If you’ve ever gotten a traffic citation in New York, you likely have also have accrued points on your driving record. And if that’s the case, you ought to know how they work—specifically, how they can hurt you, and what you can do to get rid of them.
WHAT IS THE “POINT SYSTEM,” ANYWAY?
The Driver Violation Point System was established by the New York DMV as a means of identifying poor drivers and repeat violators. For each infraction or violation, you are given a certain number of “points” that stay on your record for 18 months. If you accrue too many points in an 18-month period, you can get penalized.
If you get 11 points or more within the 18-month period, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license. There is no pleading your case, or requesting a waiver. In fact, your only means of recourse is requesting a DMV hearing to prove that a different person committed those violations.
In addition to that, New York has implemented a Driver Responsibility Assessment. If you are convicted of certain violations, you will be charged with an additional fine, that you must pay to the DMV each year for three years!
- Drug- or alcohol-related violations: $250/year ($750 total)
- Refusal of a chemical or sobriety test: $250/year ($750 total)
- Receiving 6 or more points on your record within an 18-month period: $100/year ($300 total)
If you’re a New York driver and you’ve been building up some serious points, the best thing to do is enroll in a DMV-Approved Online NY Defensive Driving Course. Completing the course can reduce your total violations by a maximum of 4 points, and it will save you a mandatory 10% on your liability and collision insurance premiums.
NEW YORK POINT SYSTEM BREAKDOWN
- Speeding (up to 10 MPH over the limit): 3 points
- Speeding (11-20 MPH over the limit): 4 points
- Speeding (21-30 MPH over the limit): 6 points
- Speeding (31- 40 MPH over the limit): 8 points
- Speeding (more than 40 MPH over the limit): 11 points
- Reckless driving: 5 points
- Failure to stop for a school bus: 5 points
- Inadequate brakes: 4 points
- Cell phone violation/Use of portable electronic device: 3 points
- Tailgating, or following too closely: 4 points
- Improper passing/lane changing: 3 points
- Driving to the left of center or the wrong way: 3 points
- Failure to obey traffic signal or sign: 3 points
- Railroad crossing violation: 3 points
- Failure to yield right-of-way: 3 points
- Passenger safety violation (including child safety and seat belt): 3 points
- Leaving an accident that involves property damage or domestic animal injury: 3 points
- Other moving violations: 2 points
Keep in mind that this is not a complete list, nor is it the only way to have your license suspended. For example, if you receive three speeding violations in the state of New York in an 18-month period, the DMV will automatically revoke your New York driver’s license, regardless of how many or few points you have. So if you’re getting ticketed for traffic violations, enroll in a defensive driving course as soon as possible. Not only can it take care of your point problem, it can also help you become the kind of driver who doesn’t have to worry about how many points they have in the first place!