Friday, October 21, 2016

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Why New York DMV Points Don't Matter to Out of State Drivers?

People are obsessed with Department of Motor Vehicle points. They call or email us and the first thing they want to know is, how many points is my ticket for? and then, can you get me a no points ticket?

When I tell them if they are from another state other than New York that points often don't transfer, or that they often don't have any nationwide uniformity or that their car insurance company doesn't care about them, they are confused.
If you have get a New York moving violation, and you are from out of state read on to learn the truth about NYS DMV points.


1. There is NO Uniformity of point penalties within the 50 states.

California gives 2 points for a 100 mph speeding ticket. Illinois gives 15 points for an 11 mph over ticket. New York State gives 4 points for an 11 mph over ticket. There is absolutely NO uniformity amongst the states as to what points really mean or how they count. Points matter to that state specifically and for drivers with licensure in that state.

If you get 11 NYS points within 18 months, and IF you hold a NYS driver's license, it gets your driving privileges suspended.  

2. Points don't always transfer state to state. If they do transfer they transfer unevenly.

All New York State license holders receive NO points on their NYS history from out of state tickets. The only exception is Quebec and Ontario, since Canada and New York State have a special contract.

All New Jersey license holders receive ONLY 2 points on their NJ history for any out of state driving infraction. 

3. Insurance carriers look at the nature and character of the offense, not the points assessed.

Reckless driving is a bad charge in any state. It indicates a lack of good judgment and bad driving behavior. New York State assesses 5 points to reckless driving, and it's a criminal misdemeanor. In other states it is not a crime, and it's not 5 points. If you are convicted of reckless driving in any state Your insurance company will still raise your rates for auto coverage regardless of the points.

Remember the most important thing is to avoid pleading to or being found guilty of an offense that can affect your car insurance coverage. Having a plea bargain to a lower level offense, or a non-moving offense or an offense with a different character and nature is the key.

Insurance companies nationwide all agree that certain moving violations are serious.

Unsafe lane change
Following too closely
Speeding 15 mph over the limit

These and other offenses are considered to be SERIOUS Traffic Offenses. If you or your family members are found guilty of them your insurance will go up and usually for up to 3 years.