The Driver Violation Point System in New York was put into place as a means for the New York DMV to pinpoint and take appropriate punitive action against high-risk drivers. If you have been issued points on your New York driving record, chances are you are interested in your options for removing or reducing those points. They could play into critical insurance and DMV decisions for three years to come– and that is a long time to be suffering the consequences of a mistake.
Below, we have outlined how these points accumulate and the steps that concerned drivers can take to remove some of those points from their New York driving records. Whether you are unsure of what constitutes a violation, how the points system works, or how you can begin work on shaving off some of those points, we’ve got the resources and know-how to help walk you through the process.
A Quick Primer on the Difference Between Points and Violations
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to points, violations, and how they both work together. Violations are the actual acts that drivers perform that break the law. Blowing a stop sign, failing to signal a lane change, and improper turning (among others) are all moving violations that carry points. They generally remain on your driving record for as long as four years after they occur.
Points are merely part of a system that New York uses to keep track of violations. They’re a way to rank violation severity (you get more points for more severe offense). Drivers have the ability to reduce a handful of points over the course of an eighteen-month period; for some, this can spell out the difference between a suspended driver’s license and freedom on the road.
Violations will remain on your record regardless of whether you take state-approved courses designed to improve driver safety knowledge. Point totals may be reduced by taking these courses but the convictions still remain on the driving record. These points are subtracted in the “background” of the system– they still appear on your driving record, but they reduce the possible negative consequences, such as suspension.
Points will only be added to your record once you’ve been convicted of a New York traffic violation. Examples of traffic violations include:
- Texting while driving (5 points)
- Child safety restraint violations (3 points)
- Improper passing or changing lanes unsafely (3 points)
- Disobeying STOP signs, YIELD signs (3 points)
- Traffic control devices (2 points)
- Speeding over the posted speed limit (3 to 11 points)
- Tailgating (4 points)
- Illegal use of an electronic device or cell phone (5 points)
The effect points have on your driver’s license
In the state of New York, points on your driving record count for eighteen months from the date of the offense for DMV purposes and thirty-six months from the date of the conviction for insurance purposes. That means that points can impact your driving and insurance privileges for quite some time.
Generally speaking, the way that points impact you has to do with how many you accumulate over an eighteen-month period. Point totals are based on the date of violations; they are not based on the date of conviction. Accumulating:
- Six or more points in an eighteen-month period means you’ll be subject to a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee
- Eleven or more points in an eighteen-month period means your driver’s license may be suspended
Your Guide to Removing the Points on Your New York Driver’s License
New York put the DMV-approved Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP) into place in order to offer drivers an opportunity to reduce their points and avoid license suspension. Not only is the program a means to remain on the road, but it also triggers a minimum 10% reduction in the base rate of participating drivers’ automobile liability and collision insurance premiums for three years.
PIRP courses are available through “course sponsors.” These are private companies and corporations who must offer courses which adhere to strict standards. No matter who you partner with to complete your course, the aim of the program is to:
- Refresh your driving knowledge
- Give an overview of today’s vehicle and traffic laws
- Offer time-tested safe driving tips
Finding a course
Finding a PIRP course is as simple as browsing the New York DMV’s lists of pre-approved providers. Drivers can selection online providers or classroom providers.
Receiving your point reduction
Within ten weeks of course completion, your PIRP sponsor will notify the DMV that you’ve finished classes. The DMV will automatically reduce your active point total by up to four points. These points will not actually be removed from your driving record, but they will deduct up to 4 points from your total for purposes of license suspension or revocation. The class will only deduct points that are on your driving record with dates of offense before the date the class was completed (even if the conviction occurs after the class is completed). Further the class will only deduct points from convictions with dates of offense within 18 months of the class.
You can verify that your record accurately reflects your PIRP course completion by requesting a copy from the DMV. The NY Driver Safety Class can be completed online or in-person.
Course costs (time and money)
There’s no set price for PIRP courses. Everything from the approach to teaching, the materials utilized, and required fees vary from sponsor to sponsor. However, they are usually around $30 to $50.
As far as time is concerned, PIRP courses have to cover defensive driving techniques, driver attitude and behavior, and vehicle and traffic laws. Drivers will spend six hours to complete the class.
For drivers willing to put in the work and improve their road skills, PIRP courses offer an invaluable opportunity to help ease the burden of points on a driving record. While violations and points cannot be fully removed from your record, points can be reduced when it comes to the tally that determines your license’s fate.
If you or a loved one has received a traffic ticket and would like to learn more about your options for point reduction, or you’re looking for legal representation, get in touch with the team at Weiss & Associates, PC today. Our knowledgeable, respectful staff are eager to help you keep road-ready and try and tackle the obstacles to a better driving record today.