Does An Out Of State Speeding Ticket Go On Your Record?
Let’s say you’re the out-of-state driver, coming to visit New York for a taste of the Big Apple, and you find yourself going a little faster than you should coming into the city. As a result, you catch a speeding ticket while you’re here.
What happens next? Does the traffic ticket you got as an out-of-state driver in New York carry through to your driving record in your home state?
The answer is somewhat complicated. However, in many cases, yes, your ticket can follow you home. Lots of people are under the impression that speeding tickets are only effective and recognized within the state they were issued, or can only affect you within the confines of that state. Though this would be ideal for many drivers, it is not always the case.
It is important to remember than an out-of-state driver convicted of a New York speeding ticket will receive points on their New York driving record. What this means is that New York creates an ID number for you, which gives you a record that they can add convictions and points to. This may seem inconsequential. However, if you receive too many points on your New York record (11 points in 18 months) or too many speeding tickets (3 speeding tickets within 18 months), your license can actually be suspended. This suspension will be recognized both in New York and in most other states, including your home state if applicable. It may take a certain amount of time for processing for the suspension to be recognized out-of-state, but eventually, in many states, it will be recognized.
You may wonder how your home state will figure out your license was suspended in New York. They will likely find out about license suspensions, as well as any other sorts of tickets and traffic infractions that are reported, due to the fact that the vast majority of states—45 out of 50—have entered into a consortium called the Driver’s License Compact. With the general motto of “One Driver, One License, One Record,” the Driver’s License Compact (or DLC) allows for driving and ticket information to be shared and travel quickly between states.
The five states that have opted not to participate in the DLC are the District of Columbia, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Unless you are a resident of one of those five exempted states, your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and your car insurance carrier will both be advised and alerted if you get a traffic ticket in New York. Even if you are a resident of an exempted state, your insurance carrier may still be alerted about a New York ticket, and informal agreements between states may also result in your traffic ticket following you home. What’s more, any points that you may get on your license from a traffic conviction in New York will likely be added to your license at home.
For reference, the five-tiered traffic ticket point system in New York is as follows:
- 3 points: Assigned for going 1-10 MPH over the speed limit
- 4 points: Assigned for going 11-20 MPH over the speed limit
- 6 points: Assigned for going 21-30 MPH over the speed limit
- 8 points: Assigned for going 21-40 MPH over the speed limit
- 11 points: Assigned for going 41+ MPH over the speed limit.
Any speeding ticket conviction for going 21 MPH or more over the speed limit also requires the driver to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee (DRAF) to the State of New York. The DRAF rate is $300 for any ticket worth 6 points, and an additional $75 for any point above six.
So, as you can see, a traffic ticket obtained in New York is often impossible to shake in-state, and will follow you to your home-state (with a few exceptions). So what do you do if you get one?
To begin with, as soon as you get a ticket in New York as an out-of-towner, you have to decide whether you want to fight the ticket or not. In many cases, tickets can be fought and any potential points you might get on your license can be avoided. If you do decide to fight the ticket, it is best to hire an attorney to do it for you, especially if you live somewhere significantly far away from New York. This will reduce stress and prevent any complications that may arise because you are physically unable to attend hearings. You are technically allowed to fight these tickets yourself, and may opt to do so if you feel the case is simple enough—and you will be physically able to attend all relevant hearings.
If you decide not to fight the ticket and plead guilty without representation, you may think the matter is over and done with. However, often it is not, and things can quickly become more complicated. Pleading guilty in this manner can result in a number of issues, from having to pay a fine (in addition to a surcharge of $80-$85) to getting points added to your license to having your insurance rates rise significantly.
In any case, your best way forward is to at least consult an experienced, knowledgeable traffic attorney in New York to see what can be done moving forward. Consulting with the right attorney can make the difference between walking away from a ticket with a one-time fine or no fine at all, and a months or even years long ordeal that could cost you thousands in legal, court, and insurance hike fees.
If you’re in Mt. Kisco, NY or the surrounding area, the attorney to call is Rex Pietrobono. Attorney Pietrobono has what it takes to help you get the best possible outcome in your traffic case. Call today for a free consultation at (914) 301-7500.