Once you are convicted of a moving violation in New York, there are only two ways to deduct points from your license. One involves time and the other involves education.
But first lets discuss briefly how the New York point system works. You are generally allowed up to 10 points on your driving record within 18 months (based on dates of offense). At 11 points, your driver’s license can be suspended. For more details about the points system, read my post entitled “How Many Points Am I Allowed On My New York Driver’s License?“
So once you are convicted, are there any ways to get those points deducted? The answer is “yes”. One involves the passage of time. After 18 months counting from the date of offense, you will no longer have those points vis-a-vis new, future tickets. That is, convictions 18 months or more apart (based on date of offense) are not added to one another. Note: For insurance purposes, convictions count against you for 36 months based on the date of conviction.
How Many Points Does Defensive Driving Take Off In NY?
The other way to deduct points is to take a 6-hour New York State Driver Safety Class. You can take such a Class once every 18 months and you can take it online or in-person.
The NYS Driver Safety Class does not technically remove the conviction, however. Instead, the class deducts up to 4 points from your current total (while leaving any convictions visible on your record). The class will only deduct your point total for convictions that have dates of offense that are BEFORE the date of completion of the class counting 18 months back. It is for this reason that we often recommend to our clients with point issues to take this Class before they are potentially convicted of any open moving violation that could put them at 11 or more points. They will get credit for the Class even if they are convicted of this traffic ticket afterwards. Stated differently, as long as the date of offense precedes the Class by 18 months or less, then you will get credit for the Class vis-a-vis that traffic ticket (even if you are convicted of that ticket after you complete the class). However, you will NEVER get a credit for future tickets (i.e., ones that are issued after you complete the Driver Safety Class).
Finally, you can only take the New York State Driver Safety Class once every 18 months so we recommend that save it for those instances when you either already have 4+ points on our record (so you get the full benefit) or when you are facing a possible suspension for too many points.