Getting your New York driver’s license suspended can wreak havoc in your life. Being unable to drive is a lot more significant than simply an inconvenience. It is how you get to and from work, take the kids to and from school, buy groceries, run errands, go to doctor’s appointments, etc.
So if your driving privileges are suspended or revoked — such as being unable to pay a traffic fine or take time off from work to go to a hearing — you may be wondering whether there is anything you can do to at least be allowed to drive to essential places. This is where a conditional or restricted license comes in.
Do you need a conditional or restricted license in New York? Our traffic attorneys have extensive experience 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!
What is a Restricted or Conditional License in NY?
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allows drivers with a suspended driver’s license to apply for a conditional or restricted use license. This is done in order to alleviate the burden of not having reliable transportation for certain activities, such as work or a doctor’s office.
If your driver’s license was suspended or revoked due to alcohol or drug-related violation, you can apply for a conditional driver’s license.
If your driver’s license was suspended or revoked for any traffic violation unrelated to drugs and/or alcohol, you can apply for a restricted driver’s license.
The names are different due to their root cause, but the result is the same: You can apply to be allowed to drive exclusively to certain places.
If your driver’s license was issued in another state, you can receive conditional or restricted driving privileges in New York.
Prior to applying for a restricted or conditional license, you should check whether your local DMV provides such services, as not all locations do. If yours does not, look for one that does.
Restricted licenses are not available for driving a motor vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license.
Who is Eligible for a Restricted Driver’s License?
Whether or not you are eligible for a conditional or restricted driver’s license depends on your specific circumstances. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Also, you will not be deemed eligible for a conditional driver’s license if you have been convicted of a previous alcohol-related offense within the past five years. The same applies if you refused to take a chemical test (a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test) to show your blood alcohol level (BAC). Further, you will not be deemed eligible for a conditional or restricted driver’s license if you have had one in the past 5 years.
You will find out when you receive your Notice of Suspension in the mail. Read all of the information included within it to see whether you qualify. If you are not sure, speak with an experienced New York traffic ticket attorney.
Where Can I Drive With a Restricted License in NY?
Once a restricted driver’s license has been approved, you would be able to continue driving for any of the following specific reasons:
- To and from work
- To and from your child’s school
- Medical appointments, as long as you can show a written statement from your doctor as evidence. The appointment can be for you or for a member of your household.
If you need to go to additional places on a regular basis, you can be issued a Conditional License Attachment (MV-2020), which will list all the locations you can drive to while having the restricted license. This can include to and from a DMV office to run errands pertaining to your suspended driver’s license, or to go to IDP (Impaired Driver Program) classes after receiving a DUI. You may also list any of the following on your MV-2020:
- To and from probation activities ordered by the court
- To and from your child’s daycare
- During an assigned period of three consecutive hours between 5:00 AM and 9:00 PM once a week.
Can I Drive From New York to New Jersey With a Restricted License?
While many states recognize traffic tickets and conditional driver’s licenses issued in other states, New Jersey is an exception. Since they do not offer hardship/conditional driver’s licenses to their own residents, you cannot drive with a conditional license issued in New York into New Jersey.
If your license was suspended in New York and you need to go to New Jersey on a regular basis, you will have to look for alternative options, such as public transportation, carpooling with a coworker or neighbor, ride sharing, or having a loved one drive you to and from wherever you need to go.
If you get pulled over with a suspended driver’s license in New Jersey, you could face serious charges.
What Happens If I Am Pulled Over With a Restricted License in New York?
If you are pulled over while driving somewhere other than work, school, or a medical appointment — or somewhere that is listed on the MV-2020 — and are convicted or driving “out of class”, your conditional or restricted license will be revoked.
A restricted or conditional driver’s license can also be revoked if you are convicted of any moving violation or even a seat belt ticket. Examples include:
- Failing to wear a seat belt
- Driving while texting
- Child safety issues
- Driving while intoxicated
So even if you were driving to a permitted place, but are pulled over for any of the above reasons, you may lose your conditional or restricted driver’s license. You cannot get convicted of even 1 moving violation with a restricted or conditional license.
What Are the Penalties Associated With Violating Terms of a Conditional or Restricted License?
If you are pulled over while driving with a conditional or restricted driver’s license in New York, and you are not driving to or from one of the authorized locations, you can face fines up to $500, plus mandatory surcharges, and you expose yourself for up to 15 days in jail.
Also, this would constitute an additional traffic violation, and as such would remain on your traffic record.
A New York Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Help
At Weiss & Associates, PC we provide the best representation you could receive. 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 trying to clean up this mess.
We have extensive experience fighting thousands of traffic tickets in New York City and throughout New York state; and we have a skilled team of lawyers who are ready to give you free advice on your available options. Call us at 212-683-7373, or fill out our online form today!