A Summary of NY’s New Traffic Laws

New York’s traffic laws are extensive, and how to deal with a traffic ticket can vary depending on whether you were pulled over in the city or elsewhere in the State. However, it is crucial to always be aware of changes in these laws, so that you can better plan for the future.

Currently, there are several changes — and proposed legislation — to pay attention to.

Have you received a ticket in NYC or anywhere throughout New York State? Our traffic attorneys have extensive experience fighting traffic tickets, and they are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!

New Changes in New York Traffic Laws

Driver’s License Suspensions

Effective March 2021, a driver’s license can no longer be suspended for failing to pay a traffic ticket. Suspensions that were in place before the new law have now been cleared. Motorists with outstanding fines can request a payment plan; and if your license was suspended for failing to appear at a traffic hearing, your license will be reinstated once a payment plan is granted

Muffler Noises

As of April 2022, the sale and installation of after-market motorcycle mufflers, as well as any modifications to make a muffler louder than what the manufacturer intended will be fined up to $1,000. In addition, you can face up to 30 days in jail.

These penalties extend to inspection stations: Failing to properly inspect motorcycles three times in a period of 18 months exposes you to losing your license to conduct business.

Gender Changes

Motorists who wish to change their gender on their driver’s license or state-issued ID are no longer required to present a letter from their medical provider to prove their gender change. All you have to do is complete the MV-44 form at any DMV office.

As of the writing of this page, the online form only offers the binary options of male and female, so you may have to get an updated form at a DMV location.

If you are making the change around the time of a driver’s license renewal, you will have to pay $17.50 to update the photo, and surrender your current driver’s license. This applies across the board to all driver license changes.

Proposed Amendments to New York Traffic Laws

Registration Stickers

As of right now, every time you renew your vehicle registration, you get a new sticker to place on your windshield. New proposed legislation considers eliminating this practice. You would still be required to renew your car registration every two years; however you would only have a single registration sticker, which would last throughout the duration a motor vehicle is registered to your name.

You would still receive notification by mail of an upcoming registration expiration date at least 30 days before the expiration; so always make sure the DMV has your correct address to avoid any fines relating to driving with an expired vehicle registration. You can renew your registration online

Commercial Driver’s Licenses

Currently, while a driver can have a commercial driver’s license at age 18, they must be at least 21 years of age to cross state lines, carry hazardous materials, or transport passengers. However, the New York legislature wants to encourage young people to consider a career in the trucking industry.

Effective May 14, 2022, there will be a new commercial driver’s license Class A young adult training program for drivers between the ages 18 through 20. The details will be available on the New York Senate and DMV websites once the new law is implemented. 

Third-Party Testing for Commercial Driver’s Licenses

On January 26, 2022, the DMV held a public hearing to discuss allowing third parties to administer the road test to obtain a commercial driver’s license. The decision is still pending, and the DMV will make it public once it reviews all of the hearing materials and submitted comments.

You can listen to the recorded hearing online. An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter is visible on the video for the benefit of hearing impaired motorists.

If approved, this service is intended to supplement DMV services; not to substitute the DMV’s administration of their own testing. 

Gender Recognition

Currently, the DMV computer systems are enabled to only choose female or male options when entering drivers’ information. However, effective June 24, 2022, the Gender Recognition Act allows New York State driver’s licenses to designate “X” as their sex designation. Therefore, the DMV is in the process of being updated to allow for such an option by July 2022. 

Pick Up Truck Registrations

Currently, owners of pickup trucks that weigh 6,000 pounds or less of unladen weight can choose to register their vehicles with either a passenger or commercial license plate. This allows them to drive and park in areas that are exclusively designated for non-commercial use. This option applies only if the pick up truck does not have business advertisements and is used exclusively for non-commercial purposes.

However, since there are several new pick up truck models that weigh over 6,000 pounds, motorists who use such trucks for personal use will also have the option of having a commercial plate.

If you would like to submit a comment relating to this proposal, you can email the DMV at dmv.sm.legal@dmv.ny.gov through May 1, 2022. 

Questions? Our New York Traffic Ticket Attorneys Can Help!

At Weiss & Associates, PC we provide the best representation you could receive at your traffic ticket hearing. We offer an initial free consultation, flat fees, and experienced traffic lawyers  who will show up on your behalf, so you do not have to waste time in court.

We have extensive experience fighting thousands of traffic tickets in New York City and throughout New York state; and we are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!

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