Suspended License in New York: Everything You Need to Know

Committing a traffic violation or ignoring your child support obligations can land you with a definite or indefinite driver’s license suspension in New York.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Edited by Kianna Walpole
background
Certain offenses on and off the road can lead to a definite or indefinite suspension of your driver’s license in New York. Regardless of the charge, a suspension can make it hard to find
affordable New York car insurance
.
  • There are two types of driver’s license suspension in New York: definite or indefinite.
  • To reinstate your driver’s license, you’ll have to wait for the suspension period to pass (or fulfill certain conditions) and pay a suspension termination fee of $50-$100.
  • Any suspension on your
    New York driving record
    will cause your
    car insurance
    rates to rise.

Why you might face a license suspension in NY

There are two types of driver’s license suspension in New York: definite and indefinite. A definite suspension lasts for a specific length of time, but an indefinite suspension lasts until you fulfill the conditions set forward by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV).
Typically, you’ll receive a definite license suspension after:
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
    . Under
    New York DUI laws
    , the act of driving under the influence is punishable by a driver’s license suspension, fines, jail time, and more.
  • Driving without car insurance
    . Operating a motor vehicle without proof of financial responsibility flies in the face of
    New York’s minimum car insurance requirements
    .
  • Ignoring junior driving restrictions. If you’re under 18 and you ignore the restrictions on your junior learner permit or driver's license—like avoiding nighttime driving or driving without a supervisor—your license could be suspended.
  • Receiving 11 driver’s license demerit points within 18 months. New York assigns demerit points for traffic violations such as speeding tickets, reckless driving, or distracted driving.
By contrast, indefinite license suspensions are often attached to specific lawful or court-ordered actions. You could lose your driving privileges after:
  • Failing to file a motor vehicle accident report 
  • Ignoring a New York traffic ticket from the DMV office
  • Refusing to pay child support

Reinstating your driver’s license

Regardless of the suspension you receive, you’ll need to wait out the suspension period (or fulfill the conditions set by the DMV) to
reinstate your New York state license
Next, you’ll need to pay a $50 suspension termination fee ($100 if your offense was drug or alcohol-related) and a possible civil penalty, which you can do in person, by mail, or online at
myDMV
.

License suspension versus revocation

A driver’s license suspension is a temporary removal of your driving privileges. You retain your New York license, but you can’t use it to drive until the suspension is lifted.
A revocation, on the other hand, means your license is canceled outright. You have zero driving privileges until you apply for a new license and pass the relevant visual, written, and driving tests.
As you can imagine, revocations only follow serious traffic offenses. Your license could be revoked if you:
  • Cause a motor vehicle accident resulting in a fatality
  • Drive without insurance
  • Fail a DMV road test
  • Get involved in a collision while driving uninsured
  • Present fake proof of insurance
  • Receive a DUI or DWI conviction
Key Takeaway: A suspension is the temporary removal of driving privileges, while a revocation is the permanent destruction of a driver’s license.

Driving with a driver’s license suspension or revocation

Driving while your New York driver’s license is suspended or revoked is known as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). Penalties vary depending on the number of offenses and attending circumstances.
Offense
Description
Criminal charge
Penalties
AUO-3rd degree
Driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license
Misdemeanor
A fine of $200-$500, mandatory surcharge, and possible imprisonment of up to 30 days (or probation)
AUO-2nd degree
Driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license within 18 months of an AUO-3rd degree
Misdemeanor
A fine of at least $500, mandatory surcharge, and mandatory imprisonment of up to 180 days (or probation)
Special AUO punishments in addition to the above
An AUO-2nd or -3rd degree following either an alcohol- or drug-related conviction, chemical test refusal, or offense; or three or more separate instances of ignoring traffic tickets
None
A fine of $500-$1,000, mandatory surcharge, and mandatory imprisonment of 7-180 days (or probation)
AUO-1st degree
Driving with a suspended or revoked license, plus intoxication or impairment following an alcohol- or drug-related conviction; or 10 or more separate instances of ignoring traffic tickets
Felony
A fine of $500-$5,000, mandatory imprisonment of up to four years (or probation), and possible seizure or forfeiture of the vehicle

A license suspension will impact your auto insurance rates by at least 40%

Fortunately, the state of New York doesn’t ask for an SR-22 certificate after a driver’s license revocation or suspension. However, your driving history may make it hard for you to find affordable car insurance or a job requiring a clean driving record.
A single
at-fault accident
or traffic violation could cause your car insurance rates to jump by 40-100%! In New York, car insurance costs for high-risk motorists average about $2,400 per year—60% higher than usual.
The best way to find
cheap car insurance for high-risk drivers
is to go comparison shopping. A
trustworthy insurance comparison app
can help you find and compare deals from
the best car insurance companies in New York
—just take a look at the deals
Jerry
customers found after their traffic violations!
ViolationAverage annual coverage
Seat Belt$4,497
Improper Passing$3,909
Illegal Turn$3,639
Cell Phone$3,607
Suspension$3,465
Speeding under 15$3,119
Failure to Obey Traffic Sign$3,097
Other$3,090
Speeding over 15$3,081
Driving on Sus. License$3,034
DUI$3,007
Passing School Bus$2,756
Defective Equipment$2,039

FAQs

Whether your license is suspended or revoked, you’ll receive a written suspension or revocation order in the mail. The order—which is issued by the NY DMV—will tell you what kind of suspension you’re facing, how long it will last, and what you can do to resolve it.
The length of a license suspension in New York varies from 31 days to six months, depending on the severity of the offense. The exception is an indefinite suspension, which lasts until you fulfill the DMV- or court-ordered conditions.
To reinstate a suspended license in New York, you must wait for the suspended period of time to end, or fulfill the conditions set by the NY DMV. Next, you’ll have to pay a $50 suspension termination fee ($100 for any alcohol- or drug-related offenses), as well as any applicable civil penalties.
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