The rules are surrounding how to calculate points from New York traffic tickets are complicated. However, for those with Taxi & Limousine Licenses, a whole different set of rules exist making the calculations even more difficult. With that said, as you will read below, some of the rules of the Taxi & Limousine Commission (“TLC”) are more favorable to the driver than those imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) on a regular license.
Pursuant to Rules §54-27, a TLC license suspension in NYC will take effect for 30 days if, within a 15-month period, a driver accumulates between 6 and 9 points on his or her driver’s license (whether issued by New York or another state). If, within a 15-month period, a driver accumulates 10 or more points on his or her driver’s license (whether issued by New York or another state), the Commission will revoke the driver’s TLC license. TLC point system rules differ significantly from DMV’s rules which only will suspended a motorist when he or she accumulates 11 or more points over an 18-month period.
TLC Section 54-27 continues“[w]hen determining whether a suspension or revocation is required based on the accumulation of points in a 15-month period, the TLC will count backwards 15 months from the date of the most recent conviction for the violation carrying points that is cited in the summons under this section” (emphasis added). That’s right, the TLC counts points from the date of conviction (while DMV counts from the date of offense). Further, this rule allows a driver with points from other convictions to delay his or her case thereby allowing older points to drop off. Obviously, this is very different than how DMV calculates points, and could be relied upon to “save” a TLC driver’s license under the right circumstances.
Additionally, for a driver who has been found guilty of multiple violations arising from a single incident, the TLC will only consider the driver guilty of the one violation with the highest point total. This provision negates convictions to any companion tickets even though DMV counts them, clearly a more favorable rule to TLC drivers. For instance, a motorist with convictions to a 4-point speeding ticket and a 2-point failure to signal ticket issued on the same day and time will only be considered to have 4 points for TLC purposes (while he or she would have 6 points for DMV purposes).
TLC drivers who take TLC defensive driving class are entitled to a 3-point reduction to their total points. The 3-point reduction will count only towards points accumulated by the driver within 15 months prior to taking the class (for DMV purposes, the motorist gets up to a 4-point reduction over an 18-month period). The TLC and DMV will not reduce total points more than once in any 18- month period. Further, neither entity will allow a motorist to get a “credit” on future points if he or she does not need the full 3- or 4-point reduction.
Finally, the Commission can at any time review the fitness of a driver to continue to be licensed following any moving violation, accident, or other driving-related incident and can seek to impose other, additional, and/or more severe penalties or take any other action permitted under these Rules. This usually occurs when there has been a serious accident or criminal-related incident.
Given the above, we always recommend that a motorist understand these rules and his or her driving record before pleading guilty to any New York traffic ticket. Be careful out there!