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Q

I received a ticket in New York for no turn signal on a highway and had a speeding violation about 2 years ago. Are the old points on my license still and what are the penalties for my new ticket?


A

In New York a conviction for a ticket due to failure to signal a lane change is 2 points according to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles points schedule. Speeding tickets in New York come with 3 to up to 11 points depending upon how many miles over the speed limit you were going. Points for speeding are as follows:

  • 1 - 10 mph over the speed limit - 3 points
  • 11 - 20 mph over the speed limit - 4 points
  • 21 - 30 mph over the speed limit - 6 points
  • 31 - 40 mph over the speed limit - 8 points
  • More than 40 mph over the speed limit - 11 points and possible suspension of driver's license.

In New York State the DMV computer system automatically calculates your point total when you are assigned points on your license for a moving violation. Your point total is the total number of driver violation points that you received during the 18 previous months.

Points are counted from the dates of your traffic violations, not from the dates of your traffic convictions. A traffic conviction is required for the points to appear on your driver record. Eighteen (18) months after the date of the violation, the points for that violation are removed from your point total. The convictions remain on your record.

If instead of points you were wondering how long the violation will remain on your motor vehicle record, a moving violation conviction or an accident normally remains on a driver record during the year that the conviction or the accident occurred, and for the following three calendar years. (Note: The DMV uses the year when the conviction occurred, not the year when the violation occurred.)

The DMV removes a conviction or an accident from a driver record on January 1 of the fourth year after the year of the conviction or the accident. For example, an accident or a conviction that occurred during 2008 remains on the driver record until January 1, 2012.  

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles notes that the DMV point system helps to identify drivers who commit several violations during a specific time period. The DMV computer system calculates your point total as follows:

  • You must be convicted of the traffic violation for the points to be added to your point total, but the calculation of your point total is based on the date of the violation, not the date of the conviction.
  • The points for violations that all occurred within the last 18 months of one another are added together to calculate your point total.
  • The record of the conviction, and the points, are listed on your driver record for as long as the conviction remains on your record. The information about the conviction and points is not removed after 18 months from the violation date. Only the calculation of your point total changes.

As an example of how points come off, say you are convicted of a 3-point violation and the violation occurred on January 27, 2009. You are later convicted of a 4-point violation that occurred on July 20, 2010. Your point total includes the points from both violations, because they both occurred with a single 18-month period. Your point total would then be 7 points.

If your point total reaches 11 points or more based on the calculation described above, the DMV notifies you and suspends your driver license. You can request a DMV hearing only to show that a different person committed the violations. You cannot request a DMV hearing to prove that you were not guilty of the violations. You cannot request a DMV hearing to request a waiver of the suspension.

If you take a DMV-approved accident prevention course, you can:

  1. reduce your driver violation point total by a maximum of four points, and
  2. save 10 percent on your automobile liability and collision insurance premiums.

You cannot receive the point or insurance benefits for an Internet course, only taking a DMV approved course will result in receiving a points reduction. You cannot use the course as a credit against future driver violation points either.

An accident prevention course cannot prevent a mandatory suspension or revocation. So you would need to take it before your points total reached 11 or more since the points suspension would already be required. Also an accident prevention course and point reduction does not affect a driver responsibility assessment so if you are mandated to pay this fee taking the course will not reduce the amount or keep you from owing it.

Remember that the point system is not the only reason for a driver license suspension or revocation. There are mandatory suspensions or revocations the DMV can apply. For example, the NYS DMV must revoke your driver's license if you are convicted of 3 speeding violations within an 18 month period regardless of how many driver violation points you have.

If your speeding ticket was 2 years ago then the points should be off your driving record but the violation would still be on there. For more information, such as a list of the number of points given for each type of offense or to get a copy of your motor vehicle record, contact the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles directly.

As for the penalties for your failure to use your turn signal on the highway, you should check with the court listed on the citation. To the best of our knowledge the penalty is just a fine and from what we have read it appears to be usually between $55 and $100 depending upon the jurisdiction you received in and the court costs, etc. that are added to the basic fine amount.

Whatever is on your driving record you can shop for affordable auto insurance rates with CarInsurance.com. CarInsurance.com is an Online Insurance Marketplace™ gives consumers the opportunity to shop and compare insurance companies online. We offer the ability to shop for car insurance online and the ability to purchase your policy directly through CarInsurance.com, so get started with instant car insurance quotes for New York State.


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