What Is a Driver Responsibility Assessment?

A driver responsibility assessment is a fine that a New York State driver must pay to be allowed to drive again **after** committing a serious traffic violation.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
A driver responsibility assessment is a fee that a New York driver must pay after committing a dangerous traffic violation to be allowed back on the road. Nonpayment can result in fines, license suspension, and jail time in extreme cases.
Don’t let a DRA stand in your way. Pay fines on time, stay aware of points accumulating on your record, and drive safely. If you are facing an increase to your
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What is a driver responsibility assessment?

A DRA is a fine for seriously dangerous driving behavior. You could have been driving behind the wheel of a boat, snowmobile, or car—you will still have to pay the fee if you meet the criteria.
New York drivers who commit a serious violation or accumulate six points within 18 months will need to pay up.
The DRA program is designed to deter people from becoming repeat offenders while incentivizing good driving behavior.

Situations that trigger a driver responsibility assessment

Here are some situations that could trigger a driver responsibility assessment:
Accumulation of points - Some traffic violations trigger the addition of a point to your driving record. Accumulate too many points and you’ll be considered an extremely high-risk driver.
Conviction for DUI or DWI - In the state of New York, a conviction for
driving under the influence
is serious. To be allowed back on the road, you will need to pay the fine.
Refusal to take a chemical test for blood alcohol content—If you were pulled over and refused to submit to a BAC test, you could be required to pay for a DRA.

How much does a DRA cost?

The fee will depend on the specific circumstances of the incident and the driver’s record. Generally, you can expect to pay at least $100 per year.
6 points on record within a period of 18 months means a $100 annual fee for three years, so $300 in total.
More than 6 points within 18 months means a $25 annual fee for every additional point on top of the six original points. This works out to $75 extra per three-year period for every point over six points.
Convicted of DUI or DWI or refusal to take chemical test means an annual DRA fee of $250 for three years, so $750 in total.
Key Takeaway The DRA’s cost depends on the specific incident and the driver’s record.

How to pay my driver responsibility fee

Submit your payment online, in person, or via mail.
You can pay driver’s assessments in person at any Department of Motor Vehicles office in the state of New York. If you choose to pay by mail, address the envelope to: DRA Processing Center, State Office Building, PO Box 359, Utica, NY 13503.
The check or money order should be made out to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
You must pay the fine every single year for three years. You can make annual payments or simply prepay the entire amount without penalty.
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Is there any way to avoid the fee?

There is no way to reduce the total fee of a driver’s responsibility assessment.
It is unlikely that a lawyer can prevent you from having to pay this fee. However, legal representation may help in negotiating a reduction in the total number of points that go on your record.
The best strategy is to avoid situations that can lead to a driver’s responsibility assessment fee. That means practicing safe driving behavior, making on-time payments, and monitoring your record for points.
If the damage is already done, you may be facing an increase to your car insurance premium in addition to the DRA fee.
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How long do points stay on your license in NY?

Most points will stay on your record for 18 months. Moving violations like speeding or failure to signal can trigger a point.

How many points is a speeding ticket in NY?

Speeding could earn you between three and 11 points on your driving record, according to the
NYS system
. If you were going less than 10 mph over the limit, you will receive three points. If you were speeding by more than 40 mph over the limit, you will receive the maximum of 11 points.

What happens at a driver assessment exam?

During a driver reassessment reexamination, you will discuss your driving history and record with the examiner. You may be asked to participate in several tests which are similar to the ones that new drivers must take (vision, hearing, knowledge).
In some situations, you may need to submit a Medical Examination letter or perform a road test to demonstrate competency. You should be informed about this in advance.
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