How Point Totals Affect New York State Driving Records
In New York, driving records include a point total. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV) uses this point total to track drivers and provide additional penalties, such as the Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA), to drivers who have committed numerous traffic violations.
In New York, points for various traffic violations can add up rather quickly. A few common traffic violations and their corresponding point totals include:
- Improper cell phone use, such as texting while driving: 2 points
- Failure to obey a traffic signal: 2 points
- Reckless driving: 5 points
- Speeding more than 12 mph over the speed limit: 4 points
- Speeding more than 40 mph over the speed limit: 11 points
Points aren’t added to your driving record until you are convicted of the violation. Points on your record are tallied for violations that have occurred within the past 18 months. (And the point total is calculated based on the date of the violation and not the conviction.)
If your point total reaches 11 points in the 18-month period, the NY DMV will then suspend your license. Receiving six or more points in the 18-month period will result in being assessed a DRA – which means that you have to pay an annual fee for three years.
To find out how many points you currently have on your driving record, request a copy of your driver’s abstract from the NY DMV.
How to Reduce Your Points and Improve Your Driving NY Record
The easiest way to reduce points on your driving record is, of course, to not be convicted in the first place. That’s where help from an experienced New York traffic violation lawyer comes into place.
But if you have already been convicted and the points are on your record, you can reduce your points by taking advantage of the New York DMV’s point and insurance reduction program (PIRP). By taking a DMV-approved accident prevention course, you can shave up to four points off your driving record. Completion of such courses can also help save up to 10 percent on your auto insurance premiums.
However, the PIRP will not help drivers who have already had their licenses revoked or suspended. If you have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked, talk to a traffic ticket attorney who can advise you on your options.