WHEN AN OUT OF STATE DRIVER GETS A TICKET IN NEW YORK
Quite often, I receive calls from out of state drivers who, while passing through New York, receive traffic and speeding tickets and are curious about how to proceed. This is an interesting area of law, as each specific State handles out of state traffic convictions differently.
For instance, "[t]he NYSDMV does not record out-of state violations committed by NYS drivers in other jurisdictions. The exceptions are alcohol-related violations, drug-related violations, and moving violations committed in Quebec or Ontario." (Citation) .
Additionally, the State of New Jersey will assess their drivers two (2) points for out-of-state convictions for moving violations. (Citation) .
Regardless of where the out-of-state driver is licensed, anyone receiving a ticket in the State of New York will find that they are subject to the same sanctions as a New York driver with regard to the potential for the suspension of their driving privileges in the State of New York and imposition of New York State DMV's driver responsibility assessment ("DRA".)
An out of state driver can lose their privileges to drive in New York in at least four situations:
- Failure to answer a ticket (entering a plea to the Court in a timely manner);
- Accumulation of three speeding convictions or eleven points in an eighteen month period;
- Failure to pay a DRA; &
- Failure to pay a fine set by the Court.
Once a motorist receives a traffic ticket (commonly known as a simplified traffic information), there is a specific date by which the Court must be notified of a guilty or not guilty plea. Providing this information to the Court is referred to as answering a summons. If the motorist does nothing, and the date passes, the Court will notify NY DMV, who in turn will notify the driver by mail that if they do not answer the ticket by a certain date, their privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the State of New York will be suspended and that they will then have to pay a non-refundable $70.00 fee (per ticket) to have the suspended lifted. As most States now share information about their drivers through the Interstate Driver's License Compact, there may also be additional sanctions or potential for suspension in the driver's home state.
Additionally, New York will take action against a driver's privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the State of New York upon the accumulation of three speeding convictions or eleven points within an eighteen-month period. These points and convictions refer to those obtained from tickets received in the State of New York. Although an out of state driver may question how this is possible when they do not hold a New York driver's license, it should be noted that once a ticket is issued and there is action with regard to the ticket, either in the form of a conviction for a specific traffic offense or for failure to answer a summons as noted above, a record is created in New York with regard to that person's name, address and/or date of birth. Once this "record" demonstrates that the driver has obtained the requisite amount of points or convictions, it is likely that New York DMV will suspend or revoke the driver or non-resident driver's privileges to operate a motor vehicle in the State of New York.
Likely based upon the State's need for increased revenue, New York now imposes a Driver's Responsibility Assessment upon the accumulation of six or more points on the driver's or non-resident driver's record. Although there are many opportunities for DMV to impose a DRA, for the purpose of this article, the discussion is limited to these fees assessed in the context of traffic tickets.
Per New York DMV, "[i]f you are convicted of one or more traffic violations resulting in six points in any 18-month period, you will be required to pay $100 each year for the next three years. For each additional point accumulated during that period, you will be required to pay another $25 per point every year for three years. Completion of a motor vehicle accident prevention course will not reduce the calculation of points affecting the driver responsibility assessment." (Citation).
Once imposed, the driver is usually given a specific date in which to pay the DRA. If the date passes and the DRA is not paid, the driver or non-resident driver's privilege to drive in New York will be indefinitely suspended until the payment is made.
It should be noted that it in the State of New York, it is, at a minimum, a misdemeanor to operate a motor vehicle with one or more suspension or revocations in place on the driver or non resident driver's record (in some instances and based upon the number of suspension or revocations, this conduct may also be charged as a felony.)
Regardless of where you are licensed to drive, it is very important to be aware that each State imposes specific rules and regulations with regard to the lawful use of their highways and byways. Promptly answering a ticket and keeping your address up to date with your home state's DMV (and the Court in which any traffic ticket is issued) is the first line of defense towards keeping you driving record suspension free.
If you have received a ticket in Rockland County or anywhere in the State of New York, please feel free to give me a call at 845-638-9200 to discuss your case and the options available to you.
Law Office of Brian Berkowitz, 222 North Main Street, New City, NY 10956. 845-638-9200.
FACEBOOK: Law Office of Brian Berkowitz