Driver Civil Penalties in New York

A civil penalty is a non-criminal sanction for breaking laws or regulations. Civil penalties usually consist of civil fines or other financial payments as a remedy for damages. A civil penalty action can be brought by the government or by a private party acting in the government's place. The way you drive has a significant impact on various aspects of your life. A speeding ticket adds points to your license through the NY Point System and costs you money in the form of fines and court fees.

Reasons for Penalties in New York

The seriousness of the infraction determines the severity of a penalty. The following list of the most common infractions and their associated penalties.

Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

If you are cited for driving with a revoked or suspended license, the law enforcement agency may impound your vehicle for 30 days.

Failure to Pay Fine for Traffic Tickets

If the NY DMV has been notified that you have not appeared in court for a traffic violation charge, your driver's license will not be issued or renewed. Your signature on the citation is a promise to appear in traffic court if you are cited for a traffic violation. If you fail to appear in court or pay a fine, the court may order DMV to suspend your driving privileges. You may take the court documents to any driver's license office to apply for reinstatement of your driving privilege once you have satisfied the court. Failure to appear in court, pay a fine, or comply with any court order may result in your driving privilege being suspended if you are under 18.

Fake License

Displaying a license that you know is canceled, revoked, suspended, fictitious, or altered is illegal. It's also against the law to alter a driver's license or obtain a fake driver's license. Your driver's license will be suspended due to your actions, and you may face fines and a jail sentence.

Reckless Driving

If you commit a series of acts during a single, continuous period of driving that pose an immediate hazard to another person or vehicle, exceed the posted speed limit, and commit two of the following violations, you may be charged with aggressive driving.
  • Disobedience to traffic control signs and signals
  • On the right side, passing another vehicle
  • Lane change that isn't safe
  • Too close to the action
  • Failure to yield to emergency vehicles is a serious offense.
The following are the consequences of aggressive driving:
  • If it's your first offense, you'll have to take a Traffic Survival School course, and your license may be suspended for 30 days.
  • Second and subsequent offenses: You will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor, and your license will be revoked for 12 months if you commit a second offense within 24 months.

Hit and Run

Suppose you are a driver involved in an accident involving vehicle damage, injury, or death. In that case, you must stop your vehicle at the accident scene or as close as possible and return to the scene immediately. You must stay on the scene to help.
  • Assist anyone who has been injured, including making medical arrangements.
  • Name, address, and license plate number are required.
  • If asked, show your driver's license to anyone involved.
If you are convicted of failing to comply, your driving privilege will be suspended.
  • If there is a risk of death, your license will be revoked for ten years (not including the time you are incarcerated).
  • If there is a serious physical injury, your license will be revoked for five years (not including the time you are incarcerated).
  • If there is no death or serious physical injury, the license is revoked for three years.
  • If only a vehicle were damaged, the sentence was suspended for a year.

How To Pay Civil Penalties

The cost of a traffic ticket in New York varies depending on other fees, known as surcharges, that can be added depending on the type of violation, where the NY speeding ticket was issued, and other factors such as the driver's current driving record and status. The cost of a speeding ticket varies depending on the court, city, or county, so check your traffic ticket for the exact amount of the fine and call the court clerk to inquire about any additional surcharges or fees. You have the following options for making a payment:


You can pay your civil penalty fee online. You must provide the following information to pay a definite suspension fee online:
  • Your name, New York State driver's license, learner permit, or non-driver photo ID card's DMV ID Number (Client ID Number).
  • Gender and date of birth.
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Your name and address must be correct on DMV records.
Although you are not required to pay all of your civil penalties in one transaction, you will not be approved for a new driver's license or restore your driving privilege until you have paid all of your civil penalties. You can pay additional civil penalties if you return to the transaction later.

By Mail

Send a certified check, personal check, or money order payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles" to the following address to pay a driver's civil penalty for the uninsured operation of an uninsured accident by mail: Insurance Services Bureau NYS DMV 6 Empire State Plaza, Room 332B Albany, NY 12228 Send a certified check or money order payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles" to the following address to pay a driver's civil penalty for a chemical test refusal or violation of the Zero Tolerance Law by mail to: Driver Improvement Unit NYS DMV 6 Empire State Plaza, Room 336 Albany, NY 12228


The driver's civil penalty can be paid at the office listed on your suspension or revocation order, but paying online is much faster and easier.