How Many Points Does It Take to Suspend a License in New York?

It takes 11 driver violation points to suspend a license in New York State—but other penalties kick in before that point.
Written by R.E. Fulton
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
Your New York driver’s license can be suspended if you receive 11 or more violation points in an 18-month period. But racking up just six points will come with annual fees—and you’ll see your
New York car insurance rates
go up.
  • In New York, if you receive 11 points in 18 months, your driver’s license may be suspended 
  • The point system allows the DMV to track an individual motorist’s safety on the road and assign extra penalties to high-risk drivers—or even revoke their driving privileges.
  • Insurance companies also use your driving record to calculate your
    car insurance
    premiums.

How many points does it take to suspend your license in New York? 

It takes exactly 11 points in an 18-month period to
suspend your driver’s license in New York
.
Traffic violations are assigned a point value under the New York Driver Violation Point System. Serious offenses, like reckless driving or texting while driving (5 points each), carry high point values, while minor moving violations, such as driving an employer’s vehicle with inadequate brakes, will add just two points to your New York driving record.
But racking up violation points isn’t the only way to get your New York license suspended—and a license suspension isn’t the only negative consequence of violation points.

All about the New York Driver Violation Point System

The table below shows the number of points assigned to common traffic violations by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Keep in mind that for points to be added to your record, you must be convicted of the violation—but the number of points on your license will depend on the date of the violation, not on your conviction date.
Violation
Points
Speeding (1 to 10 mph over speed limit)
3
Speeding (11 to 20 mph over speed limit)
4
Speeding (21 to 30 mph over speed limit)
6
Speeding (31 to 40 mph over speed limit)
8
Speeding (>40 mph over speed limit)
11
Reckless driving
5
Failure to stop for school bus
5
Improper cell phone use
5
Use of portable electronic device (e.g. texting)
5
Following too closely (i.e. tailgating)
4
Inadequate brakes (private car)
4
Running a red light
3
Failure to yield right-of-way
3
Disobeying traffic control signal, stop sign, or yield sign
3
Railroad crossing violation
5
Improper passing/unsafe lane change
3
Driving left of center or in wrong direction
3
Leaving scene of an accident with property damage
3
Child safety restraint (e.g. seat belt) violation
3
Inadequate brakes (employer’s car)
2
Failure to signal
2
Most other moving violations
2
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New York doesn’t add points to your license for violations associated with driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a license, or
driving without insurance
. However, each of those violations carries steep fines and can raise your
auto insurance
rates significantly.
One more thing to be aware of: while out-of-state convictions typically won’t be added to your New York DMV record, violations in Ontario and Quebec will show up on your record and can be counted against your point total.
MORE: New York speeding ticket

If you get 6 points on your license: the Driver Responsibility Assessment

Before your license is suspended, you’ll have to pay an annual fee called the Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) if you rack up six or more points in 18 months. This fee is on top of any fines and surcharges associated with the original traffic ticket.
The DRA applies to all drivers in New York—including those with out-of-state licenses—with six points or certain traffic violations on their record. For drivers with too many violation points, the annual fee is $100 for three years, plus an additional $25 for every point over six.
For example, let’s say you were caught speeding over 31 mph. That’s an eight-point ticket, meaning that you’d have to pay a DRA of $150 each year for three years for a total assessment of $450.
For alcohol- and drug-related offenses such as a DUI/DWI, the Driver Responsibility Assessment fee is $250 per year for a total of $750. You can pay your assessment at your local NYS DMV office or by mail using a check or money order payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Send the check to the address below:
DRA Processing Center
State Office Building
P.O. Box 359
Utica, NY 13503

If you get 11 points on your license: New York license suspension

When you hit 11 violation points, your New York State driver’s license can be suspended.
This is typically a definite suspension—that is, you’ll be notified of how long the suspension will last. In order to get your driving privileges back, you’ll need to wait out the suspension period and pay the $50 reinstatement fee.
However, it’s also possible to get an indefinite suspension for certain infractions. For example, failure to pay your Driver Responsibility Assessment fee will result in an indefinite suspension—even if you haven’t hit 11 violation points! 
You can also get an indefinite suspension for failure to pay child support or driving without
liability insurance
. In this case, you’ll need to take extra steps (such as paying your DRA or buying liability insurance) to get your suspended license back. 

How to check your points

If you’re not sure how many points you have on your New York driving record, it’s fairly easy to
check online
through your MyDMV account.
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How to get driver’s license points off your record in New York State

New York State allows drivers to take a DMV-approved defensive driving course for a four-point reduction through the Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP). You can find
a PIRP-approved classroom course near you
or take a course online. Once the course is complete, the provider will notify the DMV within 10 weeks.
Taking a PIRP course is a great way to avoid a possible license suspension due to violation points. But there are some important caveats. The points will remain on your driving record; they just won’t be used for violation point calculations. This means that insurance companies can still see your violations, and any New York traffic tickets will still raise your insurance premiums.
While the PIRP won’t remove surcharge points from your car insurance policy, completing a defensive driving course can still lower your premium. Check with your insurance agent for a list of approved premium reduction courses in your state.
Most violation points stay on your driving record for four years, even if you’ve taken a PIRP course. In the case of drug- and alcohol-related offenses, the points can stay on your record for 10 to 15 years.
Taking a PIRP course won’t:
  • Improve your insurance rates
  • Get a license suspension overturned 
  • Affect your Driver Responsibility Assessment
  • Reduce your point total below zero 
  • Apply to violation points prior to the 18 months before course completion
You can only take a PIRP course for point reduction once in an 18-month period.
MORE: How do driver violation points affect your insurance rates?
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FAQs

No. Most driver violation points stay on your New York license for just four years, and only points added to your record in the last 18 months count towards your point total. However, drug- and alcohol-related violations will stay on your record for 10 to 15 years and can affect your insurance rates throughout that time.
New York allows drivers to reduce violation points by four points at a time by taking a DMV-approved defensive driving course.
Violation points will stay on your New York record for as long as the conviction stays on your record—typically four years for minor offenses.
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