A flight from Hawaii to New York takes at least nine-and-a-half hours, so Hawaii residents are going to want to get the most out of their NY vacation. Unfortunately, few things can wipe out that fun more than getting a traffic ticket while out of state.
Although New York might seem like an ocean away, the consequences for Hawaii drivers who get a ticket in NY will follow them home. That’s because New York and Hawaii are both members of the Driver’s License Compact. This means they share driver information with one another. Consequently, if a drivers is licensed in Hawaii and receives a NY traffic ticket, Hawaii’s Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified of the offense.
Do Hawaii Drivers Get Points for NY Traffic Tickets?
Thankfully, the Hawaii DMV will not impose receive points for out-of-state traffic ticket violations. However, any convictions for those violations will still appear on Hawaii driving records. As such, drivers will still suffer all of the negative consequences associated with getting points. This means a person could still end up with their license suspended, having their insurance rates skyrocket, and face other hidden costs. It’s also important to note that while Hawaii does not use a point system, the state of New York does.
How Does an NY Traffic Ticket Affect Hawaii Insurance Rates?
Just as in the other 49 states, insurance carriers in Hawaii have access to their customer’s driving records and will check them periodically. When an insurer sees an out-of-state traffic conviction on a Hawaii driving record, it will be taken under consideration and could cause a massive increase in insurance rates. This is especially true of serious moving violations, such as a DWI or reckless driving charge.
What Fines Will Hawaii Drivers Pay in NY?
Even though a driver is licensed by Hawaii, the fine for a ticket issued in New York is set by New York and is paid to New York. In addition to the fine, each violation is accompanied by a mandatory state surcharge that runs between $88 and $93. Remember, this surcharge is added to each ticket, so if a driver ticketed for two violations—e.g. speeding and running a red light—will pay this surcharge twice, on top of the fine for each violation.
That’s not all! As mentioned above, New York State will apply points to Hawaii driver’s licenses. Those points affect the fees and driving privileges in the state of NY. A driver who is convicted of one or more traffic tickets worth six points under NY’s point system will likely be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA). A DRA costs $100 per year for three years. For each point imposed over six, a driver could pay an additional $25 per year will for three years. So even if a driver never returns to New York again, he/she will continue to receive a bill for the DRA.
Can Hawaii Drivers Lose Their License Because of a New York Ticket?
There are several ways that a driver can lose driving privileges in either NY, Hawaii or both as a result of an NY traffic offense. One way is by accruing 11 points or more under New York’s point system. This can result in the loss of New York driving privileges.
Those 11 points can add up fast. For example, if a ticket for texting while driving (a five-point offense) and driving 21 mph over the speed limit (a six-point offense) within 18 months of each other (or on the same trip) hits the 11-point threshold.
Moreover, according to Article IV Section 291A-1 of Hawaii’s Revised Statutes:
“(b) Upon receipt of a certification of noncompliance from the state in which the arrest was made or a citation for a traffic violation was issued, the licensing authority of the home state shall notify the motorist and immediately initiate license suspension proceedings against such motorist. The order of suspension shall indicate the reason for the order and shall notify the motorist that the motorist's license shall remain suspended until satisfactory evidence has been furnished to the authority issuing such order of compliance with the terms of the citation.”
In other words, drivers who fail to respond to a NY traffic ticket—either because they thought it wouldn’t affect them or because they forgot—could find thier Hawaii driver’s license be suspended. The same goes for those who don’t to pay a DRA.
Please also be aware: if New York (or any other state) takes away driving privileges, the state will notify the Hawaii DMV, which may could choose to suspend the license as well. Although this is wholly within the discretion of the Hawaii DMV, many drivers who lose their right to drive in NY have also had their Hawaii driver’s license suspended. This is especially true for offenses like DWI or a reckless driving charge.
What Should Hawaii Drivers Do About NY Traffic Tickets?
Hawaii drivers can’t ignore an NY ticket without risking a suspension and paying the ticket can be expensive. The best way to successfully avoid the negative consequences of an out-of-state traffic ticket is to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney to fight the ticket. New York State even allows a qualified attorney to represent a driver in court, which means he/she may not have to fly 9+ hours just to appear for the court date.
Although it might be tempting to simply plead guilty and pay the fine, doing so will not make these negative consequences go away. In fact, the conviction is the very thing that brings most of them on.
Who Should You Contact?
If you recently received a New York traffic ticket, contact Rosenblum Law today at 888-883-5529.
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