Failure to Respond to a Ticket / Failure to Pay a Ticket in NY

By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:

Whenever you receive a New York traffic ticket, you must be sure to look at it carefully for detailed information explaining how to properly respond. If you fail to respond to a ticket, you could face harsh penalties. Likewise, there are serious consequences if you do not pay a traffic ticket.

If you failed to respond to a New Jersey traffic ticket click here for more information.

NY Will Suspend Your License if You Don’t Respond to a Ticket

If you fail to respond to the ticket within the prescribed time frame (varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction), your license will be suspended. This means you will have to go through administrative hurdles and pay a penalty in order to get it reinstated, and, until you do, you will not be allowed to drive.

Even though the standard practice of DMV is to send out a notice before they suspend, the State of New York is under no legal obligation to keep you updated about the status of your license or traffic tickets. Once you receive the ticket it becomes your responsibility to stay informed and respond by mail and/or by appearing in court.

A New York Suspended License Will be Reported to Other States

Since New York has reciprocity with many other states, it will notify the state where you hold a driver’s license about any suspensions due to unresolved New York traffic tickets that you have. Then, the state where you are licensed can suspend your driver’s license due to your failure to respond to the New York traffic ticket. In addition, whether you live in NY or out of state, NY will be suspending your NY driving privileges. So even if your home state fails to take action against your license, you are still barred from driving in New York State during your suspension period regardless.

Responding to a Ticket Means Entering a Plea

In order to adequately respond to a NY traffic ticket, you must either enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty”. This plea may be entered by mail, but if you are already suspended for failure to respond you will also be required to pay a $70 suspension termination fee (STF) in order to get your privileges reinstated.

Oftentimes, a person’s natural reaction to receiving a notice of suspension is to panic and therefore ends up deciding to plead guilty and pay the fine to get the situation over and done with. However, pleading guilty can have a number of consequences, including fines, points, auto insurance increases, and even suspension (for example, a conviction for certain offenses carries license suspension as a consequence of the conviction, a person can also be suspended for point accumulation, among other reasons)!

What Happens if I Miss My Court Date?

If you responded to the ticket and pled not guilty and were then assigned a court date to fight the charges but failed to show up to traffic court the court will suspend your driving privileges. In the NYC Traffic Violations Bureau you will ultimately be found guilty by default and you will be required to pay the fine and will be assessed any applicable points.  

What if I Don’t Pay the Ticket Fine?

If you plead guilty or the court finds you guilty of a traffic violation and you fail to pay the fines your license will ultimately be suspended. In some cases, a warrant may be issued for your arrest and you will have to pay the $70 STF as above before your driving privileges will be reinstated.

What Should I Do if I Lost My Traffic Ticket?

Tracking down a lost traffic ticket is difficult but not impossible. First, you need to figure out which court issued the ticket. If the ticket was issued in New York City, you can request a substitute traffic ticket for violations that are answerable to the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). TVB’s website even lets you print out substitute tickets.

If your ticket is a non-TVB ticket you can usually contact the local court in the city or town you were ticketed in. If you do not have that information you can contact New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles at 518-473-5595 and ask a representative for help.

What Should I Do if I Didn’t Respond to My Ticket or Missed a Court Date?

If you failed to respond to a New York traffic ticket or missed a court date make sure to hire an experienced traffic court attorney. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law know how to effectively defend your rights and liberties. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.