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Iowa Drivers with New York Traffic Tickets

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Written By 
Last updated 
November 15, 2022

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 Iowa and New York.


  • Unlike Iowa, New York has an aggressive point system that can lead to heavier fines and a possible suspension of driving privileges in NY (and at home).
  • An Iowa driver can be classified as a habitual offender after three moving violations. NY traffic ticket convictions can count towards that total.
  • Paying a New York traffic ticket does not “make it go away”--only negotiating it down or winning a dismissal can avoid the consequences of an out-of-state ticket.

A recent study found that Iowa has the highest rates of speeding in the country. Despite the Hawkeye State having one of the lowest ratios of police officers to citizens in the country, 23.2% of Iowans have reported getting nailed with a speeding ticket.

Iowa drivers who apply their propensity for speed on New York roads could find themselves in significant trouble. While Iowa speeding tickets are not cheap, New York traffic fines and related penalties are notably more severe. Drivers should not make the mistake of assuming they can ignore an out-of-state ticket. At the same time, those who give up and pay the ticket can face consequences they wouldn’t normally have to deal with at home. This includes dealing with points and even losing the right to drive in one or both states.

Iowa drivers who are charged with a traffic violation while in New York have only one choice: Fight the ticket - or better yet, hire an attorney to do so (see below)!

New York and Iowa Share Driver Information

Iowa and New York are both members of what is known as the Driver’s License Compact. This is an interstate agreement whereby states share information about their respective drivers. That means the Iowa Department of Transportation will be notified of any convictions for offenses that take place in New York. Drivers who plead guilty to a New York traffic ticket, are convicted in a New York court, or refuse to pay the NY ticket will see the offense recorded on their driving record.

Should an Iowa Driver Ignore a NY Ticket?

Definitely not. New York can suspend driving privileges in the state for those drivers that fail to respond a ticket issued there. If that happens, as per the Compact agreement, Iowa could opt to reciprocate the suspension in Iowa as well.

Will Iowa Drivers Get Points for NY Tickets?

Compared to many states, Iowa is rather conservative when it comes to the application of points to drivers’ licenses—only the most severe violations, such as eluding police and vehicular manslaughter result in points. As such, the Iowa DOT does not add points for violations that occur out of state. However, New York uses a point system. Drivers who commit offenses in NY can still suffer the consequences of those points.

For example, drivers who accrue 11 points in 18 months in New York could have their driving privileges suspended in NY. In New York, it’s easy to reach 11 points after only two or three tickets. For example, two tickets for speeding 21 mph over the limit (six points each) carry enough points for a suspension.

Can an NY Ticket Result in a Suspension of an Iowa License?

Iowa drivers who are convicted or plead guilty to three moving violations in 12 months could be classified as a habitual violator. This could result in a DOT hearing at which the driver may find his/her license suspended. Unfortunately, a guilty plea or conviction for an out-of-state ticket counts toward the total number of moving violations. Thus, if a driver with one offense on his/her license is ticketed for speeding and running a red light while in New York, he/she could have his/her license suspended by the Iowa DOT.

In addition, Iowa’s licensing law also states that drivers who commit a violation that in another state that would be grounds for a suspension in Iowa could find their license suspended, even if the state in which the violation occurred does not to suspend privileges for such an offense. Moreover, as part of the Compact, Iowa’s DOT can choose to reciprocate a suspension of privileges issued by another state. In addition to committing offenses worth 11 points or more, NY could suspend driving privileges for offenses such as DWI/DUI, racing, or committing a hit-and-run, even if the driver has no prior offenses.

Will a NY Ticket Increase Iowa Auto Insurance?

Convictions for New York traffic violations can impact Iowa auto insurance rates. Insurance carriers check customer driving records regularly. Because Iowa records out-of-state convictions, drivers can expect their insurer to jack up their rates in response. A recent study of Iowa auto insurance carriers found that a single speeding ticket can increases rates by as much as $104.65 per year for each year that the violation in on a person’s record.

What Fines Will Iowa Drivers Face?

When a traffic violation is issued in New York, the fine is paid to New York. Thus, an Iowa driver will be charged the New York rate for the offense, rather than what they would have been charged at home. Iowa drivers hoping an New York ticket will not come with surcharges and additional fees that come with every ticket in their home state are out of luck. New York has plenty of its own hidden costs. For example, in addition to the fine for a given offense, drivers are also responsible for a mandatory state surcharge. This typically costs $88 to $93 per violation. That means two tickets for running a red light (VTL 1111(d)-1) and speeding 21 mph over the limit can cost $711 ($225 for running a red + $93 surcharge + $300 for speeding + $93 surcharge). That’s not the final cost, however.

New York also imposes a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) when drivers commit offenses worth six points. 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 likely see their driving privileges in New York suspended. The DRA for the above-two tickets (which are worth nine points total) would be $525, putting the final cost at $1,236.

Do Iowans Have to Return to NY to Fight a Ticket?

It depends. Iowa drivers who hire a qualified NY traffic ticket attorney will most likely not have to make the return trip. In many cases, New York allows an attorney to represent a driver in traffic court and make plea deals on his/her behalf. That means hiring an attorney allows Iowans to potentially beat one more unwanted cost: airfare. It also means not having to take time off of work and find someone to care for dependents and/or pets.

Why Should Iowa Drivers Hire an NY Traffic Ticket Attorney?

Iowa drivers face many severe penalties when they receive a ticket in New York. An attorney can help significantly decrease the chances of being hit with exorbitant fines by getting the ticket reduced or eliminated. A skilled attorney can also use his knowledge and experience to avoid a possible driver’s license suspension. Finally, an attorney can appear in lieu of the driver in most cases, ensuring he/she does not have to make a return trip just to face the judge. This can be a significant advantage to an individual who lives out of state.

If you or someone you love recently received an out-of-state traffic ticket, contact Rosenblum Law right away. Our team of experienced NY traffic ticket attorneys can help you avoid the most serious consequences. Contact us today at 888-883-5529.

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Author Bio

Adam H. Rosenblum

Founding Attorney Of Rosenblum Law

Adam H. Rosenblum is an experienced and skilled traffic violations and criminal defense attorney. Mr. Rosenblum provides expert and aggressive representation to those facing points on their drivers’ licenses and the associated fines and surcharges.

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