Updated: June, 2021Summary of common traffic laws in New York – Speed limits, License Renewals, Learners Permits, Drunk Driving Laws, and more. For more information, visit the New York Governor's Traffic Safety Committee website.
In New York, the maximum speed limit for cars is 65 mph. The maximum highway speed for trucks is also 65 mph. These are maximum speeds. Speeds may be lower on highway passing through urban areas. Always observe posted traffic laws and drive safely for the weather and road conditions.
New York allows new drivers to get their learners permit at the age of 16. You must have your provisional license for a minimum of 6 months. Drivers can then get their intermediate license at 16 years and 6 months. An Intermediate License imposes restricts on when you are allowed to drive and how many passengers are allowed in the car, but allows you to drive yourself without an instructor in the car.
In New York, drivers can obtain their full drivers license at the age of 17.
New York requires you to renew your license every 8 years.
The state of New York enforces increased penalties for speeding violations within work zones. These increased penalties are known as Work Zone Enhancements. Work Zone Enhancements can be enforced even if workers are not present as long as road work signs are posted. In New York, Work Zone Enhacements are:
The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08%. Driving while above the legal limit is called Driving Under the Influence. Driving while above certain BAC is called Driving while intoxicated and carries a heavier penalty. In New York, driving with a BAC above 0.18% will trigger automatic enhanced minimum penalties.
Cellphones and other handheld devices are banned while driving in most states. In New York, hand-held devices such as phones and mp3 player are banned for all drivers, regardless of age. Handheld devices bans prohibit talking on the phone without a hands-free system.
Texting while driving is banned in New York. Texting while driving is concidered a primary offense. This means that you can be pulled over with texting as the only offense. In New York, distracted driving is listed as a category on police crash report forms.
New York requires seabelt use. Seatbelt enforcement is concidered primary, meaning you can be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. The fine for a seatbelt law violation in New York is $50.00. Seatbelt use laws depend on the driving experience of the driver and which seat of the car a passenger is sitting in.