Need to renew an NJ driver's license. But I live across the river.
August 19, 2017 12:00 AM   Subscribe

I have an NJ driver's license. I need to renew it. I've mostly lived in NYC the last decade. Renew, transfer, or what?

For the last decade, I've mostly lived in NY, occasionally living with family in NJ - but I've moved around so much that I haven't always had a stable address. So, the mailing address I give for taxes, clerical work, etc. often tends to be a family member's home in NJ (to be clear, I pay taxes as an NY resident, don't lie anywhere, I just ask for documents to be sent to NJ), and that's included my driver's license. I need to renew it in the next month - but I'm wondering: are there legal ramifications for renewing the NJ driver's license? Can I just port it over to an NY driver's license? How do people do this?

Sorry if I'm not explaining well what I'm not getting - I just feel like i don't know how this works. Email me at - thanks.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (8 answers total)
See the NYSDMV website. Yes, you are required to get a NY license if you reside in NY.
posted by jkent at 12:23 AM on August 19, 2017 [5 favorites]

Transferring is a snap, and then you're not stuck having to go to NJ to renew (NJ is very behind the times on allowing online renewals). Make the NY DMV visit a priority; I only spent a few hours back when I switched mine.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:14 AM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

The best part of the NYSDMV's site, is you can make an appointment! I'm actually going on Monday to make the license switch from CT to NY and had been dreading the possibly quite long line until I secured the appointment. The form for transferring your license is also on their site with the list of proof of ID you'll need to bring.
posted by icaicaer at 4:42 AM on August 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yes, switch it, you can just port it if your other license has not expired yet. You can also update your voter registration while updating your license at the DMV. Here's another tip to add to the above, make an appointment for the earliest of the day. I did that and the whole thing literally took 5 minutes because no one else was waiting yet.
posted by greta simone at 5:43 AM on August 19, 2017

I did the license transfer from CT to NYC a few weeks ago (I am ashamed to say how many years I'd been holding on to the CT license, just renewing when I happened to be back in CT) and brought the documents outlined in the link jkent posted above.

The online appointment system was broken when I did it so I groaned, set aside my entire morning, and went to the downtown Manhattan DMV when it opened at 8:30am. The whole process took about 10 minutes. If it's a thing for you, do wear your corrective lenses/bring your glasses as they will give you a 5-second vision test.
posted by lalex at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2017

Yes, switch it, you can just port it if your other license has not expired yet.

You can actually port it if your other license has been expired for up to 2 years, which I know because, uh, I took almost full advantage of that loophole.
posted by lalex at 11:19 AM on August 19, 2017

When I moved to NY I waited until my ca license was about to expire before I replaced it (which is technically a no-no).
posted by brujita at 5:16 PM on August 19, 2017

Yes, make an appointment at the DMV, it makes a WORLD of difference. It led me to giving the College Point (Queens) DMV a 5-star review on Yelp - I was in and out in less than 15 minutes. All the forms you need are on the DMV website, so you can fill them out and have them ready to go when you get there, which will make it even faster.

When you move again, you can just go online and transfer your address. They use the photo from your license with your old address. I did this last summer, and I think there was a $20 fee. Very easy and I had my license with my new address in less than a week.
posted by AlisonM at 1:06 PM on August 20, 2017

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