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Vehicle & Traffic

In New York, racking up points on your license can lead to license suspensions and to additional annual fines known as driver responsibility assessments. If you are convicted of traffic offenses totaling six points or more in an 18 month period, you’ll be assessed additional fines. If you accrue 11 points or more in 18 months, you face license suspension. Categories of traffic tickets resulting in points include:

  • Reckless driving — A conviction of reckless driving places five points on your license. Other similar offenses like driving left of center in the wrong direction or leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage result in assessments of three points.

  • Careless driving — Common offenses such as tailgating and failure to properly maintain brakes carry four-point penalties. Even failure to stop at a stop sign or improperly yielding the right of way can result in three points.

  • Cell phone violations — Improper use of a cell phone or other electronic device, whether it’s for texting, calling or any other purpose, will result in five points.

In addition to legal penalties, accumulating points on your license affects your insurance premiums and may even lead your carrier to drop you as a high-risk insured. 


If you accumulate 11 points for traffic convictions in an 18-month period, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend or revoke your license. (The 18 months count from day of violation, how long you push it off, until you are convicted makes no difference.) A new law under the State of NYS Driver Improvement (of dmv) now keeps traffic convictions on your record for up to 25 years, to see if you are a safe driver. This law in already in affect, and is retroactive.  

How many points does one get for a traffic ticket in New York? It depends on what the ticket is for.

  • 1-10 MPH over posted limit: 3 points

  • 11-20 MPH over posted limit: 4 points

  • 21-30 MPH over posted limit: 6 points

  • 31-40 MPH over posted limit: 8 points

  • more than 40 MPH over: 11 points

Other Traffic Offenses


  • Failing to stop for a school bus: 5 points

  • Reckless driving: 5 points (Warning,  this is a criminal charge/misdemeanor)

  • Talking on a cell phone, use of a handheld mobile device or texting): 5 points 

  • Following too closely (tailgating): 4 points

  • Inadequate brakes: 4 points

  • Failing to yield right-of-way: 3 points

  • Violation involving a traffic signal, red light, stop sign, or yield sign: 3 points 

  • Improper passing, unsafe lane change, : 3 points

  • Driving left of center, or driving wrong direction : 3 points

  • Leaving the scene of an incident involving property damage or injury to a domestic animal: 3 points

  • Safety restraint violation involving a person under 16: 3 points

  • Most other moving violation: 2 points

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