How to Handle a Suspended License in New York
It’s easy to forget that driving is a privilege, not a right. You earn that privilege by passing your driving test, and you maintain it by obeying traffic laws. In New York, your drivers license could be suspended based on your driving record, or if you are convicted of certain serious violations.
The New York Point System
To track driving behavior, the New York DMV maintains driving records on all licensed drivers. In addition, New York participates in the National Driver Register. If you are convicted of a traffic-related offense, in New York or any other state, that information will go on your record.
All New York traffic tickets, from speeding tickets to DUIs, are assessed a point value. When you are convicted of a traffic offense, not only will the violation go on your record, but the points associated with that ticket will, too.
Different offenses carry different point values. New York speeding tickets, for example, can range in value from 3 points (driving 1-10 MPH over the limit) to 11 points (driving 40 MPH over the limit). You could face a suspended driving license if 11 points for traffic convictions are added to your record in an 18—month period. Therefore, if you are convicted of driving 40 MPH over the limit, you can count on losing your license.
Reasons for Suspension or Revocation
In addition to points-related suspensions, several other instances could result in a New York suspended driving license.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, for example, results in an automatic license suspension for a minimum of 90 days. The more severe the offense, such as an excessively high blood alcohol content or involvement in an accident, the longer the suspension. Your license will be revoked if you’re convicted of DUI and you’re under the age of 21, or if you’re convicted of a second offense within 10 Years.
Other ways you could lose your license in New York include driving without insurance, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, improperly passing a school bus, fleeing an officer, or accumulating 3 speeding tickets within an 18-month period.
How to Apply for a Restricted License
Some drivers may be eligible to apply for a restricted license. This limited license will allow you the ability to drive for work or school, transport a child to and from school or daycare, travel to and from the court or the DMV for restricted license-related business, or travel to and from a medical facility for healthcare reasons.
If your license was suspended for a drug- or alcohol-related violation, you can only apply for a restricted license if you are enrolled in a Drinking Driver Program certified by the state.
Risks of Driving on a Suspended License
Once your license has been suspended, you cannot drive unless you’ve received a restricted drivers license. In addition, you are required to turn your license in to the DMV. If you drive during your suspension period, you could risk jail time, your license could be revoked, you could lose your car, and you could face fines up to $5,000.
How to Reinstate a Suspended License
Before your suspension period is over, the DMV will send you a Notice of Restoration. This form will include directions on how to pay your restoration fee — either online or at your local DMV office. Pay your fee before your New York license suspension period ends. Once you’ve submitted payment, wait 3 days and then review the Photo ID Document Mailing Lookup page. Here you can enter your client ID or your name and date of birth, and you’ll find out when your license will be reinstated. If there is no processing date, contact the DMV.
Keeping Your Record Clean
Remember, once your license is reinstated, you are not off the hook. You need to keep your driving record squeaky clean or risk losing your license again. In addition, another significant monetary effect of a suspended license is higher insurance rates. To improve your driving record and your standing with your insurance company, you should consider taking a New York Point and Insurance Reduction Program. A state-approved course can reduce your driving record points and earn you a mandatory insurance rate reduction.