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Driver License Suspensions in New York
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend or revoke your NY driver’s license for a variety of reasons. The information on this page relates to suspensions and revocations issued by the NY DMV.
Here are some examples of DMV-issued suspensions and revocations:
- Failure to respond to traffic ticket.
- Alcohol and drug violations.
- Vehicular homicide, assault, or criminal negligence.
- Speed contest.
- Driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI).
- Chemical test refusal.
- DMV road test failure.
IMPORTANT: If you’re convicted of a criminal offense, you may be subject to extra reinstatement requirements with state or federal courts in addition to those required by the DMV. Be sure to follow every instruction provided by the DMV, the Traffic Violation Bureau (TVB), and/or the criminal court.
The New York DMV enforces different requirements depending on the reason for your NY driver’s license suspension or revocation.
Unresolved suspensions will remain on your NY driving record forever.
For a complete list of violations leading to a suspended driver’s license, visit the NY DMV website.
Types of NY Driver License Suspensions
The NY DMV defines a suspension as a period of time you cannot legally drive. There are various types of license suspensions, including:
- Indefinite suspensions.
- Definite suspensions.
- Traffic accident suspensions.
- Out-of-state ticket suspensions.
Indefinite License Suspensions
Cases where the NY DMV may enforce an indefinite suspension on your driver’s license include when you fail to:
- Respond to a court summons.
- Pay a fine.
- File an accident report.
There is no pre-determined end date for your suspension. You must take action in order to have your New York driver’s license reinstated (see “Reinstate Your Suspended Driver’s License” below).
Definite License Suspensions
When the DMV issues you a definite suspension, there will be a clear end date. You will be required to wait out the entire suspension period. Some examples of definite suspensions include:
- Persistent traffic violator (accumulating 11 points within 18 months): 60-day suspension.
- Moving violation during probationary period: 60-day suspension.
- Driving while ability impaired (DWAI) by drugs: 6-month suspension.
Once the suspension period has passed, you must pay your restoration/termination fees to have your driver’s license reinstated. See “Reinstate Your Suspended Driver’s License” below.
NOTE: Other requirements may apply depending on the type of violation. Please refer to the correspondence you received from the NY DMV or civil/criminal court for more information.
Traffic Accident License Suspensions
If you are involved in a car accident resulting in property damage greater than $1,001, you must file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (Form MV-104) with the New York DMV within 10 days after the accident.
If you fail to file the report with the DMV, your NY driver’s license may be suspended. You’ll need to respond to your ticket, pay the fee, or pay the mandatory surcharges to remove the suspension.
NOTE: For specific instructions on how to remove your suspension, see “Reinstate Your Driver’s License” below.
Out-of-State Ticket Suspensions
New York Drivers: The New York DMV will suspend your NY driver’s license if you fail to respond to an out-of-state moving violation, unless the violation was in:
Your license will be suspended until you resolve the violation.
Out-of-State Drivers: If you live outside of New York (except in the above states) but fail to respond to your NYS traffic ticket, your driver license will be suspended until you resolve it.
Even if you do not have a NYS driver’s license, the NY DMV will maintain a record of your suspension. To find out the status of your NY driver’s license, you must order your driving record by mail. For more information, see our Driving Records in New York page.
NOTE: If you have paid your traffic ticket but your NYS driving record does not show the suspension as “terminated,” contact the NY state DMV directly.
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The Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) handles non-criminal moving violations in each of the 5 boroughs of NYC, Buffalo, and Rochester for the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
You will likely be required to attend a TVB hearing if you’re ticketed for:
- Violations during the new driver probationary period.
- Traffic violations adding up to more than 11 points.
NOTE: State/federal courts handle criminal offenses and may enforce suspensions and other penalties in addition to those from the NY DMV.
New York DMV Administrative Hearings
The DMV may require you to show up for an administrative hearing for your driver license suspension. You are considered innocent until proven guilty.
When you plead “not guilty” to a moving violation, your case will be forwarded to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who will make a judgment and set your penalty. The ALJ has the authority to suspend/revoke your license and/or vehicle registration in the interest of safety.
You can plead “not guilty” or “guilty” to your ticket by:
- Using the online Traffic Ticket Pleas, Hearings and Payments system.
- Checking the “not guilty” or “guilty” box on your ticket and mailing it in within 15 days of the recorded violation date to the address listed on the form.
- You must submit payment for a guilty plea by VISA, MasterCard, check, or money order (made payable to “Commissioner of Motor Vehicles”).
If you plead “not guilty,” the DMV will mail you instructions about when and where to go.
The NYS DMV website provides a list of TVB offices in New York.
Postpone Your Hearing
If needed, you can request for your traffic ticket hearing to be rescheduled:
- By phone: Contact the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) at (718) 488-5710 at least 1 day before your hearing.
- In person: Visit the TVB address listed on your NY traffic ticket at least 1 day before your hearing.
- By mail: Send your request to the TVB at the address listed on your ticket.
- The TVB must receive your request at least 10 days before your scheduled hearing.
NOTE: For subsequent postponements, the TVB administrative law judge will require you to make your request in person. You must have an acceptable reason.
Appeal Your Hearing Decision
You can appeal the result of your TVB hearing within 30 days of the decision. The TVB does NOT process convictions:
- That occurred within a local court.
- Resulting from criminal violations.
- Resulting from unpaid parking tickets.
You can appeal the result of your hearing either online or by mail.
To appeal online, visit the TVB Traffic Ticket Appeal page and enter your:
- Traffic ticket number.
- Client ID number.
- E-mail address.
- Full name.
- Mailing address.
- Payment for the non-refundable $10 fee.
To appeal by mail, send a completed Traffic Violations Bureau Appeal (Form AA-33) and payment for the non-refundable $10 fee to:
Appeals Processing Unit
P.O. Box 2935
Albany, NY, 12220-0935
Your suspended NY driver’s license will be automatically restored once you’ve served the full suspension period and satisfied any other requirements, such as:
- Paying the suspension termination fee. See details below.
- Paying any outstanding fines.
NOTE: Under special circumstances you may be required to apply for a new driver’s license.
If your driver’s license is suspended for a specific period of time, you will need to pay your suspension termination fees in order to restore it. You can pay up to 10 suspension termination fees per day online.
To pay your fees online, visit the NY DMV website and enter your:
- Client ID number from your NY driver’s license OR full name.
- Date of birth and gender.
- The last 4 digits of your Social Security number (if filed with the NY DMV).
- Credit or debit card number (see “Fees to Reinstate Your Suspended License” below).
- E-mail address.
The New York DMV will restore your driver’s license 2 business days after you submit your payment OR on the end date of your suspension. Please confirm the status of your driver’s license before you drive a vehicle on NY roads. If you want the NY DMV to send you a new driver’s license, make sure the address you have on file is up to date.
NOTE: You cannot pay traffic ticket fines or surcharges or civil penalties on this system.
Driver Responsibility Assessment
When your driver’s license is suspended for a traffic conviction, you will need to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee before your license is reinstated.
The DMV will mail you a statement that includes the minimum amount you must pay. You can pay the fee online, by mail, or in person at a New York DMV office. Follow the instructions on your notice.
To pay your driver responsibility assessments online, visit the Driver Responsibility Assessment online system and:
- Enter EITHER:
- Your client ID number from your NY driver’s license.
- Your name, gender, and date of birth.
- Your client ID number from your NY driver’s license.
- Provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number (SSN).
- If you don’t have a SSN, enter “9999.”
- Submit payment for your fees using a credit or debit card.
- The system will display exactly how much you must pay.
- Provide an e-mail address.
Be ready to write down or print out your confirmation number.
You will have to pay driver civil penalties if your driver’s license was revoked or suspended under the NY Zero Tolerance Law. You can pay your fees:
To pay online, visit the Driver License Civil Penalty Payment page and enter your:
- Client ID number OR full name.
- Date of birth and gender.
- Last 4 digits of your Social Security number OR 9999 (if you do not have one on file).
- Credit or debit card number to pay for your fees.
- The online system will show how much you must pay.
- E-mail address.
Be prepared to write down your confirmation number or have a printer ready.
NOTE: If you need to pay a civil penalty for a vehicle registration suspension due to a lapse in insurance, please visit the Insurance Civil Penalty Payment page.
Under NYS law, all licensed drivers automatically give consent to a chemical test (e.g., breath, blood, urine, or saliva) for the purpose of measuring alcohol or drug content. If you refuse to take a chemical test, your NY driver’s license will be suspended for at least 1 year.
When convicted of any type of DUI or DWAI in New York, you will lose your privilege to drive and face severe fines/penalties.
The criminal levels for blood-alcohol content (BAC) levels are as follows:
- DWAI/alcohol (driving while ability impaired): Between .05% to .07%.
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI): .08% or higher.
- Aggravated DWI: .18% or higher.
- DWAI/drug (driving while ability impaired): Driving impaired by a single drug.
- DWAI/combination: Driving with a combination of drugs and alcohol.
- Zero Tolerance Law: If you’re under 21 years old and caught driving with a BAC of .02% to .07%, you’re subject to a license suspension in New York.
If you were convicted of your first DWI or DWAI conviction, the NY DMV will determine if you’re eligible to participate in the Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and for a conditional license. If you’re a frequent offender, you could be sentenced to jail time.
The criminal court or New York DMV will mail you details about your specific suspension/revocation and the amounts you must pay.
For more information about DUI/DWI violations, including violation fees, suspension duration, reinstatement, or the Drinking Driver Program in New York, please visit our DUI & DWI in New York page.
In some cases, the New York DMV offers conditional and restricted licenses, which allow you to operate your vehicle with limited privileges.
The NY DMV will notify you by mail with instructions on how to proceed if you’re eligible.
Ineligible drivers may consider applying for an ID card as a form of identification.
Depending on the type of violation, your NY driver license suspension will involve a variety of fees. Refer to the correspondence you receive from your local court, state/federal court, or Traffic Violations Bureau for an exact breakdown of fees.
In addition to paying any civil penalties, tickets, fines, or other charges, you must pay the following DMV suspension termination fees:
- Definite suspensions: $50.
- Indefinite suspensions: $70.
- Zero Tolerance Law violations: $100.
- Out-of-state drivers (without a NYS license application): $25.
For more information about re-application fees, civil penalties, and revoked licenses in New York, read the NYS DMV guide.
Acceptable Payment Methods
You can pay your re-application fee online with one of the following debit/credit cards:
- American Express.
If you pay by mail, enclose a certified check or money order made payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles."
For payments made in person, contact your local NY DMV office for accepted payment methods.
When your driver license is revoked, the NY DMV considers it cancelled. Once the revocation period is over, you’ll be required to apply for a new driver license and appeal for your privilege to drive.
Restore a NY Revoked License
Before you can restore your revoked driver’s license, you must first request approval from the NY DMV Driver Improvement Unit. You’ll need to:
- Serve the revocation period in full.
- Resolve any license suspensions (if applicable).
- Pay suspension termination fees, re-application fees, or civil penalties.
- See “Fees to Reinstate Your Suspended License” above.
You can request approval either online or by mail. If you submit your request for approval by mail, you must wait until 30 days before the end of your revocation period. The NY DMV can take up to 12 weeks to process your request.
Once you receive an approval, apply for your driver license in person at your local NY DMV office. You may still be required to pass the written and road test to obtain your new driver’s license in NY.
Please visit the NY DMV Revocation page for information about special cases and additional requirements for specific revocation types.
To apply for approval to restore your license online, visit the MyDMV Restoration After Revocation page and sign up for a MyDMV account (if you don’t already have one). This process is much quicker than submitting your request by mail.
As described above, you must pay all required fees, including your re-application fee and civil penalties (if applicable). The online application will show details about the specific fees you’re required to pay.
For more fee information, see “Fees to Reinstate Your Suspended License.”
To apply for approval by mail complete the Application for Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (Form MV-44).
- For specific instructions, view the How to Apply for a New York Driver License (Form MV-44.1) document.
- If you’re an out-of-state driver, complete a Request for NYS Driving Privileges (Form DS-115) instead.
Mail your application to:
Driver Improvement Unit
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 338
Albany, NY 12228
NOTE: The Driver Improvement Unit (DIU) does not accept payment for traffic tickets.
The following DUI/DWAI restrictions in New York are stricter for commercial drivers.
- DWI: BAC of 0.04% or higher.
- DWAI (alcohol): 0.02% or higher, if you’re under 21 years old.
If your standard New York driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or cancelled, the NY DMV will also revoke your commercial driving privileges.
On your second offense related to alcohol, a controlled substance, or a felony violation, you will lose your NY commercial driver’s license for life.
Please visit our Commercial Drivers section for more information.Other Topics in This Section