The Law Office of Rex M. Pietrobono

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Mount Kisco, NY 10549

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The Law Office of Rex M. Pietrobono

Taking a defensive driving course that is accredited by the New York State DMV does not actually erase any points. Upon completion, the course will reduce your insurance premiums and offer the potential elimination of up to four points from a suspension calculation for a suspension that a motorist may be facing after receiving 11 points or more within any given 18-month period. A defensive driving course applies only to the points for such an offense but does not remove the conviction nor all of its consequences. For example, a third speeding ticket within 18 months would remain and that motorist would receive a minimum six-month revocation. Thus, when the DMV reviews someone’s record for a possible suspension with 11 points or more worth of tickets, there will be a notation which indicates the date that they took the driver’s safety course and up to four points may be reduced from that point calculation. It is not proscriptive and does not apply to future offenses.

If a motorist wants to take the driver’s safety course after they receive a ticket, I usually recommend waiting at least two weeks to make sure that there are no delays on the ticket being entered into the DMV system. That way, they get proper credit for purposes of avoiding an impending suspension.

There is also a Driver’s Responsibility Assessment or DRA. While a motorist does benefit from a reduction of points to avoid or suspension, they will still be assessed $300.00 once they receive six points and $75.00 for each point above six thereafter. In other words, once the motorist has a conviction for six points, they are assessed by DMV $300.00 in addition to fines from the court and $75.00 for each point beyond six. Those points are assessed with the DRA all the way up to 11 points or more despite having taken a driver’s safety course. The course only helps people avoid a suspension once they get near 10 points.

If You’re Convicted Of A Traffic Violation In Another State, Will Points Be Added To Your New York State Driving Record?

I consider New York to be the top of a mountain. That is to say, what happens here trickles downhill to other states, but other states do not run uphill to us. Tickets in New York frequently have a corresponding effect in another state, but traffic infractions or non-criminal traffic tickets from other states do not affect New York driving records. Alcohol-related convictions from other states, however, can have a severe impact upon a DWI charge here in New York.

Sometimes, prior traffic ticket offenses and the number of points assigned in New York may not translate directly point for point to another state where a motorist is licensed. For example, a speeding ticket in New York will appear as a two-point traffic offense in New Jersey for a New Jersey license holder. But you should be aware that some zero-point infractions in New York could carry potential points in accordance with another state’s DMV. For instance, there are some equipment violations in New York State that carry no points here but carry points in the State of Florida and some others.

It’s important to remember that any motorists traveling through the State of New York, unlicensed or licensed elsewhere, are still subject to having a New York driving record of convictions and consequences here. Out-of-state motorists often have a New York driving record. They may forget that fact and get suspended in New York for some reason or another. They mistakenly think that since they’re licensed in another state it doesn’t have any effect on them. However, they find when they go to renew their out-of-state license that they cannot get it renewed until they clear up their New York record.

I often get phone calls from people that have suddenly been notified that they cannot get a license because they have old, outstanding tickets in New York. For some reason, they found their way into the NYS DMV system and were alerted. The tickets could be from fifteen years or so earlier, but it’s preventing them from getting a license in their home state. With their written authorization, my firm can address those tickets in court and remove that obstacle in New York, and therefore, clear the path in their home state to get relicensed. But, if a New York motorist traveling through another state gets a ticket, they’ll have a record in that state which they’ll need to address to prevent a suspension in that state. However, points from the other state do not translate into points on their New York State record.

How Long Will It Take For The Points To Drop Off Your License In New York?

If you take a driver’s safety course, the DMV allows you to reduce up to four points from your driving record if you’re facing a suspension based solely upon points. The parameters for that date run from the issuance of the traffic ticket—not from the conviction. A conviction for a traffic ticket will remain visible on a motorist’s driving abstract for a period of four years.

How Many Times Can Someone Take The Defensive Driving Course In New York?

Technically, there’s no limit on the number of times you can take the defensive driving course in New York. However, the DMV will only recognize the benefits of taking a class every 18 months. While some people take it annually for the insurance-related benefits, the DMV will only allow it to have its effect on points every 18 months. I don’t recommend people take it annually if they tend to get traffic tickets because it only goes backward. If they take the class today and get a ticket tomorrow, it’s not going to remove the points from the new ticket received after taking the course. That is important to remember because tickets can carry high points and they may need to save that course reduction benefit for future use.

Is Any Offender Eligible To Take The Defensive Driving Course In New York?

Driver safety courses are offered to any motorist who wishes to take a course either online or in person. The only requirement to take the course is the payment of the fee it costs to take it. Once it’s completed, a certificate of completion is emailed to the motorist. In turn, that certificate should be supplied to the attorney to provide it to the court or the prosecutor as needed.

For more information on Traffic Tickets, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (914) 301-7500 today.

Rex Pietrobono

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(914) 352-7742