Whether you are on your way to Yankee Stadium or are going to Grand Rapids, you really need to know about out-of-state traffic tickets. Many people think that points do not transfer and failing to respond to will allow you to get away with not paying it.
However, this is utterly wrong. Depending on what state you are visiting and what state issued your driver’s license, you can be facing much more than you think.
Driver’s License Compact
Both Michigan and New York have signed the Driver’s License Compact. That means NY and MI freely share driver data with each other.
Consequently, if you get a New York traffic ticket but are a MI driver, MI will be notified about the ticket you received. This also applies if you are licensed in NY and get a traffic ticket in MI.
Michigan Drivers with NY Tickets
Contrary to popular belief, if you are a Michigan driver and get a traffic ticket in New York (or any other state), points can and will be assessed against your MI driver’s license.
According to the State of Michigan’s official website,
- “Will out-of-state traffic tickets show up on my Michigan driving record? … Answer: It is likely that it will eventually appear on your Michigan driving record. If the violation substantially corresponds to a violation of a Michigan law, then the conviction will be posted to your driving record and points will be assessed as required by the Michigan Vehicle Code. If the ticket is for an offense for which a suspension would have been given if the ticket had been received in Michigan, then a suspension will be imposed after the posting of the ticket, allowing time for due process and the sending of a notification letter. Most states are reciprocal and provide ticket information to the driver’s home state. Michigan law requires that the same action be taken for tickets received out-of-state as those received in Michigan, therefore, points and suspensions may be imposed.”
This means the State of Michigan not only has the ability to assess points against you for any corresponding out-of-state offense you commit, but it can also suspend your license if the violation is serious enough.
Remember, the amount of points that Michigan will put on your driving record depends on what the offense is worth in Michigan, not New York.
For instance, if you get pulled over for driving 31 miles per hour over the speed limit in New York, that is an 8 point offense. However, in Michigan it is only a 4 point violation. Therefore, only 4 points will be placed on your MI driving record if you plead guilty or are convicted.
However, you will be forced to pay the New York rate for the fine, not Michigan’s rate, and the money will go to the State of New York (since that is where you were ticketed).
New York Drivers with MI Tickets
New York handles out-of-state traffic tickets very differently.
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. The exceptions are alcohol-related violations, drug-related violations, and moving violations committed in Quebec or Ontario.”
In other words, if you are convicted of speeding in a work zone, running a red light, tailgating, etc. in Michigan, points will not be added onto your New York driver’s license.
However, your insurance carrier will have the ability to raise your insurance rates due to the violation you committed, and it usually will do so.
Regardless, you will have to pay the State of Michigan the applicable fine and surcharge and could be required to appear depending on the gravity of the charge.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
If you are an out-of-state driver (i.e. your driver’s license is from a state other than New York) and accrue 11 points or more, you will lose your New York driving privileges.
This accumulation of 11 points is determined based on the NY point system, not your home state’s point system.
Imagine: You are in the Big Apple and you decide to text your friend who is expecting you that you almost got to the hotel. Next thing you know, an officer tickets you for texting while driving, a 5 point ticket in NY. To make matters worse, just a day later while on vacation there, an officer ticketed you for driving 21 mph over the speed limit, a 6 point ticket. If you plead guilty or are convicted of both offenses, you will officially be barred from driving in New York (since you would have accumulated 11 points).
Similarly, if the offenses you commit in New York would give rise to a suspension in Michigan, your entire license will be suspended (not merely your ability to drive in NY).
Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA)
If you get a NY traffic ticket or set of tickets that total 6 or more points, you will be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) above and beyond the regular fine and surcharge—even if you are an out-of-state driver.
If you receive 6 points within 18 months, you will have to pay a DRA of $100 per year for 3 years.
Furthermore, if you accumulate more than 6 points in 18 months, an additional $25 per year will be charged for each additional point you receive. That means 1 extra point will cost you $75 more because the assessment lasts for 3 years.
Lastly, if you get convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related offense or refuse to submit to a chemical test, the DRA will be $250 per year for 3 years.
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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