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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Driver Responsibility Laws in New York

At least two states, New York and Texas, have come up with a novel new way to prevent drivers who have accumulated too many points on their record from accumulating any more. Both states have enacted Driver Responsibility Assessment laws that are very similar in nature. In the hope of curbing aggressive driving behavior before it becomes necessary to suspend a license, these laws put a price on aggressive driving and other offenses that could become quite a financial burden on some drivers.

In both New York and Texas, the Driver Responsibility Assessment Law places a financial penalty on drivers who have accumulated too many points over and above the cost of the ticket. Depending on the offense, a driver may have to pay a minimum of $100 per year in order to maintain their driving privileges. For example, A New York driver who accumulates 6 points within an 18 month period will have to pay an annual "Driver Responsibility Assessment" of $100 per year for a three year period. Each additional point on the driving record after the initial assessment will result in an additional $25 per point. Failure to pay the annual assessments will result in suspension of driving privileges.

Below is a breakdown of New York state's assessment/surcharge offenses and costs:

New York's Driver Responsibility Law applies to anyone, whether licensed in New York or not, who commits any of the following offenses while driving in New York State.

  • Conviction of an alcohol-related traffic violation and the violation occurred in NYS on or after November 18, 2004 (includes boats and snowmobiles); or

  • Conviction of a drug-related traffic violation and the violation occurred in NYS on or after November 18, 2004 (includes boats and snowmobiles); or

  • DMV hearing determines that you refused a chemical test and the refusal occurred in NYS on or after November 18, 2004 (includes boats and snowmobiles); or

  • Receiving six or more points on your NYS driver record during a period of 18 months and the violations occurred in NYS, Quebec or Ontario on or after November 18, 2004.

  • If you are convicted of a traffic violation that is alcohol-related or drug-related, or if you refuse a chemical test, the annual assessment is $250. The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment. The total assessment for the three years is $750.

    If you receive six points on your driving record within eighteen months, your assessment will be $100 per year for a three year period or a total of $300. $25 is assessed for each additional point over and above the original six points.
    For example: A driver convicted of driving more than 21 mph over the speed limit will receive six points and will be assessed $100 per year. If that driver is convicted of another violation and receives two additional points, the assessment will be $150 per year or a total of $450.

    With a New York defensive driving course can provide up to a four-point reduction in the total number of active points on your driving record, depending on when the points were assessed. Learn more about the eligibiltiy requirements and benefits of a defensive driving course to protect your NY driving record.

    For more information on the New York Driver Responsibility Law, visit:

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