Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Mar 31, 2022

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Just What's Essential

  • It only takes 11 points to have your license suspended in New York
  • The Driver Responsibility Assessment is a fee, on top of your ticket cost lasting three years
  • No points are added to your license until you are convicted of a traffic violation or driving violation.  

In New York, the number of points to potentially lose your license is 11 points. Many violations are often ticketed at the same time, like unsafe passing while speeding. These two tickets could get you six, nine, or 14 points in one traffic stop, depending on how fast you were going.

Not only can these tickets impact your ability to drive, but tickets also impact your car insurance rates.

With only 11 points to suspend your license in NY, it is important to keep track of how many points you have. Another important thing to keep in mind is when the points you have will stop being active on your record.

The points on your license will be active for 18 months in New York State. If you don’t have any new tickets during that time, they will expire on your driver’s license which will leave you with a clean driving record once again. 

Making Sense of the Confusing Timing of DMV Points in NY

Like many other states, the New York DMV points system can be confusing. To make sense of the timeline the most important thing to remember is the date you got your tickets. This date will be the day your points will show on your driver’s license.

  • Ticket on October 1st
  • Paid the ticket October 31st
  • Points on your record start on October 1st

Going to court can take a long time in some cases. Even if it is just a few months you’ll need to remember that your points are added that day from your ticket date. 

They won’t show at all until you go to court and/or are found guilty. This cycles goes on your record the day you pay your ticket or plead your ticket in court. 

  • 11 Points
  • 18 Month cycle with points on your record 
  • No New Tickets in 18 months clears your points record

If you just pay for your ticket you are telling them that you are guilty. While you won’t go to court or see a judge, you will have to pay any fines and accept any points on your driver’s license from the ticket.

There are both timing advantages and downsides when working through The New York DMV and court system.

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Downsides to NY Points System

  • Getting your day in court could take a long time
  • You can’t pay your Driver Responsibility Assessment
  • Or begin your point reduction program

You can plead guilty online to your tickets and accept the points for each one. Or, you can wait until you have your court date to try to plead down or get out of your tickets.

The best advantage to you in the system is that they begin from the date you got the tickets. So, if it took a year to get your day in court you’ll already be a year into getting your points off your license.

Another advantage is that the points aren’t on your driving record while you prepare to go to court.

How long do points stay on your license in NY?

You will have active points on your license for 18 months, from the day of your ticket. The points on your NY license don’t come off and disappear. They just stop counting against you once you have cleared the 18 month period or taken steps to get them reduced.

The DMV points remain a part of your driving record for at least as long as any convictions related to your tickets. So, if you got five years of probation for an offense, the points stay in the system at least as long as your probation.

They will reset after 18 months, back to zero on your driving record. If you get more tickets they will use your old record in decisions about your current situation. The old points that have expired don’t count in your new total after 18 months, though.

How to Get Points off Your License

You can take four points off your license by taking a state approved driving class. There are many providers of the New York points deferment program. You may find programs with other names not listed here. Just make sure the program is on the approved state list. The official New York DMV site lists the names of their program as:

  • Defensive Driving Course
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course and
  • The Point and Insurance Reduction Program — ‘PIRP’

It is also offered to help you reduce your insurance cost. Once you have completed the program you will receive a 10% discount on your insurance. This discount is part of the state’s program in partnership with insurance companies.

The discount will last for three years after you complete the course. The class is around 5 and half hours long.

How bad is having eight points on my drivers license in New York?

It is all about the numbers when you think of NY driver’s license points. Many driving infractions carry five points for the ticket, like careless and reckless driving or texting and driving.

Combining that ticket with any other violation, like speeding under 10 mph — three more points — and one bad driving day could give you eight points on your license in NY.

Eight Points on Your NY Driving Record Means:

  • It will be 18 months until your driving record resets
  • Only three more points, to potentially lose your license
  • You will need to pay the Driver Responsibility Assessment

Remember that your New York DMV points are on an 18-month schedule. Five points this year and six points next year could mean that your driver’s license is suspended.

Getting Six Points in New York Could Cost You Money

If you get six points on your driver’s license in 18 months, you’ll have to pay the New York State Driver Responsibility Assessment fee. The amount of the fee depends on which violations you were ticketed for. If your violations were strictly driving-related, the fee will most likely be around $300 over three years.

For more serious violations the fee can be as much as $750.

This example shows why remembering when you got a ticket is so important:

If you got a simple three point ticket — like speeding five miles over the posted limit — this year you might have forgotten about it by the end of next year. But another three point ticket will trigger the fee.

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Tickets and Points in Canada Count on Your NY Drivers License Too

All states share information about your driving history. If you have lost your driving license in one state due to too many points, you won’t be able to get a license in another state.

Some states just share information about your points and driving record. Other states add your old state license points to your new license.

This is how it works for New York drivers that get tickets in Quebec and Ontario Canada, too. The charges of the tickets in Canada are adjusted to a NY charge, and the points are added to your driver’s license.

Keep Checking Until Your 18 Months are Up

The first step to lower both your points and your auto insurance is sign-up for a Point and Insurance Reduction Program. This can take four points off of your active total. It won’t change your fees and ticket costs.

You never want to drive without insurance when you have points already on your license. 

Be sure to look for discounts and benefits in membership perks that only apply to you. You may find savings in unexpected places like:

  • Senior discount
  • Multiple car discount
  • Close to home driving
  • Group or Fraternity program
  • Low miles for your work commute 
  • Union membership with extra benefits

Once you have points on your license you’ll want to be proactive in paying your fees, watch your driving, and checking often that you are getting the best insurance for your driving record.