New York Vehicle and Traffic Code (VTC) 315 discusses financial responsibility. Here it states that when insurance with respect to any motor vehicle is terminated by cancellation or failure to renew the owner shall surrender forthwith his registration certificate and number plates of the vehicle to the commissioner unless proof of financial security otherwise is maintained.
NYS law requires you to surrender your vehicle plates to the NYSDMV before there is a lapse in your liability insurance. If you do not surrender your vehicle plates, the DMV will suspend your registration and driver's license. So if you are no longer keeping insurance on your vehicle you need to turn in your plates before other penalties are placed upon you and your license.
If you are convicted of operating an uninsured motor vehicle or permitting another person to be operate your uninsured vehicle, your license will be revoked for at least one year. The same penalty applies if the Department of Motor Vehicles receives evidence that you were involved in an accident without being insured.
Some revocations require you to pay a civil penalty before your application can be accepted for a new license. This includes revocations for No Insurance or Uninsured Accident. These violations come with a $750 civil penalty.
The civil penalty is an additional monetary payment over the normal fine amount. NYS Vehicle and Traffic law 319 notes that being caught without insurance is a traffic infraction and upon conviction you may be fined not less than $150 or more than $1500 or may be imprisoned for not more than 15 days or both the fine and jail time.
The NYS DMV will be able to give you more information on the penalties for being uninsured and driving without insurance. Or if you were cited for these offenses try contacting the court listed on the ticket for information on the penalties you would receive if convicted of these violations of NYS law.
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