Anthony M. Grandinetie

The New York DMV Point System

New York’s DMV point system is designed to identify drivers who commit multiple traffic offenses within a short period of time—typically eighteen months—which may result in the DMV suspending or revoking your license. However, all it takes is one or two tickets for the Department to fine you a hefty annual “driver responsibility fee” of at least $100 for three years.

Suspension and Revocation

If you acquire 11 points for traffic convictions in an 18-month period, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend or revoke your license for (usually) 31 days. Points are assessed according to the date of the offense, not the date of the conviction.

The point system is not the only way to lose your license. There are other mandatory suspensions and revocations by the DMV outside the point classification system. For example, your license will be suspended due to three speeding convictions within 18 months even if your point total is less than 11. Obviously, more serious offenses such as in driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs carry more serious consequences, starting with a 90-day or six-month license suspension, depending on the offense, and significant fines amongst other potential penalties, including jail, may result.

The Point System

  • Speeding (1-10 MPH over posted limit): 3 points
  • Speeding (11-20 MPH over posted limit): 4 points
  • Speeding (21-30 MPH over posted limit): 6 points
  • Speeding (31-40 MPH over posted limit): 8 points
  • Speeding (more than 40 MPH over posted limit): 11 points
  • Reckless driving: 5 points
  • Failing to stop for a school bus: 5 points
  • Following too closely (tailgating): 4 points
  • Inadequate brakes: 4 points
  • Inadequate brakes while driving an employer’s vehicle: 2 points
  • Failing to yield right-of-way: 3 points
  • Violation involving a traffic signal, stop sign, or yield sign: 3 points
  • Railroad-crossing violation: 3 points
  • Improper passing, unsafe lane change, driving left of center, or driving in wrong direction: 3 points
  • Leaving the scene of an incident involving property damage or injury to a domestic animal: 3 points
  • Safety restraint violation involving a person under 16: 3 points
  • Texting while driving: 5 points
  • Any other moving violation: 2 points

While traffic convictions remain on your record for at least three years, points are automatically removed 18 months after you’re convicted of a traffic offense. You may also be eligible for a point-reduction by completing an accident-prevention course approved by the DMV, which may remove up to four points from your record. Visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for additional information.

Reinstating your Driver Privileges

Call us for assistance to reinstate your driving privileges. You can expect to pay $50 to terminate a suspension enacted on or after July 6, 2009 (or $100 for suspensions due to violating the Zero Tolerance Law). You must also pay $100 to terminate a revocation enacted on or after July 6, 2009. To terminate a suspension due to non-payment of a traffic ticket, you must pay $70.

Driver Responsibility Program

In New York even after paying penalties, fines, and fees for the violations themselves, plus reinstatement fees to get your license back, you may be subject to a “driver responsibility assessment”―a fine paid once a year for three years to the DMV. You only need to accumulate six points in an 18-month period to be subjected to this assessment, and the costs are significant: $100 a year for six points plus $25 a year for each additional point, for three years. Alcohol or drug-related traffic violations cost $250 a year for three years.

Insurance Consequences

The DMV isn’t the only organization to worry about when you are convicted of a traffic offense. Not only will you have to pay outrageously high court fines and DMV assessment fees for moving violations, but insurance companies have their own independent point systems which may increase your insurance premiums. Before you plead guilty to any traffic offense, consult our office first. Insurers check your record when they renew your policy, and often all it takes is one moving violation to increase your premiums. If an insurer concludes that your driving habits put you at greater odds of becoming involved in an accident, they may cancel your policy outright.

The Kids

It is important to speak to your children about traffic offenses when they start driving. Often children are so concerned that mom and dad might get upset that they were ticketed, that they just pay the tickets, unaware of the results. The most common source of dramatic premium increases come about when your children start driving and the traffic infractions follow