How To Change Your Court Date For A Traffic Ticket In New York

Posted on 
May 2, 2013

When a driver decides to fight a traffic ticket, the first step is to plead not guilty and have the plea registered with the court so that they can set up a court date. If the case is being heard by the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) of NYC, you can enter a plea online by visiting the New York DMV “Plead and Pay” website. If the case is not pending in the Traffic Violations Bureau, you would mail in the not guilty plea and save a copy for one’s records.

Anybody can request that a court date be rescheduled (otherwise known as an “adjournment” or a “continuance”), but whether or not that request will be granted is up to the court. Experienced attorneys like those at the Rosenblum Law Firm have a positive reputation with many of the judges in New York State’s numerous traffic courts and oftentimes a date change is given to attorneys as a matter of professional courtesy. In addition, in some cases, a court will not grant a new date unless the request is made in person. Hiring an attorney to represent you will allow you to avoid coming to court in most cases.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Make It to Court on the Day It Is Assigned?

It’s important to take every step to communicate the situation to the court. Ignoring the ticket or the court date will only make matters worse because it will result in a suspended license, arrest warrant, and/or conviction by default. Rescheduling a court date is quite common and most courts will be accommodating, but not always.

For a case being heard by the Traffic Violations Bureau, you can try to request a postponement using the link above or by visiting a TVB office. Note that once a case has been postponed once or twice, online rescheduling will no longer be possible. For a case pending elsewhere, contact the court and ask to speak with the court clerk about a continuance. Sometimes they will grant it by phone, other times they will require the request to be made in writing.

At the TVB, adjournments requested after the first or second date usually require that the defendant post a $40 bond. The purpose of the bond is the same as bail, it is a bit of insurance to motivate the person to not miss their next date. The bond is refunded at the end of the case unless the driver misses the court date, in which case the bond is forfeit along with the other consequences (see below).

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What If I Miss My Traffic Court Date?

Missing one’s traffic court date can result in a default judgment against the driver. In other words, the judge will find the driver guilty because he/she was not there to provide any evidence contrary to that offered by the officer/prosecutor. It can also mean a suspension of one’s driver’s license and even potentially an arrest warrant.

But all is not lost! A driver who misses a court date can hire an attorney to lift the suspension and reinstate the case. The sooner this is done the better (remember, driving on a suspended license is a criminal offense in New York). Default convictions are rarely overturned.

If I Reschedule Enough Times, Can I Get the Traffic Ticket Dismissed?

In the average case, repeated attempts to adjourn a court date do not increase one’s chances of dismissal. In fact, a judge can refuse to reschedule if he/she feels the reasoning is frivolous or that the driver is trying to play games.

In addition, too many adjournments can hurt a person’s efforts to negotiate (“plea bargain”) with prosecutors (where applicable). Judges and prosecutors don’t like having their time wasted, so a person hoping to get his/her ticket reduced to a lesser charge should not reschedule more than once unless it is truly urgent. Better still, a person who cannot make their second court date can hire an attorney to appear in court and negotiate the plea deal on their behalf, thus alleviating the need to adjourn again.

If I Keep Pushing Off My Court Date Will the Points Expire?

No. The idea that pushing off a case for more than 18 months leads "the points to expire" is a myth. Points are based on the date of violation, not on the date of conviction. When it comes to the potential for license suspension, the court will look at the 18 month window from the date or dates of violation for point accumulation purposes. Hence, if a person is ultimately convicted of the offense, they can still be suspended based on point accumulation even if the court date is more than 18 months from the date of violation. Let's take a basic example: A person first gets a 6 point speeding ticket and then several weeks later gets a 5 point cell phone ticket (the penalty for 11 points is suspension). He keeps rescheduling his case so that the trials are 3 years after the respective dates of violation. While the case is pending, the person won't be suspended, of course, because of the "innocent until proven guilty" rule. However, if the person is convicted of both tickets, he will still be suspended because both tickets were received within an 18 month period since the date of violation is the critical point in time. He has accomplished nothing by pushing off his case repeatedly other than postponing the inevitable.

What If the Clerk Says That I Need to Make an Appearance?

Generally, the court will grant a request for a continuance to drivers who mail a letter to the court verifying the reason for not attending the original date (i.e, surgery, business travel). If the court does not grant the request, consult with an attorney. In many cases, an attorney can make the appearance on the driver’s behalf and take care of settling the matter without him/her having to come to court.

An attorney should be able to speak both with the prosecutor about negotiating a settlement for the case or may be able to reschedule the date. Courts are sometimes more accommodating for attorneys because an attorney needs time to discuss the matter with their client and also schedule their own availability for court. Moreover, since attorneys handle many cases the court is more inclined to help the attorney adjust his/her schedule.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney for a Simple Traffic Ticket?

In New York, the legal process can often be confusing and difficult to navigate. An attorney is a licensed professional that can help protect your rights and defend you throughout the legal process. An experienced attorney knows the process and procedure for a case to be handled properly and can successfully negotiate a settlement. The best part is for many cases in New York, you as a client will not be required to come to court if you have hired an attorney to represent you.

If you or a loved one has received a traffic ticket in New York and may have a hard time attending the court date, call an attorney for help. The lawyers of Rosenblum Law are experienced traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.

Author Bio

Adam H. Rosenblum

Founding Attorney Of Rosenblum Law

Adam H. Rosenblum is an experienced and skilled traffic violations and criminal defense attorney. Mr. Rosenblum provides expert and aggressive representation to those facing points on their drivers’ licenses and the associated fines and surcharges.

Read Full Bio


  1. Got a court date but I am only here until August and it is in October. I live normally about 6 hours away. Will I be able to reschedule to get a sooner date?

    1. Andrew - you may contact the court to attempt to get an earlier date - although it is often not possible to accomplish this. In many cases such as yours, attorneys are able to fight traffic tickets without the need for the physical appearance of their client.

  2. I have read the postponement introduction from the If I want to postpone my court date, where should I send the request to?

    On the website it is said I should mailed it to TVB. My hearing is at Wayland, NY, and I saw the TVB location given under the website is at Albany and Garden City, is that the right place I should send my request to?

    1. If your violation is in the traffic violations bureau, you may generally postpone your case online. If your case is before a town court, I suggest you contact the court directly. These two courts are separate and distinct, and have differing procedures.

  3. I received my ticket in April and my court date is in March 2018, is the ticket processed against insurance or communicated to my state? Or is it presumed innocent until this far off court date?

    1. Matt - these violations should not impact your insurance or add points to your license until your case is resolved.

  4. I've pleaded not guilty on my TVB ticket. Couple of days later it came back with some mail that gave information about the location of the scheduled hearing. Is there any way that I can change the location?

  5. When is the last opportunity to change my court date online? 1 week before? 2 weeks? Is there a system to the rescheduling time frame?

  6. I entered in my plea today online and it gave me a court date for yesterday. How do I reschedule to a future date. There must be something wrong with the system.

  7. I got a uniform trafffic ticket in May and I’m suppose to mail it back 6/6/18 but I forgot about it I just found it right now what’s the next step that I will do?

    1. Maria - I would contact the court immediately and advise them of your error. You should determine whether you have been suspended for a failure to answer. Next, you will want to inquire the procedures for lifting a suspension (if necessary), or answering the ticket.

  8. Hi, the Bronx Traffic Court has changed my court date for a speeding ticket at least 3/4 times, and I changed it once. Is this still a valid ticket? I got it, believe, at least two years ago. Thank you for your help.

    1. Meredith - Adjourning court dates is common in this jurisdiction - and is not grounds for the dismissal of the ticket against you.

  9. I have a. Courtdate. traffic about cell phone do not remember the court date Iam also disable with oxygen so hope you can help with date of court. Thanks

  10. I got a speeding ticket over 2 months ago and mailed it back with a not guilty plead. I haven't received anything back yet and when trying to look up the ticket, nothing shows up. It says I'm not in the system. Does it normally take this long? Who can I contact to get an update of my ticket and ensure it was received by the proper party?

    1. Jacky - we are unable to assist you without any additional information regarding your court appearance. Please provide details so we may provide accurate information.

  11. My home state is AR (Arkansas) I received a ticket today for violating the
    NYS V and T Law (1180D) for 75 in a 40. I don’t believe I was going that fast. It was more like 60-65. I didn’t argue with the trooper. I always try to be professional with police officers. I received the ticket in Cattaraugus county near Carrollton. I don’t want to plead guilty and have to pay 600 or more dollars. I’d like to plead not guilty but I can’t travel a thousand miles for court. What can your firm do for me? I haven’t done anything yet. Feel free to email me in case I miss your reply.

    1. Josh - hiring an attorney will allow you to contest this 8 point speeding ticket without the need to appear in court. Please note - aside from the fines associated with this ticket, there is an additional driver responsibiilty assessment fee of $450 that will be due.

  12. I got a speeding ticket in Queens for doing 84 in a 50 zone. That was in Oct 2016. I went online and pleaded not guilty, with an initial hearing date set for Nov 2017. I rescheduled the hearing once online, pushing out the date to Jun 2018.

    Shortly before the rescheduled hearing date, the DMV sent me a letter rescheduling the Jun 2018 hearing for 'administrative reasons'.

    The new date was set to be in Feb' 2019. Now they sent a new letter, postponing the date again, for administrative reasons. The new date is now December 2019 (!!!).

    Do you have an idea as to what is going on here?

    1. Hello Finn,
      Thank you for your question. To answer, courts in this jurisdiction routinely adjourn court dates due to scheduling restrictions, and officer availability.

  13. I received a ticket in Brooklyn, NY.

    Postponed once over the phone, now have to go in person to postpone a second time.

    Can I go to a DMV in another borough or does it have to be Brooklyn?

  14. Hi,
    I got two violation ticket in Kings County NYC.1229-C(1)(A) and 4 -06(A)(1).I hold PA driver license.I have pleaded not guilty with 15 days and got the hearing date as April,2019. i want to know shall i choose attorney or not, if i go with myself and shall i reschedule it.In doing rescheduling what are the drawback and benefits.

    1. Hello Shakti and thank you for your question. As each case is unique, we can not provide specific guidance as to whether adjourning the trial date is beneficial or not. Contrary to popular belief, postponing cases in this court system is not always the best option.

  15. I requested a waiver on a ticket I received last month. I was told I would get the results of the hearing. Where do I find the results of the hearing, which apparently did not require my presence in court?

    1. Hello Ellen, if you would like to know the results of your hearing, we recommend you call the court and request the results. If you hired representation to fight the ticket for you, you can also give them a call as they will notify you of the court’s ruling, as well.

  16. I received a speeding ticket (11-30 over limit) in Brooklyn on 7/4/16 and plead not guilty. It has been over three years and I still haven't had my hearing because the court keeps rescheduling / postponing for "administrative" reasons (they've done this at least three times now). Is there a limit to how many times this can be done before my case can be thrown out? I haven't tried to reschedule a single time.

  17. I've recieved a ticket in Brooklyn, Novemeber 2017, I postponed the hearing once from November 2018 to September 2019, right now I am out of town and have no way to be at the hearing. Called the TVB and they said to certify a letter for a family member to come in and postpone and pay bond on my behalf. Can this be done at any TVB location or specifically in Brooklyn - Atlantic? Thanks

  18. I received an unjust cell phone ticket in August 2017 in the Bronx (I was in park). My court date has been rescheduled 4x (none by me) and is currently scheduled for March 2020. Is there any length of time or number of postponements where I could make a case that the ticket should be deemed too old, stale or invalid? Thank you for any advice.

    1. Kat - generally speaking a motion for a speedy trial would not likely succeed here. We would be happy to discuss the legal arguments that may apply to such a motion, along with other potential ways by which you may contest the underlying ticket.

    1. Francisco - it will depend on the location of the court. You should receive notice from the court if your date is getting delayed, but you can also call the court directly to confirm.

  19. Good morning, I have a question, I was at the DMV office, (Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn) the day when I had court, but they told me to call and change my court day, I called and she told me, I get a letter about it, but i got nothing! it was one month ago, how can I change for Other Available Hearing Dates? thank you.

  20. My name darline metellus a police law enforcement take my car in Freeport on November 26 2020 , I do have insurance but they have a issue with State Farm because they switched my policy to another agent and I didn’t know where my insurance is I am disabled for jobs injury since lawyers issues every thing happens to me they evicted my daughter and I ,illegally they stealing all my property now they judge give a order to get my property back now they take my car away from me with my rent money on it I need my car back please

    1. The law enforcement police give a ticket to court now I have a let posted on December 23,2020 my court order is suspended they postponed until further notice I need help since I had those injuries they do unfairly stuff to me

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