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Steps and Criteria to get Relicensed After a Revoked License in New York

by Seth Azria on 2/18/2019

Get Approved by DIU

The first step in getting your license back after a revocation is to request and receive approval from the Driver Improvement Unit (DIU).  Once you have approval, you may apply at the DMV office. Please note that the DIU review can take time. For example,  as of February 1, the DIU was reviewing applications submitted on or before December 4, 2018.

Apply Online for Your Approval

Online applications are easiest. The website will tell you if you are eligible to apply, and if not, list the reasons why and the steps to take. If you are eligible, it can issue your approval immediately. Before you Apply Online you must wait until your suspension period has expired, you cleared all suspensions, and sign up for a MyDMV account.

Clearing Suspensions

If you have suspensions on your record from courts for failure to appear on a traffic ticket, we recommend hiring an attorney to minimize the potential impact of those tickets. For suspensions from courts for failure to pay fine, we recommend contacting the court directly to determine the amount you owe and pay it directly to the court. Whenever sending a payment to a court always include a self addressed stamped envelope so that the court will send a receipt.

Before reapplying, please read all the requirements provided by the DMV: NY DMV Article

DMV Relicensing Guidelines

Section 510 of the Vehicle and Traffic law gives the commissioner of motor vehicles the discretion to issue a license after a revocation, section 136 of the New York code of rules and regulations (NYCRR) establishes the guidelines and definitions to structure the determination of whether the commissioner may reissue a driving  license. See New York Code of Rules and Regulations, Part 136, Licensing or Relicensing after Revocation Action.  

If you are wondering if your application for relicense might be granted  or you have questions about your denial, you may want to look into the specifics below.

Preliminary Requirements

Prior to starting any effort to regain your license you must:

  1. Serve the minimum waiting period; and,
  2. Clear all suspensions on your record, and,
  3. Provide in your application, all documents or information requested by the commissioner.  

Failure to comply with all these requirements will result in an immediate denial of your application without review.  15 CRR-NY 136.3.

Mandatory Application Review Denials

There are three ways an application for relicense will be denied. They are, if:

1. Disability. The commissioner finds a disability and the driver fails to present evidence to satisfy the commissioner that the driver may safely operate a motor vehicle.

“A disability is any condition, whether mental, emotional or physiological, which is likely to diminish the ability of an individual to safely control or operate a motor vehicle." 136.1(b)(2)

2. History of Drug or Alcohol. The commissioner finds a history of drug or alcohol abuse with insufficient evidence of rehabilitative effort.   

“A history of abuse of alcohol or drugs shall consist of a record of two or more incidents, within a 25-year period, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages and/or drugs or of refusing to submit to a chemical test not arising out of the same incident, whether such incident was committed within or outside of this State." 136.1(b)(3)

Rehabilitative effort shall consist of referral of an individual with a history of abuse of alcohol or drugs to any agency certified by the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and/or agents authorized by professional license or professional certification, such as that granted by a board of examiners of the State Education Department, for evaluation of the extent of alcohol and/or drug use and satisfactory participation in any treatment recommended by such agency, and/or evidence of abstinence from, or controlled use of, alcohol and/or drugs for a period of time sufficient to indicate that such person no longer constitutes a danger to other users of the highway." 136.1(b)(4)

3. Over 25 Negative Units. A combination of safety factors resulting in 25 or more negative units.

“A safety factor is a conviction for, or a finding by a departmental hearing officer of, any violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law or of any local law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation relating to traffic, except violations relating to parking, standing or stopping; an accident with conviction involvement; an accident where a finding of gross negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle or operating a motor vehicle in a manner showing a reckless disregard for the life or property of others is made by a departmental hearing officer; and a finding of a chemical test refusal. A bail forfeiture shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this Part." 136.1(b)(5)

Permissive Denials

If, upon review of a driver’s entire record, the commissioner finds that the individual is a problem driver. A denial for this reason will mean the driver must wait a year before re-application.  

“A problem driver is an applicant for a driver's license or privilege who has had a series of convictions, incidents and/or accidents or has a medical or mental condition, which in the judgment of the commissioner or his or her designated agent, upon review of the applicant's entire driving history, establishes that the person would be an unusual and immediate risk upon the highways. The commissioner or his or her designated agent shall set forth in writing the basis for the determination that an applicant is a problem driver." 136.1(b)(1)

Calculating Negative Units

To determine how many negative units you have go through your driving history and assign the values below for the occurrence of each event in your driving history. The number based on when thy occurred. More recent events, within one year of your application counts more than older events, that occurred between 1 and 3 years before the application. 

Referee Finding of Gross Negligence. (1) for each reportable accident of record with a finding by the referee of gross negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner showing a reckless disregard for the life and property of others

  • Over 1 to 3 years before application: -5 units
  • Within 1 year of Application: -8 units

Accident with a Conviction. (2) for each reportable accident of record with conviction involvement or with a finding by the referee of a violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law

  • Over 1 to 3 years before application: -3 units
  • Within 1 year of Application: -4 units

First and Second Speeding. (3) for the first and second speeding conviction of record*

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -3 units
  • Within 1 year : -4 units

*add 1 point for 25 mph or more over the posted limit

Third and More Speeding. (4) for the third and subsequent speeding conviction*

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -5 units
  • Within 1 year: -8 units

*add 1 point for 25 mph or more over the posted limit

Reckless, Contest, and School bus. (5) for reckless driving, speed contest or passing a stopped school bus:

  • Over 1 to3 years: -5 units
  • Within 1 year: -8 units

Leaving Personal Injury Accident. (6) for each conviction of record for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident of record:

  • Over 1-3 years: -8 units
  • Within 1 year: -11 units

DWI and other  (7) Alcohol related Offenses.:

Convictions for VTL 1192(1) (DWAI, traffic infraction)

First Conviction:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -5 units
  • Within 1 year: -8 units

Second Conviction:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -8 units
  • Within 1 year: -11 units

Third Conviction:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -11 units
  • Within 1 year: -14 units

Conviction for: VTL § 1192 (2), Driving with .08 of one percent or more of alcohol, or VTL §1192 (2a) Aggravated driving while Intoxicated with .18 of one percent or more of alcohol, or VTL § 1192 (3) Driving While Intoxicated, or  VTL § 1192 (4) Driving while ability impaired/drugs, or VTL § 1192 (4-a) Driving while ability impaired/drugs and alcohol.

First Conviction:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -8 units
  • Within 1 year: -11 units

Second and Subsequent Conviction:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -11 units
  • Within 1 year: -14 units

Chemical Test Refusal

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -6 units
  • Within 1 year: -11 units

Vehicle related Crimes. (8) for each conviction of homicide, criminally negligent homicide, or assault arising out of the operation of a motor vehicle:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -11 units
  • Within 1 year: -14 units

Driving during Alcohol Related Suspension (9).

(i) for each incident of driving during a period of alcohol– related license suspension or revocation:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -10 units
  • Within 1 year: -12 units

(ii) for each other incident of driving during a period of license suspension or revocation:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -8 units
  • Within 1 year: -10 units

False Statements and Altered Documents. (10) for each conviction or finding by the commissioner's referee of a violation of section 392 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law:

  • Over 1 to 3 years: -3 units
  • Within 1 year: -4 units

Other Moving Violation Convictions. (11) for each other conviction of record for a moving violation:

  • Over 1-3 years: -2 units
  • Within 1 year: -3 units

When making the calculations please note that:

  • The point reduction program, i.e. taking a defensive driving class, has no effect on the negative unit calculation.
  • When computing time periods for safety events, time shall commence on the date the incident occurred.
  • If two or more safety factors arose from the same incident, only the more serious  safety factor or one of the factors with equivalent weight. For example a reckless driving conviction with an accident, only the reckless would count.

See 15 CRR-NY 136.6





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