Driver Violation Point System

By David Hammond

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the Driver Violation Point System in place as a means of identifying who they deem to be “high risk drivers” and taking action against them. As you accrue more points, you run the risk of fines. You also run the risk of having your driver’s license suspended. Points assessed to your license can also lead to increases in the cost of insurance coverage.

What is the “Driver Violation Point System”?

Under the Driver Violation Point System, the DMV assigns point values for particular traffic violations. For instance:

  • Failing to yield the right of way: 3 points
  • Speeding: 3-11 points (depending on how far over the speed limit you were going)
  • Reckless driving: 5 points
  • Texting and other unauthorized use of a portable electronic device: 5 points

Points will not be assessed to your license until you are actually convicted of the traffic violation. Points are calculated within an 18-month time period. Your points will go on your record based on the date the traffic violation occurred, not the date you were convicted of the offense. If you receive 11 points or more in an 18-month time frame, your license may be suspended.

In addition to possible license suspension, you also run the risk of paying a Driver Responsibility Assessment if you accrue enough points. The Driver Responsibility Program was started in New York back in 2004. Designed to place an added financial burden to drivers who continue to violate traffic regulations, the fees imposed by the program are substantial. If you receive 6 points during the 18-month period, your annual assessment will be $100 per year for three years. Additionally, you will be assessed $25 a year more for three years for each point about the six-point mark.

As an additional consequence to getting points assessed to your license, your insurance rates may go up, sometimes drastically. Internally, insurance companies have their own systems of calculating points to determine which drivers are high risks to insure. An infraction that an insurance company views as a greater risk to the safety of the driver and to others will more likely result in more substantial rate increases. This means that just because the DMV has assessed lower point values or no point values to certain traffic infractions that an insurance company will still take it seriously in determining insurance rates. If you are convicted of an alcohol or drug-related traffic offense, or if you have refused a chemical test, you will be subject to an annual assessment of $250.

New York Traffic Attorney

Traffic offenses can carry hefty penalties like suspension of your license and significant financial consequences in the form of fines and other assessments. CDH law will help you fight your traffic ticket in order to help prevent points being assessed to your license and other associated penalties from occurring. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.