won't work. I'll call them tomorrow and see what they suggest, though. This is all made messier by the fact that I didn't get an IL license when I should have... ugh.
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:06 PM on September 8, 2016

You have to swear you live at your old address in order to file an address change?
posted by Lyn Never at 2:20 PM on September 8, 2016

Oh... you mean, give them my new PA address as my new address, and ask for a new license to be sent there? Skip the IL stage entirely?
posted by you're a kitty! at 2:23 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

(Sorry, OOS new address may keep you from doing that. Yes, call.)
posted by Lyn Never at 2:24 PM on September 8, 2016

Sorry, am I totally confused? File a change of address form and request a new license on it.
posted by praemunire at 3:20 PM on September 8, 2016

(I don't think you need to have any kind of testing done unless your current license actually is expiring. It's just an address update.)
posted by praemunire at 3:23 PM on September 8, 2016

I think filing a change-of-address form with an out-of-state address is going to be a problem. I suspect. But I'll call tomorrow and try asking a live DMV human... wish me luck...
posted by you're a kitty! at 3:37 PM on September 8, 2016

You can request a certified official driver record from New York's MyDMV. This is a certification statement which notes that you are a registered driver in New York. It includes the signature of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and a security watermark.

You can then use this to prove to either Illinois or Pennsylvania's DMV that you are a registered driver, making it easier to obtain a PA license. If you opt not to get a new license, you can always get an ID card. (Pennsylvania, Illinois)

From the linked page:
"Can I order my driving record abstract by mail?

Yes. Use Request for DMV Records (MV-15). Your request must include

* a photocopy of your proof of identity (This can either be a driver license or other government issued photo ID card (you can black out your photo) or 6 points of identification. See Proofs of Identity for Learner Permit, Driver License, and Non-Driver ID Card (ID-44 ).)
* a personal check or money order for $10.00 payable to the "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles"

Send these items to

MV-15 Processing
NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228

You can also get your driving record by mail when you renew your driver license. To order your record at renewal, mark the blue box on your renewal notice and add the $10.00 search fee to your renewal fee."

posted by zarq at 7:36 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

THANK YOU ZARQ. I checked with the PA DMV, and they said my driving record would be enough—I will also have to sign a statement confirming that I lost my NY license. NY's DMV asked me to report my license lost to the local PD. So relieved! Thank you all for your help.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:14 AM on September 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yay! I'm so glad that will work out! Good luck!!
posted by zarq at 11:39 AM on September 9, 2016

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