Ticket Fines and Penalties in New York

New York Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

Fines and other costs associated with traffic tickets vary. Generally, these variations are called “surcharges," but they boil down to aspects such as the nature of the violation, where the driver received the ticket, and additional factors such as:

  • Accumulated points.
  • Suspensions related to failure to respond and default convictions.
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license.
  • Driver responsibility assessments.
  • Fines and civil penalties.

In addition to these factors, court-related surcharges will vary depending on the court. For example, a village court might charge more or less than a city court to handle the same type of traffic ticket.

In short, if you receive a speeding ticket in Buffalo, you might pay more or less than someone who receives the same speeding ticket in Long Island.

Check your traffic ticket for the exact fine; then, call the institution in charge of handling your ticket (depending on where you received the citation, this might be the TVB or a local court) and ask the clerk about associated surcharges or other fees.

NOTE: If ticketed by the NY State Police, you will be notified of your fine only after submitting a guilty or not guilty plea.

Can't find your ticket? Check our section on replacing lost traffic tickets.

Point System Fines

Points accumulation fines are fairly straightforward:

  • If your traffic violations or convictions earn you 6 points in an period of 18 months, you must pay $100 per year for 3 years.
  • If you accumulate any more points during that period of 3 years, you must pay an extra $75 per point for 3 years.

Check out our section on the NY point system to learn more about how points affect your driving record. You can even take a look at your driving record to see where you currently stand.

For information regarding suspended licenses, please refer to our Suspended License Page.

Driver Responsibility Assessment

If you're convicted of―

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Agg-DWI)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)
  • Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs
  • DWAI-Alcohol Combined With Drugs
―or you refuse to take a chemical test, you must pay a driver responsibility assessment fee of$250per year for 3 years.

Fees and Civil Penalties

New York imposes certain fees and civil penalties related to some of the more serious infractions. Typically, you're also facing a license suspension or revocation if any of these apply to you:

  • Refusing a chemical test: $500 civil penalty; $550 for commercial motor vehicle drivers.
  • Refusing a chemical test within 5 years of a drug-, alcohol-, or refusal-related revocation: $750 civil penalty.
  • License suspension per the Zero Tolerance Law: $125 civil penalty; $100 suspension termination fee.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Pay the Driver Responsibility Program (if applicable).
  • Incur points on your driving record (which could lead to license suspension or revocation).
  • Experience an increase in auto insurance rates.

Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest the ticket during a hearing.
  • Represent yourself or, depending on the nature of the ticket, hire an attorney to represent you.
  • Possibly lose the option for a plea bargain involving lesser penalties.
  • Experience no penalties if found not guilty (except any applicable court/attorney fees).
  • Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).

Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

Auto Insurance Rate Increase

Traffic ticket convictions, point accumulations, suspended licenses―these can all lead to an increase in your current auto insurance rates.

Check with your current provider about how these scenarios might affect your rates and coverage once your policy is up for renewal; then, compare car insurance rates online to see if you can find a better deal.

New York Traffic Ticket Penalties

Generally, penalties don't vary as widely across the state as do fines and other surcharges.

New York Driver's License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation

Certain types of license suspensions―such as those associated with failing to respond to a ticket or driving record point accumulation―can creep up on you; other mandatory suspensions and revocations are swift and decisive.

License Suspension: Your license is taken away for a specific amount of time; usually reinstated after that amount of time is up, but in some cases can require a fee payment.

License Revocation: Your license is taken away for either a definite or indefinite amount of time, depending on the offense. Generally, revocations last longer than suspensions and are related to more serious offenses. Often, drivers must meet certain requirements before having their revoked licenses reinstated.

Chapter Two of the New York State Driver's Manual fully explains situations that lead to mandatory license suspensions and revocations, and the state's brochure Suppose Your License Was Taken Away provides an even more thorough look at violations that lead to suspensions and revocations.

For more information about suspensions please refer our Suspended License Page.

Penalties for Drivers Younger than 21 years old

Per the state's Zero Tolerance Law, drivers younger than 21 years old face:

  • A revocation minimum of 1 year for a BAC of .0.08% or higher.

Penalties for New York Commercial Drivers

You must notify your employer within 30 days of a traffic ticket conviction; if you are convicted in another state.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) outlines the following commercial driver penalties:

First Offenses

Your CDL can be suspended or revoked for at least one year if you:

  • Operate your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
  • Operate any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.
  • Refuse a blood alcohol test.
  • Commit a felony with a vehicle.
  • Leave an accident scene without reporting it.
  • Causes a fatality with your CMV including, but not limited to, criminally negligent homicide and vehicular manslaughter.
  • Operate your CMV while your CDL is suspended, revoked, or cancelled or after you've been disqualified.

Note that:

  • You'll lose your CDL for 3 years if you commit any of these offenses while operating a CMV placarded for transporting hazardous materials.
  • You'll lose your CDL for life if you use your CMV to commit a felony involving controlled substances.

Second Offenses

If you commit any of the above offenses a 2nd time, you will lose your CDL for life.

Serious Traffic Offenses

You can lose your CDL for at least:

  • 60 days if you have committed 2 serious offenses with your CMV during a 3 year period.
  • 120 days if you have committed 3 serious offenses with your CMV during a 3 year period.

Serious offenses include:

  • Reckless driving.
  • Changing lanes improperly or erratically.
  • Following another vehicle too closely.
  • Driving a CMV without obtaining, or without having present, a CDL.
  • Driving a CMV without the properly classed CDL.
  • Committing a traffic offense with a CMV involving a fatal traffic accident.

For more information, check Section One of the New York State Commercial Driver's Manual.

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