Traffic Ticket FAQ in New York

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

It depends on whether you plan to plead guilty or not guilty.

Simply put, if you plead guilty you'll pay a fine and possibly incur points on your driving record and an increase in auto insurance rates, though an accident prevention course might help you combat the latter two penalties.

Pleading not guilty means you'll get a hearing date and go to court. Generally, people solicit the help of traffic ticket attorneys when they want to fight their tickets.

Learn more in our Paying Your Traffic Ticket and Fighting Your Traffic Ticket sections.

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.

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 because you're a minor you might face permit or license suspension or revocation for up to 60 days. The exact penalties depend on the violation.

Check the state’s driver handbook for more details.

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

It depends on the exact violation. If the violation is considered serious, you could face permit suspension.

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 reduce points after completion of a motorcycle safety course, including it's own New York State Motorcycle Safety Program.

The only way to remove points is to enroll in and successfully complete one of the state-approved traffic school courses.

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.

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:

  • Make sure any points a defensive driving or accident prevention course was supposed to remove were actually removed.
  • Check to see that no points were accidentally added to your driving record after a “not guilty" verdict.
  • Determine 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 about 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 you can't find your ticket, read up on replacing a lost ticket. If the amount isn't on your ticket, contact the TVB or the local court where you obtained the ticket. Sometimes, the law enforcement office can help you determine how much your ticket is if you can provide the officer with the exact violation.

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.

How many points will I get if convicted?

Points range up to 11, and the number you get depends not only on your violation, but also on how many violations.

Note that even a minor traffic violation can bring major consequences. In New York, if you reach 11 points in an 18 month period, your license is suspended.

Learn more about the NY point system.

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

No. The 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. See our section on lost traffic tickets for more information.

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 an 18 month period, that state will suspend your driver’s license.

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