Some Facts About Points and Driving Records -
Here is some general information about driver licenses and privileges and how violations affect
them, primarily focusing on New York, the center of our practice.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV or NYSDMV) keeps a record of offenses for
any individual that holds a driver license, non-driver ID, or learner's permit issued by the state; and
every motorist regardless of origin who has a summons issued in the state answerable at the DMV
Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) or who has had a recordable conviction reported to DMV from a
non-TVB court, or who has had some other recordable event (ex. traffic accident report) reported to
On the driver record (also referred to as "abstract" or Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)), are recorded all
recordable moving violations (convictions). Some violations carry no points but are still recorded
and can affect insurance rates. Once a violation is recorded, which occurs upon conviction, the
DMV and it's hearing judges have indefinite access to it (that means going back many years),
although a printed abstract may only display a term of several years. Generally the reporting term is
4 years from the time the offense is recorded on the abstract, though it is at least 10 years in the
case of Drug and Alcohol related offenses, and CDL holders may have certain particular matters
affect their special privilege, or disqualify them from such privilege, for life. That last part which is
based on Federal Law suggests that State DMVs may have an ability to make accessible certain
information and impose certain restrictions well beyond generally allowed reporting terms. The
only way a recorded violation can be removed, other than dropping off due to it aging beyond record
keeping statutes, is if the conviction is reversed on appeal, or in the case of a default conviction if it
is reopened and dismissed or held not guilty or in the case of a recorded event reported from a
local/criminal/justice court, if that court has ordered DMV to remove the conviction it reported, or if
the DMV is otherwise ordered by a court of greater jurisdiction upon review of the reported item.
Who has a right to know about my ticket ?
Violations of minor traffic offenses are entered on a driving record only upon conviction. That
means no one outside the tribunal a pending matter is returnable to, and/or the law enforcement
agency that levied the charge(s), and the assigned prosecuting agency, has access about the
continuance of a pending matter which has not yet obtained a disposition. The exception to this is
tribunals where the dockets are public record (matter made returnable to a criminal court or justice
court (and this includes all of New Jersey (clients of ours have told us about the flood of mail they
get from other New Jersey attorneys seeking their business shortly after receiving a New Jersey
ticket). We have no opinion on the matter, but this office does not do mailings of that kind.
Particularly, matters pending before the NYS DMV Traffic Violations Bureau (the part that hears
cases about traffic tickets, not the safety hearing office), are not public record.
They are protected to some degree by the Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), and as such
a motorist's pending traffic matter there is no one's business but the motorist charged (and
perhaps their attorney).
This however may not negate an obligation that one has contracted with a particular employer to
disclose such a pending traffic case, or to disclose in connection with certain specific types of
employment applications, or to government agencies under certain other circumstances.
In contrast, convictions of traffic offenses may available to either via the National Driver Register
The issue of disclosure concerning pending traffic matters, that is, tickets issued that may be in the
process of being contested is mentioned here because over the years we have been told many
times by drivers for particular employers that they have been required to inform such employers
immediately if they receive a charge even though they have not had an opportunity to have the
charge heard by a judge, and may even have good cause to conclude they are not guilty.
How long does a violation affect me ?
Once entered, points only count for DMV and license suspension risk purposes as of the violation
date (date of issuance of the summons), not the conviction date. Points are relevant for 18 months
from the violation date. Again, the records available to DMVs own hearing judges reveals all
violations indefinitely or until such time as the DMV chooses to purge old information from their
system. As such, no consequence of a conviction is avoided by delaying the hearing. If a charge
ends up being sustained, penalties are assessed based on the driving record as it appears on the
conviction date considering the offenses and other relevant information such as accidents and
safety courses completed within the relevant period of time surrounding the date of issuance of the
summons(es) just adjudicated. Moreover if more time has elapsed since the issuance of the
summons, all information on the driving record up to the current date is available to be seen. That
can affect how the matter is treated by a hearing judge, a prosecutor, or other interested parties.
An official NYS DMV Driver Abstract reports 4 years of historical data generally. The record keeping
requirements are four years for most items. In the case of a traffic infraction that would be four
years from the conviction date. So for example if it took a year to get a hearing and the charge is
sustained and abstract is ordered near four years later, the nearly 5 year old violation would be
there. Certain types of offenses by law have consequences beyond four years, such as those
relating to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
You are allowed generally up to 10 points without bearing the risk of suspension. You are given up
to a 4 point credit for a qualified driver safety course. Such courses also entitle drivers to a 10 %
insurance credit on certain parts of an insurance policy. The class can be taken every 18 months for
point reduction, but only every 3 years, 9 months, for the insurance rate credit. Some violations that
carry no points, and although they may not prompt a suspension or revocation, can be used as a
basis to extend the term of revocations that may be imposed for other reasons.
Out of State Violations
At this time, NYSDMV does not record on a New York driver record "minor" out of state violations
(non-criminal traffic infractions that are not drug or alcohol related) or points for those violations,
except with regard to holders of a commercial driver license (CDL), or failure to timely answer an
out of state summons, in which case a record of suspension for failure to answer that summons
may appear on a New York driver record. The only other exception at this time, is NYSDMV DOES
record Canadian violations ! Ironically infractions from neighboring U.S. states such as Connecticut
and New Jersey will not appear on your New York abstract !
We are frequently asked the effect of New York violations on holders of licenses from other states.
New York is a member of the Interstate Driver License Compact (DLC) and the Nonresident Violator
Compact (NRVC). There have been a number of such agreements between motor vehicle
agencies of various states over the years with the goal of there eventually being "one driver, one
record," essentially in effect a single universal driver record. The American Association of Motor
Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is also working toward this objective, particularly with a project
merging DLC and NRVC, called the Driver License Agreemen (DLA). Currently member states
subscribing to the existing compacts share information and are required to suspend licenses
reciprocally for certain "serious" violations and failures to answer traffic charges. With regard to the
recording of lesser traffic infractions (and so called "points" for those infractions, which vary in affect
on a state by state basis) the states are not consistent however. There does seem to be, however,
a general trend toward recording of foreign offenses between jurisdictions. If you own or have
registered to you a motor vehicle and/or are a policy holder of vehicle insurance, it is the driver
record from the licensing state of you and your covered drivers which will be most pertinent to your
rates. There is also a national register (NDR) which consolidates vehicle offenses and accident
information which interested parties may access.
What are points, anyway ? Points are an administrative system of the motor vehicle agencies of
various states, that is the agency of each particular state charged with the function of assessing
and overseeing driver skills, issuing licenses, and removing licenses and driving privileges where
needed. The point system assigns a numerical value to certain known conduct of a particular
driver, and accumulates and deducts from the total sum of those values over a given time to
determine penalties. Each state has their own spin on how it does this. In general states assign
points to certain types of traffic violations. Depending on the severity of the violation, they may
assign more or less points. Additionally states have differing systems in determining how points
once accumulated then dissipate as time passes from the date of offense and date of conviction.
And then in most if not all states, one may obtain a reduction of some points for improving their
driving skills by taking a course qualified by the DMV. In New York state, points are assigned based
upon the type of violation within the state or Canada. Points cumulate between offenses that are
within 18 months of one another, and assessed for each matter upon conviction. There is no credit
for time, but one may reduce up to 4 points by taking a point reduction course which will cover
violations in the preceding 18 months. In New Jersey one also may reduce points by taking a safety
class, but if one obtains some points and remains violation free for 12 months they obtain an
automatic 3 point reduction. New Jersey records point carrying violations from other states that
conform with violations that carry points in New Jersey, and assign 2 points per such offense
regardless of the point value in the rendering state. Florida, for example assigns points to any out
of state offense equal or greater to the points the offense carries in the originating state depending
on what Florida would assign to a similar charge.
Some states record points for New York violations and some do not. Those that do record New
York violations also vary in the number of points they record, with some recording the same point
value for a particular offense and others recording a set number of points (usually 2) for "out of state
violations". For more information see AAMVA.
Interestingly, two states., Michigan, and Wisconsin, currently subscribe to neither compact.
How Violations Cause Suspension
You may have your driver license or privilege to drive in New York suspended for less than 11 points
for multiple violations of the same type (e.g. 3 speeding tickets in an 18 month period upon
conviction of the 3rd) or for violations that occur while holding a probationary, restricted, or
conditional license or privilege, for certain specific types of violations that carry mandatory license
action by statute, such as driving while insurance not in effect, or driving while intoxicated or
impaired (DWI / DWAI), or in the discretion of a hearing judge if that judge feels the circumstances
of the particular case warrant it. Traffic Violations hearing judges have suspended driver licenses
upon conviction of seatbelt violations, cellular phone violations, and other no point violations where
the motorist's driver record shows prior violations of the same type, or where the conviction adds no
points but the motorist managed to avoid a suspension on a prior relevant matter that brought the
motorist to 11 points. Some violations that carry no points may not prompt a suspension or
revocation but can be used as a basis to extend the term of revocations that may be imposed for
A suspension or revocation ordered by a hearing judge or resulting from a conviction may be stayed
pending appeal in most cases.
DMV suspension / revocation letters may result from some convictions originating in local town,
village or city courts. You are generally entitled to a DMV persistent violator hearing in such a case,
if you care to challenge the suspension you would be offered in such a case.
Point and Insurance Reductions Program (PIRP) Courses -
NYS DMV has authorized certain classes designed to improve driving skills that qualify for certain
additional benefits the agency has selected for those who successfully complete such a course.
The additional benefits for all authorized courses are: 4 point credit against violations occurring
within 18 months prior to the course, and a 10 % credit against insurance rates on certain specific
categories of car insurance policies for 3 years following the course. Due to the structure of the
point system and the insurance system for penalizing recorded violations, a PIRP class can be
taken once every 18 months for point reduction on DMV records but will only count for an insurance
credit once every 3 years.
NYS DMV has recently approved certain organizations to provide Defensive Driving courses Online !
Our firm has affiliated with the following course provider: USA Training Company, Inc.
(NewYorkDefensiveDriving.com) . You may enroll by clicking here .
The courses have been called by lay people as well as administrators under various names:
Accident Prevention Course, Driver Safety Course, Defensive Driving Course. Though there is
some distinction between classes that include actual roadway practice.
Additionally some specialty driving skills courses also count for the point and insurance reduction
program. For example, an authorized motorcycle training course entitles one completing the course
to a waiver of a road test to acquire that special license endorsement, as well as the
aforementioned credits. Further some special license bureaus, such as local taxi administrators,
as well as some truck driving authorities require periodic refresher courses that also qualify for the
point and insurance credits subject of course to the limits noted above.
When one successfully completes such a course, the student is issued a certificate by the
administrator. The administrator also submits completion data on the student to DMV, whereupon
DMV records the course with it's completion date on the licensees driver abstract.
There is a common misconception people have about such classes. They do not actually remove
any violations from ones driving record. As noted at various points, all recorded violations remain
on the abstract, subject only to the possibility that an already recorded violation may be reversed
upon an appeal or removed by order of a court or excusable default granted. The only change in the
driving record a course offers is it's recording on the driver record as described.
As far as license suspension risk, the course works to reduce that risk by reducing points for prior
violations. If the course is recorded prior to reaching 11 points, it's presence on the abstract will
forestall the issuance of a suspension notice from DMV in some cases. Other than that, the course
may persuade a safety hearing officer not to issue the suspension ordered by the suspension
notice if the course is taken in a manner that's considered timely. Beyond that, it's use with regard
to the TVB is more complicated.
About the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) -
The Traffic Violations Bureau is the traffic adjudication arm of the Department of Motor Vehicles. It
has jurisdiction over moving violations in New York City (that is all the 5 boroughs), most of Suffolk
County, most of Rochester and most of Buffalo.
Since it is part of the DMV, a conviction of any recordable moving violation appears immediately on
the driving record. Violations reported out of justice courts and local and criminal courts, and
recordable violations reported from other places that DMV records, such as parts of Canada, have
to be properly reported and entered by DMV staff before they are recorded on a New York driver
There is no plea bargaining at the TVB / Every case that is contested is scheduled for hearing
unless it is of a type dismissible upon showing of proof or self-verified by DMV records (such as
some insurance and registration charges) ! Summonses answerable in New York City criminal
court and all the local courts elsewhere in the state may have the possibility of compromise
There is no right to a supporting deposition at TVB. There is no right to discovery (although certain
useful items may be obtainable by subpoena and by Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests).
There is no right to examine evidence of the police officer, except notes used to support his
testimony at the hearing.
The TVB is an administrative tribunal. It is not a court. As such it is ruled by a combination of law
and state government office policy. Your rights are limited there by government interests.
The burden of proof on law enforcement appearing at TVB is "clear and convincing evidence", which
may be treated in practice as a lower standard to convict than the reasonable doubt standard that
exists in the regular courts that have jurisdiction over summonses elsewhere. Although experience
dictates that in an actual trial the result of the lower burden is no more likely to be detrimental to a
In many instances where trial is necessary one is more likely to receive a hearing by a judge who is
far better informed on traffic law and procedure at TVB then in a local justice court. However, there
are also some very well informed judges in non-DMV courts that do some volume of trials on
certain traffic matters. However the justice court system allows for local justices to be lay people
with no particular legal background, and some without particular insight into the workings of DMV,
may have no particular knowledge of the intracacies of traffic law and DMV action. And this is with
all due respect to Judge Magill, as well as the OCA, who's tireless efforts have gone a long way
toward improving this situation in the justice courts.
Having a properly conducted trial is important since the recourse and preparation for a first instance
appeal of a justice or local court decision is far more complicated and expensive, even while the
defense rights appear greater. The main advantage of the local and justice court system in traffic
cases is the availability of compromise, where the local players (judge, prosecutor, law
enforcement) are amenable. Again at TVB every case is trial intended since there is no plea
bargain option. If you get a favorable result it is either due to non-readiness of the ticket writer, or
prevailing on the merits at hearing (which can happen for a variety of reasons).
There are no legal aid, 18-B, public defenders, or any other type of attorney provided for free for
reasons of financial need or otherwise, at TVB traffic ticket hearings. You may, however, retain a
private attorney, such as this office.
TVB does not provide translators, except for very limited circumstances, such as for hearing
impaired. You must generally bring someone to help translate for you if you do not speak English
Again there is no plea bargaining. There are no prosecutors. The officer who issued the summons
is required to prosecute his own ticket. He acts as both witness against the accused and
Evidence rules are lax. Both parties evidence is typically limited to testimony about what occurred.
Police are not required to bring any documentation of equipment used or present any expert
testimony other than their own about their skills and the use of tools of enforcement such as radar,
laser, speedometers, scales, tape measures and tint meters. You may present documentary
evidence such as photographs, diagrams and witness statements. Written statements of parties
not present are not required to be sworn or notarised, however they ought to be if possible.
Hearsay is permissible. That means both parties can make statements about what 3rd parties not
present have said. Typically this arises when police seek to present an accident report or
unqualified documentation about the condition of speedometers in their police vehicle, or use notes
or statements to make their testimony.
Reckless driving 5
Failed to stop for a school bus 5
Following too closely 4
Inadequate brakes 4 Inadequate brakes (vehicle of an employer) 2
Left the scene of an accident that includes property damage or the injury of a domestic
Passing improperly, changing lanes unsafely, driving to the left of center, driving in the wrong
Failed to obey a traffic signal, a Stop sign, or a Yield sign 3
Railroad crossing violation 3
Failed to yield the right-of-way 3
Passenger safety violation, including seat belts, child safety seats, or passengers under the age
of 16 3
Speeding (MPH over speed limit not indicated) 3
Speeding (MPH over speed limit):
1 - 10 MPH 3
11 - 20 MPH 4
21 - 30 MPH 6
31 - 40 MPH 8
More than 40 MPH 11
Other moving violations 2
Despite the fact that this is the definitive list published by DMV, this compilation of charges and
the points they carry is not comprehensive, and in some instances is not accurate. Point values
are actually set by DMV policy and DMV has periodically changed point values of certain
charges. For example, a charge of disobeying a green arrow traffic light, a "signal", which some
time ago carried 2 points like the similar and closely related charge of disobeying a no turn sign
would, rather than 3 points that the schedule suggests a signal would. Recently it's been changed
from 2 to 3 points. A red arrow signal like the charge of passing a red light has been 3 points all
the while. Adult 'driver no seatbelt' charges for a brief period of time (all cars weren't always
equipped with seatbelts !) when the charge was first introduced as an enforcement agenda,
briefly carried or were proposed to carry 1 point. This was apparently reconsidered as Adult
seatbelt tickets carry no points. There are currently no 1 point violations.
'Truck route violations', a charge for trucks being "off truck route", which is a violation involving
no interference with rights of way and no posted notice, was changed a few years ago from no
points to a 2 point violation. There are several "equipment" violations, a category as a whole
widely known to carry no points, that actually do carry points. In addition to the extremely
dangerous problem of driving a vehicle without sufficient brakes (recognized in the published
point schedule), violations involving insufficient lights (so other drivers can see you !) and
improper towing are serious enough to sometimes carry points. Although having your wipers on
in inclement weather without also having your headlights on is still a no point violation. All
drivers must properly signal turns and lane changes. In both cases the charge usually carries 2
points, even though the failure to signal lane change should apparently carry 3 points according
to the DMV published schedule.
There are also many charges that seemingly should fall under the 2 point catchall for "other"
moving violations that in fact have no points. "Disobey rules of the road" a section used for plea
bargains under the NYS Vehicle & Traffic law in some local courts is neither a recordable
violation or a point carrying violation. The section covering it is actually one which the DMV has
purportedly sought to discourage local courts from using, not entirely with success. The only sure
way to know if a particular charge has points is to check the charge with DMV by section number
cited. An experienced attorney would be best able to investigate the points status of
summonses. DMV (for tickets returnable to the TVB) also often goes by description of violation
on summonses and may therefore "amend" a charge on their system to a point carrying section
that conforms with a description on the ticket when the section cited may or may not warrant
points if contested or if sustained.
Also, as alluded to in some of the above discussion, the way an officer writes a particular charge
may affect the points, for example a driver charged with "disobey traffic device" for crossing
over a double yellow line to make a left turn, has "driven left of center" but has been charged
with a 2 point rather than a 3 point violation. Likewise, if he were charged with an "improper turn"
for the same conduct. Similarly, if a driver were written "disobey traffic device" for a stop sign,
he would get 2 rather than the 3 points that he could get for such conduct. Most of the hearing
judges will not dismiss the case for charging the less specific section.
Camera Enforcement Programs - Because this is a matter of frequent inquiry we will address this
subject briefly here. There are a number of different enforcement programs utilizing camera
equipment coordinated with traffic signals and/or radar or laser speed reading devices and used
to monitor various locations and drivers passing through those locations for the purpose of
issuing charges of disobeying red lights and speeding and the like, in use throughout the United
States. In some jurisdictions the resulting photographs have been utilized by the authorities to
seek to identify the driver and charge the driver personally with moving violations, violations
recordable against the particular driver's license record, which in turn of course can affect the
driver's vehicle insurance rates and increase license suspension risk. In some of these places
the violation notices are handled in court's with criminal court jurisdiction, and therefore can
result in warrants and the like as well if not handled in a timely or proper fashion.
At this time no program exists in New York State that attaches moving violation status to driver
conduct detected by camera devices. However in New York City, there is a red light camera
monitoring program to supplement other enforcement tools. Increasing numbers of locations
have been approved with each successive legislative session (as well as general cameras
monitoring of virtually in every public space). The revenue raising potential is obvious, though
there have been criticisms made by studies suggesting camera monitoring programs are not
necessarily considered efficient or safe. The justification used by authorities nonetheless is just
that, that these programs is discourage bad driving and save lives.
New York City's red light camera's result in summonses returnable to the New York City
Department of Finance (which is the office that administratively adjudicates parking summonses
in the city, and also the city department charged with collecting revenue ( taxes) - get the point ?)
Summonses resulting from camera programs in New York are treated as parking violations, and
therefore have no bearing on a particular driver's DMV driver license record. The summonses
do not seek to identify the actual driver, but instead seek to hold the registrant of a vehicle that
may have been recorded passing a red light, responsible. Failure to properly answer the
summons can expose the owner of the vehicle to risk of seizure of his vehicle by the municipality,
but has no bearing on anyone's driver license or privilege.
How Points and Violations Affect You
Insurance Companies can surcharge (increase rates for) their insureds for a period of 3 years
and 9 months commencing with the conviction date for moving violations. The DMV point
system is generally intended for DMV purposes in determining problem drivers. Insurance
companies have their own system of assessing rate increases for recorded violations, and in
some instances also include rate increases for violations that do not carry DMV points (such as
unlicensed operation, use of a cellular phone while operating a vehicle, and driver operating
without a seatbelt, among others).
Other special licensing agencies such as the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC)
also have their own point system for charges that are returnable to their own agency as well as
their own method of assessing points for point carrying moving violations that are recorded on
DMV abstracts. They have access to this information via computer link to DMV and periodically
notify drivers to appear for taxi license suspension and revocation hearings when such drivers
abstracts demonstrate an excess of their allowable point quantity of violations. Generally 6
points in a 15 month period will result in a 30 day suspension of a taxi license and 10 points in a 15
month period will result in the taxi license being revoked. Again, TLCs method of counting DMV
points differs from DMV.
Additionally, certain other classes of drivers are subject to stricter standards for maintaining
those special privileges with the DMV. Holders of Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL) are
allowed fewer points before having their special endorsement to operate suspended. Certain
types of violations that may be of lesser impact to other drivers may also result in significant
penalties for commercial drivers pursuant to the federally mandated Motor Carrier Safety
Improvement Act (MCSIA). These penalties apply regardless of which state an offense occurs
or whether the offense occurred in a commercial vehicle or the CDL holder's private private
non-commercial vehicle. First offenses of certain types will result in suspension of the CDL for a
year. Subsequent offenses in some cases may result in a CDL holder losing his commercial
driving privilege for life.
Further, employers of certain types of drivers, such as bus drivers, truck drivers and limousine
drivers, frequently look at driver abstracts and may seek to dismiss, or reassign drivers who run
afoul of company or agency policies concerning limits on points which may be less than required
to lose a license or endorsement with the DMV.
Negative Units (sometimes referred to as 'negative points') - This is a little known internal tool of
DMV. It comes into play when a revocation has been issued, and highlights the difference
between a revocation and a suspension. Suspensions end with a full license or driving privilege
reinstatement automatically (upon payment of a suspension termination fee) at the end of their
term. Suspensions are for a definite term (although some are called 'indefinite' an indefinite
suspension ends when it's terms are satisfied by the motorist, i.e. surrendering to the jurisdiction
of a court that orders suspension, etc.). Revocations are indefinite, though typically have a
minimum term associated. A revocation for a 3rd speeding violation for example is 6 months, but
when this term ends one does not automatically have the ability to recover their license or
driving privilege. If there are certain other violations, even non-point carrying violations that
have been recorded on the abstract, periods of time are added to the end of the revocation term
to arrive at a possible "clear date," which becomes the earliest date the DMV would not reject an
application for a new (non-restricted / non-conditional) license or permit. The way these
additional factors add time is called informally, 'negative units'. It is not published in any readily
available publications of DMV, though it is part of the official rules of the agency, and may be
explained to someone who arrives in this situation via a letter from DMV. Attorneys well versed
in DMV rules and procedures, such as our office, may also be helpful in illuminating this issue,
should one have questions surrounding relicencing following a revocation.
Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) - This is a duplicative tax that was imposed a few years
ago that has been highly criticized by at least one prominent motorist advocacy organization for
how it was seemingly legislated into existence with very little if any opposition, and the insincere
motive cited for it's implementation. The stated purpose of the new tax was to promote driver
safety, but upon passage the proceeds collected were not allocated for any safety program at all,
but rather the funds collected were simply added to the DMV general fund demonstrating it to be
in fact simply extra revenue. The DRA works like this: in addition to a fine, mandatory state
surcharge (i.e. first tax), and fee one must pay to the court or TVB on a traffic ticket following
conviction, motorists now must pay an additional fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles
(District Offices) once 6 points are accumulated for violations issued within a common 18 month
period. So upon a conviction that brings the driving record to 6 or more points the motorist will
receive a bill (separate from the prior fine and surcharge) from New York DMV seeking payment
of $300 plus an additional $75 for each point over 6, payable all at once or 1/3 per year for 3 years.
Failure to timely pay this additional tax, like other DMV payments due, will immediately result in
suspension of one's driver license or privilege of course. As an interesting note, to maximize the
collection, the tax was made applicable retroactively to any matters that were pending, so that
charges that were issued prior to the passage date of the new tax that still were not resolved,
though that could be due in no part to the motorist charged, could also add to the collection. In
other words, if you had an outstanding ticket for which you were awaiting your court date while
the legislation was pending, and that ticket may have brought the points on your record to more
than 6 for the 18 month period surrounding the ticket's issuance, you would have had to have
plead guilty prior to the effective date of the legislation to avoid the extra tax rather than have
your day in court.
Suspension Termination Fees (STFs) - With regard to traffic tickets this was another later added
fee, being $35 for any suspension at TVB except a late paid bond. More recently raised to $70.
That's right after a number of successful years collecting on this, they did not add a reasonable
inflation adjustment of $5 or $10, they doubled it. Since the remedy the DMV gives itself for any
amount due is suspension of one's driver license, when this was first imposed there were
numerous complaints of driver licenses suspended improperly, in some cases stranding
motorists or causing motorists to be arrested, jailed and charged criminally for driving with
suspensions of which they had no knowledge or reason to know. (Example: In separate cases
Motorist A & B are both convicted of no point infractions returnable to TVB. Both have bills for the
fine and surcharge with a due date two weeks hence. Both send checks out to the DMV head
office in Albany as required. Checks are received in a timely fashion by TVB. The backlogged
TVB clerical staff takes days or more to enter the payments, making the effective entry date
after the due date. This causes a suspension on the motorists' records with the then $35 STF to be
due to clear it. Neither is sent any notice of this whatsoever. Motorist A calls his attorney from
an airport in another state asking why she can't rent a car. Motorist B, who had never been in any
trouble in his life, calls his attorney from a jail cel. Both eventually had the STFs reversed by
DMV.). This sort of problem is not as common more recently, however DMV currently still
awards itself 2 STFs for a single ticket that is not answered properly in some cases. A single
ticket that lapses into default gets two STFs, one when it becomes suspended for taking too long
to answer, and a second one when it goes into default judgment thereafter.
About Moving Violations
LAW OFFICE OF MITCHELL PARKS