Traffic Ticket FAQ in New York

Getting a ticket is never a pleasant experience, but taking care of it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. This page should answer your questions about what you need to do to pay your New York traffic ticket, and what other options are available.

What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in NY?

When it comes to traffic tickets in New York, you have a choice: you can either choose to plead guilty OR not guilty.

If you plead guilty, you'll pay a fine and possibly incur:

  • Points on your driving record.
  • An increase in auto insurance rates.
    • An accident prevention course might help you combat these penalties.

Pleading not guilty means you'll:

  • Get a hearing date
  • Go to court.

If the offense occurred in New York City, you can plead not guilty and schedule a hearing, OR plead guilty and pay your fines by:

  • Using the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) web portal.
  • Visiting the traffic court specified on your ticket.
  • Calling the TVB customer service line at (718) 488-5710, ONLY if you were pulled over in NYC.
  • Submitting your plea and/or paying your fine via mail.

If the violation happened outside New York City, look on your ticket or contact the local court for instructions on how to enter your plea.

Visit our pages on paying NY traffic tickets and fighting a citation for guidance through either process.

Which agency handles traffic violations in New York?

Traffic citations in New York City are processed by the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). Outside of NYC, traffic tickets are handled by the local traffic courts.

In many cases, there is no need to visit court to enter your plea, or to pay your ticket. The DMV lists TVB addresses and contact information for New York City TVB locations and New York state courts.

For all other locations, use the court finder on the NY courts website.

How can I get a NY traffic ticket dismissed?

Like most ticket-related issues, this depends on a number of factors, including the violation itself.

For example, to get a traffic ticket dismissed you might be able to:

  • Present evidence that you're not in complete violation of the law.
    • For example, some officers or courts will dismiss a ticket for having no proof of insurance or an expired registration card if you present current proof within a certain amount of time.
  • Fight the ticket in court, perhaps with a traffic ticket attorney.

Start by assessing the nature of your ticket, and then talk with an attorney or the court.

Visit our pages on paying NY traffic tickets and fighting a citation for more information.

How many points will I get if convicted?

A single conviction can result in up to 11 points being added to your record, and the number you get depends on the type and severity of the violation, and how many occurred.

Note that even a minor traffic violation can bring major consequences. In New York, if you reach 11 points in a period of 18 months, your license will be suspended.

Learn more about the NY point system with the DMV’s online guide.

What if I have a NY CDL and get a traffic ticket?

Generally, you'll need to inform your employer within a certain time frame and pay (or fight) the ticket in the same way someone with a regular driver's license would.

However, depending on the violation, CDL holders sometimes face stiffer penalties than fines, points, and increased auto insurance rates.

What if I am a minor and get a traffic ticket in NY?

Overall, you'll pay (or fight) your New York ticket in the same way an adult would, but if you’re a minor you’ll face permit or license suspension for up to 60 days IF:

  • A conviction is from in a single violation of at least 3 points added to your driving record.
  • You’re convicted of 2 violations.

Please check the NY State Driver's Manual (Form MV-21) for more details and visit our pages on paying NY traffic tickets and fighting a citation for more help.

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket while driving with a NY learner's permit?

It depends on the exact violation. You could face permit suspension of up to 60 days IF:

  • A single violation which results in 3 points or more being added to you record.
  • You receive 2 violations while you hold a permit.

Usually, other penalties, such as fines and court costs, are the same as what you'd incur if you held a regular driver's license.

Will taking a motorcycle safety course help me with a NY traffic ticket I got while riding?

No. New York does not remove points after completion of a motorcycle safety course, including its own New York State Motorcycle Safety Program.

The only way to subtract points is to enroll in and successfully complete one of the state-approved traffic school courses. Visit our page on NY defensive driving courses for more information.

Can I take a defensive driving course to reduce the number of NY driver's license points on my driving record?

Yes. New York approves several traffic schools for the purpose of point reduction. The course is called the Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP).

There is no way to completely erase points from your driving record, but the PIRP program will subtract 4 points for the purpose of calculating a license suspension. The points or tickets subtracted from taking a PIRP are not physically removed from your driving record. Your license will be suspended if you get 11 points or more within a period of 18 months.

A PIRP course will also subtract 10% from the cost of your liability and collision car insurance premium.

Jump over to our page on defensive driving in NY for more information.

Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?

Ordering a driving record helps you stay on top of the points you have―or have not―accumulated and keep your license safe.

For example, if you have your own copy, you can check whether or not:

  • Points were accidentally added to your driving record after a “not guilty" verdict. Extra points may impact your insurance rates.
  • Whether your accumulated points are getting close to the suspension or revocation range. If so, you know it's time to take steps to reduce the points―and avoid further violations.

Learn more by visiting our page on obtaining NY driving records.

What is the cost of my NY traffic ticket?

Traffic ticket costs vary depending on everything from the nature of the violation to where you obtained the ticket.

Generally, the cost is on the ticket. If the amount isn't on your ticket, contact the TVB or the local court where you received it. Sometimes, the law enforcement office can help you determine how much your ticket is if you can provide the officer with the exact violation.

If you can’t find your ticket, please see the section on replacing a lost ticket below.

Keep in mind you might end up paying more than the flat ticket cost. You may also face court fees, attorney fees, and other related fines and fees.

Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state of NY?

No. Your court determines the total cost of a traffic ticket.

Your ticket might include the base fine for that violation, but how much you end up paying in court fees, surcharges, and other fines depends on the court.

How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?

If your ticket is through the TVB, you can request a substitute traffic ticket through the TVB Substitute Traffic Ticket page.

Otherwise, you'll need to go through the local court where you were ticketed, and the steps will depend on where you were ticketed and whether you even need a replacement to conduct business.

For more information, please see our page on replacing a lost NY citation.

When is it a good idea to hire a NY traffic ticket attorney?

It's a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney whenever you feel uncomfortable or inadequately prepared to deal with the situation on your own.

Most people hire attorneys when they plan to plead not guilty―or fight their tickets. Some hire attorneys to accompany them to any required court appearance, especially if they want to try to plead to reduced charges.

How many driving record points can I accumulate before the state suspends my NY driver's license?

If you accumulate 11 points within a period of 18 months, that state will suspend your driver’s license.

Check out our page on suspended licenses in New York for more information and guidance.

What if my license is from another state?

The process is the same—you can plead or pay your ticket:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.

If you don’t have a New York driver’s license, you’ll need your ticket number. If you lost or damaged your ticket, see our page on replacing a lost NY citation.

For more instructions, check out our pages on paying a traffic ticket, or fighting a traffic violation.

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