You should renew your license since an expired driver's license is not a valid license to drive on in New York however it is at the discretion of the police officer if he or she will cite you for driving on an expired license.
The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles states that even if you are stopped law enforcement officer can decide to issue a ticket for an expired driver license even if you have applied for a new one and are waiting for renewed license. In this type of situation the DMV cannot provide the proof that you applied for a renewal. If you renew your driver license on-line, the confirmation message does not prove that your driver license is valid.
When the DMV processes your application for renewal, your driver record immediately shows that you renewed your driver license. A law enforcement officer can check your DMV record to verify that your driver license is valid. A traffic violation occurs, and the law enforcement officer can issue a traffic ticket, if you drive and your driver license is expired. You can drive if you have a valid driver license, but you do not have the document with you when you drive.
If you do not have a valid driver license with you, the law enforcement officer can use this fact as a reason to issue a ticket for unlicensed operation. The traffic court or the Traffic Violations Bureau can dismiss the ticket if you provide the proof that your driver license was valid when the officer issued the ticket.
To prevent problems with an expired driver license the NYS DMV suggests:
- Remember the year that your driver license will expire. Your driver license expires on your birthday, but the year changes each time you renew your document.
- When you receive the renewal notice for your driver license, read the instructions carefully, complete the renewal application, and mail the application to the DMV quickly. Wait four weeks to receive your new driver license photo document by mail.
- If you do not receive a renewal notice at least 30 days before your driver license expires, you can renew without the notice. The DMV web site has the complete instructions to renew your NYS driver license.
- If your driver license will expire in less than three weeks, apply for a renewal at a DMV office. You will receive a driver license that is valid for 90 days, but the document does not display a photo. Your photo document will arrive by mail in four weeks or less.
You can renew your expired NYS driver license if it expired during the last two years. You are not required to pay a penalty or an additional fee. The DMV web site has the information about driver license renewal.
If your NYS driver license is expired for more than two years you must apply for a new driver license. You must pass a vision test, a written test, and a road test. You must complete a pre-licensing course
For more information on how to renew an expired New York States driver's license contact the NYS DMV directly.
If you use an expired driver's license to drive and get a traffic ticket in NYS, you will receive the following fines and penalties:
- 60 days or less after the expiration date the fine is $25 to $40, plus state and local surcharges.
- 60 days or more after the expiration date: a fine of $75 to $300, plus state and local surcharges.