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Suspended License Information for New York
While some motorists regard driving as a basic right, the fact is that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that must be earned and maintained by demonstrating safe and lawful driving. Under certain circumstances, an individual's New York driver's license may be suspended or revoked for a specific length of time, depending on the person's driving record or history, and the particular violation(s).
REASONS FOR DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSIONS
There are a variety of reasons why your New York driver's license might be suspended. Some of these are related to specific driving violations, while others may be due to violation of other State laws. Following are some of the most common reasons for a New York driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
- Excessive Moving Violations. The state of New York operates on a point system, in which drivers accumulate points on their license for every moving violation they commit. If you accumulate 11 or more points in an 18 month period, your license will be revoked or suspended. You have the option of attending a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (AJL) or you may accept the suspension for 31 days.
- Driving Under the Influence. Your New York driver's license will be suspended if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The length of the suspension depends on the severity of the violation and whether it is a first or repeat offense. The penalties are:
- A first offense is considered a misdemeanor. The punishment is a $500-$1000 fine, possible imprisonment for up to one year and a minimum of a six month license revocation.
- A second offense within 10 years is considered a crime. The fine is $1000-$5000, possible imprisonment for up to four years and a minimum of a year's license revocation.
- A third offense within 10 years-is considered a crime. The fine is $2000-$10,000, possible imprisonment for up to seven years and a minimum of a year's license revocation.
You might also have to undergo a Driver Responsibility Program for which you will have to pay additional costs. Refusing to take the chemical test will also result in suspension of your license for at least a year. The violations and revocation/ suspension periods are given below:
- If you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18% or are charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated - one year revocation.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or with a BAC of 0.08% - six month revocation.
- Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by a Drug - six month suspension.
- Any DWI, DWAI - Drug or BAC of 0,08% violation within 10 years of a previous violation - 1 year revocation.
- Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI) - 90 day suspension.
- A DWAI committed within five years of any previous drug or alcohol violation - 6 month revocation.
- First alcohol or drug related violation by a person, except Zero Tolerance, under 21 - one year revocation.
- Second alcohol or drug related violation by a person, except Zero Tolerance, under 21 - revocation for one year or until age 21.
- Driving with a Suspended License or no License. Driving with a suspended license will lead to an increase in the length of the suspension, and you may also be imprisoned for up to five years. The duration of the additional suspension varies depending on the reason for the underlying suspension. Your driver's license may also be suspended if you do not have your license with you while you are driving.
- Driving without Insurance. All motor vehicles driven in New York must be properly insured. Failure to provide proof of valid auto insurance can result in your license being revoked for one year. If you allow another person to use your uninsured vehicle or if the uninsured vehicle is involved in an accident, the same penalty applies.
- Other Driving-Related Violations. Your New York driver's license may also be suspended if you engage in reckless driving, are found to be at fault in a fatal accident, or if you abandon your vehicle on a public highway. Other reasons include speeding, leaving the scene of an accident without giving aid, fleeing from a police officer, accumulating three speeding violations18 months, getting three tickets within three years for passing a school bus.
- Physical or Psychological Disqualification. The Department of Motor Vehicles can order a re-examination of any person who may not be fit to drive. An individual's driving privileges may be suspended if the re-examination finds they are physically or psychologically unable to drive safely.
- Non-Driving Reasons for License Suspension. A variety of non-driving violations or issues can result in your license being suspended. These include: not responding to a Department of Motor Vehicles notice or not appearing in court; failing to pay traffic tickets, fines or surcharges; and not paying child support or issuing checks that bounce. Failure to file an accident report or to comply with a court judgment about an accident will also lead to suspension. The suspension period will be indefinite in the above cases. The suspension will be in effect till you have dealt with the reason for the suspension. If you fail to pay a ticket or a fine on at least 20 different dates, you can be charged with "aggravated failure to answer tickets" or "failure to pay fines". This offense is considered a misdemeanor and carries with it a fine of $500, a compulsory surcharge and jail time up to 180 days. You can be arrested even if you are not driving a motor vehicle for this offense.
- Junior Licenses. If you are convicted of a serious traffic violation (three points or more) or any other two violations, your license will be suspended for 60 days. It will be revoked for 60 days if you commit a serious violation or any two violations within the first six months of receiving your license or permit after a suspension or revocation.
- For Drivers aged 18 and older. If you are 18 or older and pass your road exam, you will be on probation for six months. If during this probationary period, you are charged and convicted of speeding, reckless driving, following too closely, taking part in a speed contest, your license will be suspended for 60 days. Once again when you receive your license you will be on probation for six months. If during this second probationary you are convicted once again of the violations listed above, your license will be revoked for at least six months. Your license will be suspended for 90 days if you are guilty of Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by drugs or liquor and revoked for six months if you are found guilty of DUI.
- Illegal Use of your License or Non Driver ID card. If you use your ID card/license to illegally purchase liquor your driver license or the right to apply for a license will be suspended.
- Other Violations. These include
- Homicide, assault or criminal negligence while operating a motor vehicle - your license will be revoked for a minimum of 6 months.
- Giving false information on a driving license or registration application or using another person for a road test. If the criminal courts convict you, your revocation period is 6 months. If a DMV Administrative Law Judge conducts the proceedings, your revocation period will be one year.
- Speed contest - a six month revocation and a second speed contest within 3 years, a year's revocation.
- 3 speeding and/or misdemeanor traffic violations within 18 months - six month revocation.
- 3 violations for passing a school bus within 3 years - six month revocation.
- Fleeing the scene of an accident where there is a personal injury or fatality - six month revocation.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR NEW YORK DRIVER'S LICENSE IS SUSPENDED
Having your New York driver's license suspended is a serious matter and it is essential to adhere to State law in the event that your license is suspended. If you believe your license may be suspended due to one of the reasons listed above it is advisable to speak with a traffic ticket lawyer or a DUI-DWI lawyer.
The most important things to be aware of following a license suspension are:
- If your license has not already been taken away from you in court, you must surrender it to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. You can surrender your license in person at a local DMV office, or mail it to:
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228
- While your license is suspended, you are not permitted to drive. If you are found driving with a suspended license, you may be imprisoned for up to five years, and/or the length of your suspension may be increased.
- After your suspension is over, you will receive a written notice of restoration, with instructions on how to restore your license. Do not drive until you have completed the necessary steps and received a valid, replacement license from the New York DMV.
- You may be eligible for a hardship license that permits you to drive to work/school or to receive medical attention. The letter the DMV will send you will indicate whether you are eligible for such a license.
APPEALING A SUSPENSION
If you receive a Notice of Scheduled Suspension from the DMV, and you wish to challenge the suspension, you may request a hearing in court. An administrative law judge or the DMV Chief Administrator will hear your case, and determine whether your driver's license should be suspended or not. In addition, drivers whose license may be suspended due to accumulating excessive points may be eligible to enroll in a Driver Improvement Program. Completing a Driver Improvement Program removes four points from the current driving record.
RESTORING YOUR LICENSE
You will receive a Notice of Restoration from the DMV after you have completed your suspension period. The notice will include complete instructions regarding how to get your license back. If you are a New York resident, generally, you will need to:
- Pay a restoration fee of $25 unless the suspension was for a violation under the New York State Zero Tolerance law, for which the fee is $125. The fee can be paid online or in person at a local DMV office. You can also mail a check or money order payable to:
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228
- After you have paid the fee (it must be paid before the suspension period ends), wait for three days and check the Photo ID Document Mailing Lookup page. Enter your client ID as given on your driving license or your name and date of birth. If the page shows a processing date, your document was processed and mailed to you. If there is no date contact the DMV about other ways of restoring your license.
- If you hold an out of state license that was suspended, you will need to :
- Order your driving record by mail. You cannot order this online or by telephone.
- If your suspension was completed, the record will have the words "Cleared on "with the date of the termination.
- If the suspension has not been completed you will need to contact the NYSDMV.
Note that after your license is restored, you will be subject to a mandatory probation period during which any new violations may result in an additional suspension of your New York driver's license.