Depending on which state your license is from will determine whether you can have points added onto your driving record for an out-of-state traffic violation.
The information below will help you better understand the role that out-of-state traffic ticket play in Illinois and New York.
- An Illinois driver who gets a traffic ticket in New York will face fines, points, and possibly increased auto insurance increases.
- An Illinois driver will have their Illinois driver’s license suspended after three moving violations. NY traffic ticket convictions can count towards that total and lead to license suspension in IL.
- If an Illinois driver accrues enough points or fails to respond to or pay a NY traffic ticket, their NY driving privileges will be suspended and their IL driver’s license may be suspended as well.
New York is a popular travel destination for many Illinoisans. Drivers from the Prairie State can find parts of NYS very familiar, regardless of whether they are visiting Manhattan from Chicago and the outlying suburbs, or are spending time in Upstate NY from one of Illinois’s smaller, sleepier towns.
Drivers who get too comfortable could end up getting shocked with a traffic ticket. Drivers from Illinois should never ignore an out of state ticket! At the same time, it’s a bad idea to just give up and pay the ticket. Either way could mean facing unexpected costs and other severe consequences—including losing the right to drive in one or both states.
Drivers who are licensed in Illinois and are charged with a traffic violation while in New York have only one choice: Fight the ticket!
New York and Illinois Share Driver Information
Illinois and New York both participate in the Driver’s License Compact. As such, each state shares information about drivers with other states in the compact. That means when an Illinois driver is pays (or fails to pay) an New York traffic ticket, Illinois’ Department of Motor Vehicles will be notified. Drivers who plead guilty, are convicted in court, or refuse to pay the ticket it find the offense recorded on their driving record.
What Happens if an Illinois Driver Ignores a NY Traffic Ticket?
New York will ultimately suspend the NY driving privileges of an out-of-state driver who does not respond to or pay a New York traffic ticket. Worse, as per the Compact, Illinois may choose to suspend the person’s Illinois driver’s license as well.
Can a NY Ticket Cause Me to Lose My Illinois Driver’s License?
Illinois drivers who are convicted or plead guilty to three moving violations could have their license suspended. Unfortunately, a guilty plea to an out of state ticket will count toward the total number of moving violations. Thus, a driver ticketed for speeding and running a red light while in New York who already has one speeding conviction back home could find his/her driving privileges suspended.
As per the Compact, Illinois may choose to reciprocate a suspension issued out of state. In addition committing an offense or offenses worth 11 points in NY (see below), Illinois drivers could find their license suspended in NY (and thus at home) for violations such as drunk driving, leaving the scene of an accident, or driving without auto insurance.
Will Illinois Drivers Get Points for NY Tickets?
Illinois does not assess points for violations that occur out of state. That means while a New York violation can contribute to a suspension, it does not affect how long an Illinois driver’s license is suspended for.
New York’s point system is very different. Illinois does not suspend licenses or assess fines based on the number of points; New York does both of these. Drivers who accrue 11 points in 18 months can have their driving privileges suspended in NY. This is very easy to do. For example, one ticket for cell phone violations (five points) and another speeding 21 mph over the limit (six points) add enough points for a suspension.
Will an NY Ticket Increase Illinois Auto Insurance?
Because Illinois records convictions from New York and other states on driving records, any convictions from out of state can impact auto insurance rates. Every insurance carrier regularly checks the driving record of the drivers they insure and is likely to update one’s rate whenever new convictions are recorded. One study of Illinois auto insurance carriers found that a single speeding ticket can increases rates by as much as $124 per year. However, drivers in some parts of the state can expect to pay much more. For example, drivers from Chicago Heights typically saw rate increases of $154. Those who live in Harvey, just south of Chicago, end up shelling out more than $171 per year on average after just one ticket!
What Fines Will Illinois Drivers Face?
A traffic ticket issued in New York is paid to New York. Thus, an Illinois driver will be charged the New York rate for the offense, rather than what they would have been charged at home. For example, an Illinois driver who runs a red light in New York (VTL 1111(d)-1) could face a $225 fine, rather than the $120 fine levied at home. Likewise, Illinois drivers caught texting behind the wheel in NY will be asked to shell out $150, rather than the $75 fine set by their home state.
Moreover, Illinois drivers can avoid paying court fees and surcharges on a local ticket if they plead guilty online or through the mail. However, New York offers no such discount. Whether a driver takes the ticket to court or not, a guilty verdict (or plea) means drivers are also responsible for an additional state surcharge. This usually costs $88 to $93 per violation. That means a ticket for texting while driving and speeding 21 mph over the limit will cost $636 ($150 for texting + $93 surcharge + $300 for speeding + $93 surcharge).
Surcharges aren’t the only hidden cost Illinois drivers face in New York. The state also imposes a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) when drivers commit an offense or multiple offenses worth six points or more. The DRA is an annual fine that a driver must pay each year for three years after reaching six points. The cost is $100 plus an additional $25 for each point over six. Drivers who refuse to pay a DRA (or any fine from New York) will see their driving privileges in New York suspended. Using the above example of texting while driving (a five-point violation) and speeding 21 mph over the limit, the total cost with the DRA can reach $1,311! Since the combined point value of the offenses is 11, it also means a possible suspension of driving privileges.
How Can Illinois Drivers Avoid Returning to NY to Fight Tickets?
Most New York traffic courts recognize that it is difficult for people to take time off from work or find temporary care for dependents or pets. As such, drivers who hire an attorney may not have to appear in person to enter a plea, negotiate with prosecutors, or take their ticket to trial. This is additionally convenient for Illinoisans and other out-of-state drivers who might otherwise have to fly back and forth for each proceeding.