Suspended License in New York
Both the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the courts possess the power to terminate your driving privileges. To determine the current status of your license you can either inquire with the DMV or check your driving record.
Check Your Driving Record
Get your personal drivers´ license history instantly and online. Find out what information is on your driving record with a BackgroundChecks.com Instant Motor Vehicle Report. Keep in mind, you can only run an instant motor vehicle report on yourself.
You can order your driving record through the DMV or a third-party vendor.
- Order Driving Record Online
Learn everything you need to know about ordering your driving record online at Driving Records.
- Order Driving Record in Person
This is your best option if you need the driving record immediately.
- Order Driving Record By Mail
- Complete form MV-15.
- Have a photocopied proof of identity.
- Mail both documents and a check or money order for $10 to the address listed on the form.
- Your driving record should arrive in the mail within two weeks.
- Order Driving Record By Telephone
- Have your driver license handy.
- Be ready to pay $15 ($10 search fee, $5 processing fee) with MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or Visa.
- Call (800) 225-5368 if your area code is 716, 315, 518, 585 or 607. Or call (518) 473-5595 from all other area codes, and follow the phone instructions.
- Your driving record request should arrive in the mail within two weeks.
Suspended in All States
Most motor vehicle agencies participate in the National Driver Register (NDR), a national database that collects and shares information on suspended and revoked licenses. This protects states from issuing licenses to drivers with "red flag" records.
Most states also participate in the Driver License Compact (DLC), sharing data on drivers who rack up suspensions and revocations outside of their home states. This allows states to prosecute their wayward residents under their own terms.
Getting caught driving with a suspended license could result in jail, probation, losing your vehicle, or getting fined as much as $5,000. Penalties vary based on the nature of your suspension. To learn more about your situation, call one of the state's regional Traffic Violations Bureau Offices.
Contact an Attorney
If the law comes down hard upon you, it may be in your best interest to hire legal advice. Attorneys are well versed on how to minimize long-term driving penalties.
If you get charged with an alcohol- or drug-related driving violation, you can apply for a conditional license only if you enroll in the state's Drinking Driver Program (DDP).
A restricted license limits your driving to the following situations:
- To and from work.
- During work if your job requires driving.
- To and from class at a recognized school or college.
- To transport your child to and from a child care facility.
- To and from DDP classes.
- To and from court-ordered probation requirements.
- To and from a DMV office for business pertaining to your restricted license.
- During the three-hour weekly period designated on your restricted license.
- To and from a medical facility for you or a family member (must be certified by a physician).
The DMV or a judge will decide if you are eligible for this option, but you may also want to consult an attorney experienced with restricted licenses.
Each suspension comes with specific penalties and requirements. To help negotiate through your legal tangle, consider consulting an attorney for legal counseling.
Insurance is another aspect to consider. Most suspensions will cause a dramatic jump in insurance premiums. If needed, you can compare rates at our Insurance Center.
Below are several common suspension scenarios and how to get reinstated:
- Serve your suspension period or prison sentence.
- Be ready to pay the $50 suspension termination fee and Driver Responsibility Assessment, if applicable.
- Head to any DMV office.
NOTE: First-time DUI offenders under 21 face different penalties as part of the state's "Zero Tolerance" law.
- Be ready to pay the civil penalty fee* and the $50 suspension termination fee.
- Have proof of insurance.
- Visit any DMV office.
*Civil Penalty fee rates are based on a per day basis for each day you allow your insurance to remain lapsed.
- Lapsed between one and 30 days: $8 per day.
- Lapsed between 31 and 60 days: $10 per day.
- Lapsed between 61 and 90 days: $12 per day.
- Have your physician provide certification that your condition is cured or does not hinder your driving abilities.
- Be ready to submit, if requested, to any re-examinations (vision, road, knowledge).
- Have payment, if any, for all applicable fees.
- Bring everything to your DMV office.
Accident Re-examination Program
- Be prepared to take all exams (vision, knowledge, road) the DMV may request.
- Have payment for any applicable fees.
- Visit any DMV office with everything.
To prevent a suspended license you should avoid the following mistakes:
Chemical Test Refusal
Even if you're innocent, refusing a test carries immediate repercussions. Depending on your age and whether you're a repeat offender, your license will be revoked from one year to 18 months.
Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI)
You'll be slapped with a 90-day suspension for alcohol, or a six-month suspension for drugs. If your blood alcohol count (BAC) tops .08, your license will be revoked for a minimum of six months. Penalties increase if you're a repeat offender. For more information, visit our DUI page, or consult with a DUI attorney.
Drinking Before 21
Under the state's "Zero Tolerance" law, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months for if caught with a BAC between .02 and .07. Get nabbed with a BAC of .08 or higher and your license will be revoked for a minimum of one year.
Having No Insurance
If you're caught driving an uninsured vehicle, or even if you allow someone else to operate it, your license will be revoked for a minimum of one year.
After three speeding tickets within an 18-month period, your license will be revoked for a minimum of six months.
If you accrue 11 or more points within an 18-month period, the DMV will notify you by mail that your license is suspended. You may, if you so desire, request a hearing to argue that some of the listed violations were incorrectly pinned to your name. For more information, visit our page on New York's point system.
Situations Leading to Indefinite Suspensions and Revocations
Your license will be suspended or revoked indefinitely (until you address the situation) for failing to pay child support, ignoring a court judgment resulting from a traffic accident, issuing a bad check to the DMV, or for failing to submit an accident report (you must file within 10 days of the mishap).
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.