Vehicle Code in New York

Access the New York Vehicle Code

All the rules of the road you abide by and the procedures at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are based on New York's vehicle and traffic law, often referred to as the vehicle code. This legislation sets forth the regulations related to automobile equipment and registration, safe driving, licensing, financial responsibility, minors, auto dealers, and more.

You can refer to the vehicle code to look up an infraction listed on a traffic ticket you received, or simply to refresh your memory of the laws or find out more details about the rules―it's smart to be informed.

If you've recently received a traffic ticket, the New York motor vehicle and traffic regulations statutes may be a useful resource to determine whether or not you'd be able to contest your citation.

On this page you'll find information about accessing the motor vehicle codes which are sometimes referred to as New York insurance codes.

Information in the New York Vehicle Code

Here is a sampling of the information you'll find in New York's vehicle code, with direct links to partial sections published on the Department of Motor Vehicles' website.

Article 25: Changing Lanes Safely

This article contains information about:

  • Passing a vehicle on the left or the right.
  • No-passing zones.
  • Following too closely.
  • Driving on shoulders.

Article 26: Right of Way

This article contains information about:

  • Vehicles approaching or entering an intersection.
  • Vehicles turning left.
  • Vehicles approaching traffic circle or island.

Article 27: Pedestrian Safety

This article includes information such as:

  • Pedestrians' right of way in crosswalks and crossing at places other than crosswalks.
  • Blind or visually impaired persons.
  • Pedestrians on roadways.

Article 31: Alcohol, Drugs, and DWI

This part of the code includes details about:

  • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (DUI/DWI).
  • Arrest, testing, and evidence in relation to driving under the influence (DUI)-related offenses.
  • Penalties for drinking and driving if you're underage.
  • Ignition interlock device program regulations and requirements.

Article 33: Seat Belts, Air Bags, and Child Safety Seats

This sections contains information about the operation of vehicles with safety seats and safety belts.

Article 34-A: Motorcycles, Mopeds, and ATVs

In this article you'll find details about:

  • Traffic laws that apply to motorcycles.
  • Riding on motorcycles.
  • Clinging to other vehicles.

Equipment for Passenger Vehicles (compiled from several sections)

Check Your NY Driver's License Status

Whenever you need or want to check the status of your New York driver's license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver's license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what's on record at the Department of Motor Vehicles. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

It's important to remember that too many minor traffic offenses and certain major traffic violations can result in the loss of your driving privileges. If you've committed too many traffic violations or have been convicted of a major violation, you may face:

  • A driver's license suspension, cancellation, or revocation.
  • Reinstatement requirements.
  • Court fines and penalties, if applicable to your offense.
  • Driver improvement requirements.
  • Driving restrictions.
  • Higher car insurance rates.
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