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 Indiana and New York.
- Indiana can apply points to an Indiana license for offenses that take place in New York; this in addition to suffering the consequences of New York’s point system, which can include additional fines and a suspension of driving privileges.
- New York traffic fines are much more expensive than Indiana fines and include many hidden costs.
- Hiring a traffic ticket attorney means Indiana drivers will likely not have to return to New York to fight the charges.
Whether visiting for business or pleasure, Indianans who drive in New York should be careful. The Empire State is known as one of the worst states in America to be caught speeding. New York also has some of the strictest texting and cell phone laws in the country. This can be a huge shock for many Indiana drivers—the Hoosier state’s penalties for these violations ranks as some of the most lenient in the nation.
It’s not just the fines that Indiana drivers need to watch out for. Paying a New York State traffic ticket can result in numerous unexpected costs, including surcharges, points, and insurance premium hikes. Drivers can even find their license suspended after as little as two tickets.
In most cases, it’s not advisable for drivers from Indiana who receive a traffic ticket while in New York to give up and plead guilty. Instead, they should hire an attorney to fight the charges, here’s why.
New York and Indiana Share Driver Information
Both Indiana and New York are part of the Driver’s License Compact. This interstate agreement allows states to share information about their drivers with other participating states. That means Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles would be notified of any traffic convictions in New York or any of the other 42 member states. When drivers plead guilty, get convicted in court, or refuse to pay the ticket it is recorded on their driving record.
Indiana Drivers Should Never Ignore a NY Ticket
No driver should assume that just because a ticket is issued out of state that it will not affect them. Failing to respond to a NY ticket can result in a suspension of New York driving privileges. Indiana could also choose to reciprocate the suspension at home, as part of the Compact.
Indiana Drivers Get Twice the Points for NY Tickets
Unlike some other states, Indiana can apply points to licenses for violations that occur out of state. If the ticket in question does not have an equivalent offense in Indiana, the BMV may apply points based on the closest applicable violation. Moreover, if the points from the NY ticket put the total number of points over 18, then Indiana could suspend a person’s license.
In addition, Indiana drivers will also face the consequences of New York State’s point system, which is considerably stricter than Indiana’s. Drivers who accrue 11 points in 18 months in NY could have their driving privileges suspended in NY. This is very easy to do. For example, one cell phone ticket (five points) and another for speeding 21 mph over the limit (six points) add enough points for a suspension. This would be in addition to the eight points (four for texting and four for speeding) that Indiana would apply.
Indiana Could a Suspend License for NY Violations
Indiana could also reciprocate a suspension issued in New York as well, especially for serious offenses. According to the Compact:
The licensing authority in the home state, for the purposes of suspension, revocation, or limitation of the license to operate a motor vehicle, shall give the same effect to the conduct reported, pursuant to Article 3 of this compact, as it would if such conduct had occurred in the home state, in the case of convictions for:
(1) Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.
(2) Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a narcotic drug, or under the influence of any other drug to a degree which renders the driver incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle.
(3) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.
(4) Failure to stop and render aid in the event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another.
A NY Ticket Increase Could Increase Indiana Auto Insurance
Because Indiana driving records include out-of-state convictions, any convictions from New York could impact an Indiana driver’s auto insurance rates. Insurance carriers check driving records regularly, especially during renewal time. If the insurer sees tickets and associated points on a license, that person’s premiums will likely skyrocket. A study from NerdWallet found that Indiana drivers saw an average premium increase of $190 (which gets charged annually) for just one speeding ticket!
Indiana Drivers Face Heavy Fines for NY Tickets
When a traffic violation takes place in New York the fines are set by and paid to New York. For example, while courts set slightly different amounts throughout the state, most Indiana drivers caught speeding 21 mph over the limit at home will pay about $150. The same violation in New York can cost $300. Likewise, Indiana drivers caught texting behind the wheel in NY can pay $150, rather than the $35 fine set by their home state. Using a cell phone while driving is fully legal in Indiana, but can cost $150 in New York.
Even worse, drivers will be responsible for an additional mandatory state surcharge. This usually costs $88 to $93 per violation. For example, if an Indiana driver is charged with a cell phone violation and speeding 21 mph over the limit, the combined cost with surcharges can reach $636 ($150 for cell phone + $93 surcharge + $300 for speeding + $93 surcharge).
That’s not all. NY also imposes a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) when drivers commit offenses worth six points or more. A DRA costs $100 plus an additional $25 for each point over six. Once a driver is hit with a DRA, he/she must pay it each year for three years. NY can suspend driving privileges of any driver who refuses to pay a DRA (or any fine from New York).
Using the two tickets mentioned above, which would have cost only $150 at home, Indiana drivers could end up shelling out $1,311! ($636 for the fines and surcharges, plus $675 for the DRA.) The points could also result in being barred from driving in the state. Welcome to New York.
Why Should Indiana Drivers Hire a NY Traffic Ticket Attorney?
Indiana drivers who get hit with a ticket in New York are in for a world of hurt if they choose to pay the ticket (or fail to do so). Fighting the charges is the only way to avoid significant fines, consequences of points, and the risk of a suspension. Drivers would be well advised to hire an attorney to help them do this. Not only does an attorney increase the chances of succeeding in court, it may mean the driver does not have to show up himself. In most cases, New York allows attorneys to appear on a driver’s behalf. For out-of-state drivers this is a huge advantage, since it means not having to deal with the cost and hassle of flying back to New York to fight the charges.