Calculating point-based suspensions, and the influence of the driving course in that calculation, can be tricky. We hope this article clears it up for you.
How many points can I get without a suspension?
New York will allow 10 points. Point-based suspensions start when you get 11 points in any 18 month period. If you take a driving course, then you may accrue 14 points before suspension.
How do I figure out how many points I have?
For suspension purposes, the DMV uses an 18-month window. If a driver has 11 points or more in any 18 month window, the DMV will suspend a driving license. This is simply stated but the calculation is a bit complicated. See method below.
Do charges or convictions count?
In this calculation, charges do not count, only convictions do. Being charged with speeding does not add points. Only a conviction can add points to your record.
Do we use the violation or conviction date?
Once there has been a conviction, the DMV uses the date the ticket was issued, or violation date, for this calculation.
Can I beat the system by stalling?
No, stalling will not defeat a suspension. You may delay it a bit, but not defeat it.
For example,15 months ago you had an 8-point conviction and now you have a 4-point ticket that you can’t get reduced. Waiting 3-4 months and then resolving the second ticket will not help with the suspension.
Whenever you are convicted, the 4 points are added to your record, be it 4 months or 12 months from now. After conviction, the violation date controls and that date will always be within 18 months of the previous 8-point ticket violation date and a suspension will ensue.
By not resolving that 4-point ticket, you can delay the suspension. But this tactic has limits because the courts have limited patience and may suspend you for “failure to appear” for taking too long to resolve the ticket.
NY Driver Point Calculation Method
1) Get your driving record and look at your most recent conviction.
For example, Let's start with a 2-point conviction with a violation date of January 10, 2020. Get NY Driving Record.
2) Determine your 18- month window.
If you're not great with dates, here is a website to add to or subtract time from a date.
For our example, 18 months before the most recent conviction is July 10, 2018.
3) Look for convictions with violation dates inside the 18-month window.
For our example, our window is between January 10, 2020 and July 10, 2018. If the total is 11 or more, there will be a suspension unless you take a driving course.
Old Unresolved Tickets
If you have an old unresolved ticket, be sure to look at 18 months forward and 18 months back from the date you got the old ticket. Remember that we are looking for convictions totaling 11 points in any 18-month window.
Impact of the Driving Course
Prevents Point-Based Suspensions Only
The effect of the driving course is rather narrow and only applies:
- If a driver has 11 to 14 points in an 18-month period. Then a driving course will prevent a suspension.
The driving course does not:
- Remove any points or convictions from a record.* Taking a course after a 2,3, or 4-point conviction will not take any away or neutralize any of those points. I find that drivers thinking the course works like a record eraser is the most common misconception.
- Prevent a mandatory suspension or revocation, such as a suspension for 3 speeding/misdemeanor convictions in 18 months.
- Eliminate a driver responsibility assessment payment for getting more than 6 -points in any 18 month period. If the DMV billed you $675 for having 11 points, you will still have to pay the full amount. See https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/how...
For most drivers, a driver course point reduction will never be helpful because most never reach 11 -14 points. However, the courses also provide a 10% discount on insurance premiums. If you do take a course, or if taking a course is required by your plea bargain, be sure to send a copy of the completion certificate to your insurance agent for your discount.
*There is a mechanism to actually remove points from a driving record. It’s called a motion coram nobis, and it reopens the conviction and replaces it with a reduction. This may be available in certain circumstances. Feel free to call us about it.
Please feel free to call us about anything mentioned in this article, we are here to help.