New York traffic laws are strict compared to many other States and Canadian provinces. If you find yourself in receipt of multiple moving violations in New York, some adjoining territories as described below, you are a beginning New York driver, or you are an experienced driver who is new to the area, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the points system for New York licenses. Learn to understand how points are accrued, what steps you can take to decrease the impact of points on your license, and how repeated violations can lead to suspension or revocation of your license.
NYS Point System
Most common traffic violations in New York lead to the addition of points to your license as well as the requirement to answer for your ticket by either paying a fine or appearing in court. It’s important to note that you don’t get points on your license until you admit guilt or are convicted of the offense. Failure to pay or appear can lead directly to the suspension of your license regardless of your points status, so if you receive a ticket it’s always in your best interest to deal with it promptly.
The table below details the points assigned for various traffic violations:
|Speeding Points (MPH over posted limit)|
|1 to 10||3|
|11 to 20||4|
|21 to 30||6|
|31 to 40||8|
|Failed to stop for school bus||5|
|Followed too closely (tailgating)||4|
|Inadequate brakes (private car)||4|
|Inadequate Brakes (employer’s vehicle)||2|
|Failed to yield right-of-way||3|
|Disobeying traffic control signal, STOP sign or YIELD sign||3|
|Railroad crossing violation||5|
|Improper passing, changing lane unsafely||3|
|Driving left of center, in wrong direction||3|
|Leaving scene of property damage incident||3|
|Child safety restraint violation||3|
|Improper cell phone use||5|
|Use of a portable electronic device (“texting”)||5|
|Any other moving violation||2|
In addition to points, you may be liable for NYS speeding ticket fines in addition to speeding ticket NY points. New York driver’s license points are not assigned for any bicycle or pedestrian violations.
One interesting note: traffic violations in other States of the United States do not add points to your New York license, but violations in some parts of Canada do. The Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario have reciprocal agreements with New York State for speeding ticket points, so violations there will add the appropriate number of points on license NY, and vice versa for Canadian drivers from those provinces.
Points and License Suspension in New York State
If you get 11 DMV points license in an 18-month period, your license is suspended. As described below, this is not the only situation that can lead to license suspension or revocation. However, repeated minor traffic violations will lead directly to a suspended license.
Of note, points aren’t added to your license until you are convicted or plead guilty to the offense, but the date of the violation is used for calculation of your point total in a given 18-month window.
If your license is suspended, a notice will be sent to the address on file with the New York DMV. It will contain detailed instructions for how to proceed. If you are unsure of your license status, you can check at the portal on the NY DMV web site.
Point Reduction and Suspension Removal
If you have accumulated points on your license and are near suspension or your license has already been suspended, you can remove points through participation in a New York State approved Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP). This program is basically driving school, and it can subtract four points from your license for purposes of a suspension and reduce your insurance rate by 10%. It’s important to note if you participate in PIRP, all points remain on your license, but four of those points will not be counted for purposes of a suspension. The details of this program can be found on the New York DMV website.
When Points Don’t Matter
There are some offenses that lead directly to the immediate suspension or revocation of your license, even if you have no points on your record. Offenses that carry this penalty include traffic violations such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to answer or pay a traffic ticket, driving without insurance or being involved in an uninsured motorist accident, or being the driver in a motor vehicle crash that involved a fatality. You can also lose your license for non-traffic violations such as failure to pay child support or accruing excessive debt to the state of New York. If you suspect your license might be suspended or revoked, you can check your status at the portal on the NY DMV web site.