When you get a speeding ticket in a different state, you are not automatically off the hook simply because you do not live there. You will still have to pay a fine, you may end up incurring points on your license for the out-of-state violation, and your insurance could still go up substantially.
Before road tripping to New York or California, make sure to understand how out-of-state traffic tickets affect your driver’s license.
Driver’s License Compact
Both New York and California have signed the Driver’s License Compact. This means New York and California freely share driver information with one another. If you receive a NY traffic ticket but are a CA driver, CA will be notified about the ticket you received. Similarly, this also applies if you are licensed in New York and got a ticket in California.
If you get a NY traffic ticket and hold a CA driver’s license, points will almost always be assessed against you for out-of-state traffic tickets.
For the overwhelming majority of New York traffic violations, California will assess 1 point against your driving record.
However, for serious offenses (e.g. driving on a suspended license, DUI/DWI, hit and runs, reckless driving, etc.), California will put 2 points on your driving record even though the offense was committed in New York.
It is important to note that California will only put 1 point on your license for speeding in NY regardless of how fast you were traveling.
In other words, the same 1 point will be assessed against your California driving record if you were pulled over for going 9 miles per hour over the posted speed limit or 39 MPH over the limit.
This also applies for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who are caught speeding 15 MPH or more over the limit while in a commercial vehicle.
Remember, your driving privileges may be suspended if you receive 4 points, and the 1 point assessed for your NY speeding ticket will count toward this.
Also, if you receive a New York traffic ticket as a California driver, you will be forced to pay a fine to the State of New York commensurate with the violation you were ticketed for.
However, you will never be double-fined (i.e. California cannot collect a fine for your NY traffic ticket and vice versa).
New York Drivers
New York handles out-of-state tickets very differently than California.
If you have a New York driver’s license and receive a California traffic ticket, New York will not add points onto your driver’s license.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, “The NYSDMV does not record out-of-state violations committed by NYS drivers in other jurisdictions.”
However, there are exceptions for alcohol- and drug-related violations as well as moving violations committed in Quebec or Ontario.
As such, if you were caught speeding in California, you will not have a single point added onto your New York driver’s license.
However, it is extremely important to realize that your car insurance rate can still be increased and you will still have to pay the corresponding fine to the State of California (which can be quite expensive).
Losing Your Driving Privileges
If you are an out-of-state driver and accrue 11 points or more, you will lose your New York driving privileges.
This accumulation of 11 points will be determined based on the New York point system, not your home state’s point system.
Therefore, if you are caught speeding 41 miles over the posted speed limit or get cited twice for speeding 21-30 miles over the limit, you will no longer be allowed to drive in the State of New York for a specified duration of time.
Your driver’s license will not be suspended by your home state and NY does not have the authority to suspend an out-of-state driver’s license.
However, since CA and NY are both members of the Driver’s License Compact, CA will honor the “suspension” of your New York driving privileges even though it will not take away your ability to drive elsewhere.
Make sure to contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney to help you avoid the fallout of an out-of-state speeding ticket.
New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm is a traffic ticket attorney licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey. He can be reached via e-mail or at 888-883-5529.