How to Reinstate Your Suspended Drivers License in New York
Drivers with revoked or suspended drivers licenses in New York must complete the process to reinstate drivers licenses in order to reestablish their driving privileges. Licensees who continue operating their vehicle before resolving any outstanding driving violations are subject to further penalties. The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues drivers license suspensions and revocations for a wide range of reasons.
The requirements to restore your credential and the steps in the procedure generally vary based on the severity of the driving offense and its corresponding penalty. Drivers may also be required to visit a local NY DMV office and complete certain steps in person. Read the below sections to learn more about the process of reinstating drivers licenses in NY.
Reinstating a New York Suspended License
Drivers must reinstate suspended drivers licenses in New York prior to resuming their driving activities, as driving with a suspended license in NY is against the law. After issuing a suspension or a revocation on a driver’s license, the department will notify the credential’s holder with a special main-in order. The notice will contain information about the type of penalty that was imposed and how to resolve it.
Note: Lesser infractions, such as forgetting to file an accident report, will result in minor suspension penalties. These penalties can generally be resolved in a more straightforward manner than more severe punishments such as license revocations.
How to Reinstate a New York Suspended Drivers License
When reinstating driving licenses in New York, applicants will generally be required to complete several steps, such as a mandatory suspension or revocation period, filing certain documents and paying a fine. The specific details of the NY drivers license suspension will be outlined in the DMV notice, and drivers must study it carefully prior to initiating the drivers license restoration procedure.
Licensees can also review their driving record to obtain up-to-date information about the status of their license. The process to restore suspended or revoked drivers licenses in NY may vary based on the type of punishment that was incurred. Drivers may generally be required to complete any of these steps:
- Wait out a mandatory penalty period.
- Pay the suspension termination fee and any additional fines, which may vary based on the type of driving offense that was committed.
- Answer a traffic ticket in due time.
- Participate in the DMV Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Program.
- Request approval for a license restoration from the NY DMV Driver Improvement Unit (for revoked licenses).
- Complete a jail sentence (for more serious violations).
Drivers with revoked or suspended driving licenses in NY may also be required to complete additional steps, specific to their case. For instance, drivers who were penalized for operating an uninsured vehicle will be required to submit proof of valid insurance.
Suspension Periods in New York
The duration of a New York drivers license suspension period will differ based on the type of violation that was committed. Drivers with revoked licenses will generally have to complete a longer period than licensees with suspended credentials. Note that drivers who are required to take a certain action to lift the suspension will be penalized with an indefinite drivers license revocation.
For instance, licensees who must pay a traffic ticket or obtain the proper vehicle insurance will remain suspended until they resolve the issue. The following list includes examples of several types of suspension or revocation periods in NY:
- A serious traffic violation committed by junior drivers: 60 days suspension.
- Texting or using a cell phone while driving with a probationary license: 120 days of suspension.
- Committing three misdemeanor driving violations within 18 months: six months of revocation.
- Driving an uninsured vehicle: one year of revocation.
Drivers who accumulate 11 or more points on their driving record within an 18-month period will also be disciplined with an NY suspended driving license. Alternatively, by participating in a state-approved traffic school, drivers may be able to reduce the number of points on their record, and save on their car insurance premiums as well.
New York Point System
The department often issues suspended driving licenses in New York due to an excess of negative points on the holder’s record. The state Driver Violation Point System allows DMV officials to identify high-risk drivers by reviewing their driving history and the number of accumulated points. The following list outlines several violations and their corresponding point penalties:
- Speeding over the posted limit – 3 to 11 points.
- Child safety restraint violation – 3 points.
- Following another vehicle too closely – 4 points.
- Failure to stop for a school bus – 5 points.
Certain violations, such as parking violations, will not result in negative points. You can contact your nearby NY DMV location for the complete list of violations and their corresponding points.
Traffic School in New York
Drivers who are at risk of a drivers license suspension in New York due to an excess of points can enroll in an accredited NY traffic school in order to become eligible for points subtraction from their record. By completing a Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) course, drivers will receive other benefits as well.
In addition to helping you prevent getting a suspended driving license in NY, by completing a Defensive Driving Course, you will refresh your driving skills and reduce the rate of your motor vehicle insurance premiums. Even drivers who are not at risk of losing their credential can contact a traffic school within the state and take advantage of a PIRP course.
Note: Drivers will not be able to prevent a mandatory suspension or revocation by completing a Defensive Driving program.
Types of NY Driver’s License Suspensions
The DMV administers different types of New York drivers license suspensions, which vary based on the severity of the violation that was committed. Note that the department differentiates between credential suspensions and driving license revocations in NY. Drivers whose credentials were suspended are still able to use their old license after the suspension period.
Revocations, on the other hand, terminate the validity of the credential, and licensees will be required to apply for a new one. The most common reasons that lead to suspended drivers licenses in NY include:
- Failure to obtain the proper vehicle insurance.
- Conviction of an alcohol or a drug-related charge.
- Paying a DMV fee with a bad check.
- Accumulating a high number of traffic tickets.
- Failure to provide payment for the traffic ticket fine.
The DMV in NY administers two types of driving license suspensions: definite and indefinite suspensions. Drivers who were penalized as a result of a large number of traffic tickets, for instance, will be able to lift the suspension after a certain time period by paying a fine. Licensees who fail to pay the fine, however, will have their licenses suspended until they do so.
NY DUI Suspensions
DUI-related violations will lead to more rigorous driving license revocations in New York, as the state recognizes the negative impact of intoxicating substances on safe driving. Drivers who were apprehended while driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol will be penalized with suspended or revoked driving licenses in NY. The severity of the punishment will generally vary based on several factors, such as the driver’s age and the amount of alcohol and/or drugs he or she has consumed.
Drivers Older Than 21
The process to reinstate drivers licenses in New York after committing a DWI-related offense can be completed only after meeting the specific requirements of the DMV-administered penalty. Note that reinstatement criteria may also include enrolling in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program and/or installing an ignition interlock device, which will measure the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) prior to releasing control of the engine.
The following list provides examples of alcohol and drug-related violations in NY and their corresponding penalties:
- Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) with BAC of .05 to .07 results in a fine of $300 to $500, a jail sentence of 15 days and a 90-day suspension. Drivers who commit a second offense within five years will be taxed with a fine $500 to $750 and sentenced to 30 days of jail and a six-month revocation.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with BAC of .08 or higher or a DWAI by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol results in a $500 to $1000 fine, up to a one-year jail sentence and a six-month suspension. A second offense within 10 years will result in a fine of $1000 to $5000, a jail sentence of up to four years and a one-year revocation.
- Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (AGG-DWI) with BAC of .18 or higher results in a $1000 to $2500 fine, a one-year jail sentence and a one-year driving license revocation. Drivers who repeat the offense will be fined with a $1000 to $5000 penalty, up to four years in jail and a minimum credential revocation of 18 months.
Note: If you commit a third offense within 10 years, you will face higher fines and longer imprisonment sentences. The DMV may even punish you with a lifetime drivers license revocation in NY.
Drivers Younger Than 21
Stricter New York driving license suspensions and revocations are issued to drivers younger than 21 years of age due to the state Zero Tolerance Law. Young drivers who commit one of the aforementioned DUI violations will be penalized with a one-year revocation of their credential. A second offense will result in a revocation of one more year or until they reach 21 years of age.
Young motorists will also violate the law if they are driving with a blood alcohol level of .02 to .07. In such cases, drivers will be punished with a suspended driving license in NY for the duration of six months. Licensees will also have to pay a $100 suspension fee and a $125 civil penalty fee.
Car Insurance Suspensions
A one-year revoked drivers license in New York will be issued to motorists who are operating their vehicle without an adequate car insurance policy. Drivers who have been involved in a traffic crash while driving an uninsured motor vehicle are also subject to a driving license revocation. When completing the NY drivers license reinstatement procedure, uninsured drivers will be required to pay a civil penalty fine in addition to the standard reinstatement fees.
Obtaining the proper car insurance policy is an important step in the process of registering a vehicle within the state. Per DMV regulations, drivers must obtain a policy in the worth of at least $10,000 for property damages, $25,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for death of an individual.
Traffic Summons or Failure to Pay
The department will also issue a suspended driving license in New York to drivers who fail to answer a traffic ticket and/or pay the corresponding fine. The procedure to respond to a traffic ticket will vary based on whether you were issued a ticket within New York City or Rochester or in other areas of the state. Drivers who received their ticket within the five boroughs of NYC or in Rochester can answer it through the DMV Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB).
You can either plead guilty and pay the corresponding fine or schedule a hearing via one of the following methods: online, in person or by mail. New York traffic tickets received outside of NYC or Rochester are processed by the court of the village, town, city or county where the offense took place.
Drivers who fail to answer the ticket will be charged with an indefinite driving license suspension in NY, and they will be required to pay a $70 suspension fee. If you continue to ignore the ticket, the DMV will convict you of the original charge by default.
New York Hardship Drivers License
During the process to reinstate suspended driving licenses in New York, drivers have the option of obtaining either a conditional license or a restricted use credential. These types of licenses will serve as replacement credentials while drivers complete their suspension or revocation periods. In general, only applicants who meet certain eligibility criteria can obtain one of these credentials.
Note that, these types of licenses can only be used to travel to and from essential destinations, such as work, school, or medical institutions. Conditional licenses are available to DUI-convicted drivers who enroll in the DMV Impaired Driver Program (IDP). Restricted licenses are available to drivers who were issued suspended or revoked driving licenses in NY for reasons other than DWI violations.
Applying for a New York Hardship License
To obtain a restricted second credential while reinstating driving licenses in New York, applicants will be required to submit the corresponding application form and supporting documents in person through a local office of the NY DMV. Note that not all DMV locations within the state process applications for provisional drivers licenses.
The DMV provides one request form for both types of restricted licenses, and drivers will be required to check the box of the credential they need. However, the department will revoke your restricted use or conditional license if you do not follow the terms of the license, or if you are convicted of a driving offense.
Fees to Reinstate a New York Drivers License
During the process of reinstating suspended drivers licenses in New York, applicants will often have to provide payment for several fees. The total cost amount and the types of applicable fees will vary based on the type of DMV-imposed penalty. The department may request payment for any of the following fees:
- Suspension termination fee: $50 to $100.
- Re-application fee for drivers with revoked licenses: $100.
- Insurance lapse civil penalty: $8 to $12 per day for each day without insurance.
- Annual driver responsibility assessment fee: $300 to $750.
- Driver civil penalty: $125 to $750.
The fees listed above are presented in range values since they vary based on several factors. For instance, drivers convicted of an alcohol or a drug-related offense will be required to pay the highest annual driver responsibility assessment fee of $750. If you have accumulated six points on your driving record, you will be required to pay an assessment fee of $300.
Note: The exact sum necessary to reinstate suspended or revoked driving licenses in NY will be included in the department’s mail-in notice. Depending on the type of due fees, drivers may be able to pay them via various methods, such as online, by mail or in person through a local branch of the NY DMV.