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COVID-19: NY DMV Launches Online Vehicle Registration, Permit Test Pilot Programs

New Yorkers will now have more online options during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Yorkers will now have more online options during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

Comically long lines at the DMV may soon be a relic of the past as New York continues reinventing itself on the fly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles will be expanding its online services during the pandemic to make it more accessible for the DMV to do business remotely.

The DMV has launched a pilot program that will offer the written learner permit tests for cars and motorcycles online. Customers who are served by the state DMV will also be able to register their vehicles from their computers.

Cuomo said that it’s just the latest thing that the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the state to reevaluate.

"As the last six months have demonstrated, we need to continue reimagining how to provide essential government services safely, securely, and efficiently in the midst of this pandemic," he said.

"These online options will make it more convenient for New Yorkers to access the services they need, while reducing congestion in the DMV offices and helping continue our shared progress in stopping the spread of this virus.”

Customers who currently have a reservation for an in-office permit test will have the opportunity to take the exam online, and provided the pilot program is successful, the online option will become available to all permit applicants in the fall.

According to Cuomo the most time-consuming aspect of getting a learner permit is taking the exam, and by offering the test online, New Yorkers will save significant time when they come to the DMV to finish the application process and will be able to take the test at their convenience in a familiar and safe environment.

The permit test will include 50 questions and is expected to take between 45 minutes and an hour to complete.

As part of the reinvention, New Yorkers who live in these counties have state-run DMV offices and will be able to register a vehicle online.

  • Albany;
  • Bronx;
  • Kings;
  • Nassau;
  • Onondaga;
  • New York;
  • Richmond;
  • Rockland;
  • Suffolk;
  • Queens;
  • Westchester.

"We always strive to adapt and modernize our services to better meet the needs of our customers and to make things safer as we battle the coronavirus,” DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said.

“Offering these transactions online is more convenient and safer for those who need to get a permit or register a vehicle, and it allows us to free up more space in our offices to serve those who cannot do their transaction remotely."

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