The North Star State has a reputation for good drivers. One study found, on a per capita basis, Minnesotans commit some of the least amount of speeding, reckless driving, and assorted minor traffic violations. Drivers from Minnesota visiting New York would be well advised to apply those good driving habits. That’s because New York traffic violations come with hefty penalties that can cost hundreds of dollars more than one might think. There’s also a serious risk of having driving privileges suspended in the state as well as back home.
Minnesota drivers should think twice about paying a traffic ticket issued in New York. At the same time, ignoring the ticket can cause even more trouble. A driver’s best option is to fight the ticket!
New York and Minnesota Share Driver Information
Minnesota and New York both participate in the Driver’s License Compact. This interstate agreement allows the states to share information about their respective drivers. As such the Minnesota Department of Driver and Vehicle Safety (DVS) will be notified of any offenses that take place in New York. Driving records will show whether a person pled guilty, was convicted in court, or refused to pay an out-of-state ticket.By participating in the Compact, Minnesota has also agreed to honor any penalties or fines, and in some cases, may even reciprocate.
Will Minnesota Drivers Get Points for NY Tickets?
Minnesota does not use a point system for traffic violations. Instead, habitual offenders are judged by the number of offenses committed in a one- or two-year period. New York, however, does use a point system and the penalties for accruing points will apply to Minnesota drivers when they commit offenses in the state (see below).
Can an NY Ticket Result in a Suspension of a Minnesota License?
Minnesota drivers who are convicted or plead guilty to four moving violations in 12 months (or five violations in 24 months) will have their driver’s license suspended for 30 days. Unfortunately, a guilty plea or conviction for an out-of-state ticket will count toward the total number of moving violations.
In addition, Minnesota drivers can find their driving privileges suspended in NY if they commit an offense or multiple offenses worth 11 points or more in an 18-month period in the state. The 11-point threshold can be easily reached with just two or three tickets. For example, one ticket for texting while driving (five points) and another speeding 21 mph over the limit (six points) carry enough points for a suspension.
That’s not all. Minnesota’s participation in the Compact means it may reciprocate a suspension of privileges issued by another state. New York often suspends driving privileges for offenses such as drunk driving, racing, or driving without auto insurance, even if the driver has no prior offenses.
Will an NY Ticket Increase Minnesota Auto Insurance?
Because Minnesota records out-of-state convictions, drivers are likely to see their insurance premiums go up in response to a traffic ticket in New York. A recent study of Minnesota auto insurance carriers found that a single speeding ticket can increases rates by as much as $125 per year for each year that the violation is on a person’s record.
Does a Continuance for Dismissal Apply to NY Tickets?
Many Minnesotans know they can keep traffic tickets off their record by getting a continuance for dismissal, replacing the fine with slightly higher “prosecution costs.” But this won’t work with a New York ticket. A continuance for dismissal is issued by the court associated with the jurisdiction where the offense took place. If the jurisdiction is in New York, the only way to keep the offense off the record is to fight it in court and win a dismissal or get a reduced charge.
What Fines Will Minnesota Drivers Face?
New York State collects the fines for offenses that take place within its 62 counties. Thus, a Minnesota driver will be charged the New York rate for the offense, rather than what they would have been charged at home. NY fines are often much steeper to boot. For example, a first offense of texting while driving in New York costs three times more than it does in Minnesota--$150 vs $50. Likewise, a ticket for speeding 15 mph over the limit costs $300, more than twice what is charged in Minnesota ($145).
Minnesota drivers hoping a New York ticket will not come with the kind of surcharges they pay on tickets at home are out of luck. 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 the combined cost of fines and surcharges for the above-mentioned tickets would be $636 ($150 for running a red + $93 surcharge + $300 for speeding + $93 surcharge).
Unlike Minnesota, hidden fees don’t end with surcharges in NY. The state also imposes a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) when drivers accrue six points or more on their license. The DRA costs $100 plus an additional $25 for each point over six. Drivers will have to pay this DRA every year for three years after reaching six points. Drivers who refuse to pay a DRA (or any fine from New York) will see their driving privileges in New York suspended.
The two tickets mentioned above would result in nine points (four for speeding and five for texting), making the final cost $1,161! Not to mention the likely increase in insurance premiums.
How Can Minnesota Drivers Get Out of NY Traffic Tickets?
If Minnesotans apply their propensity for good driving while in New York, there should be nothing to worry about. If by chance you do get a ticket, the only way to fully avoid the consequences is to hire an experienced traffic ticket attorney to fight the ticket for you. If you recently received an out-of-state traffic ticket, contact Rosenblum Law right away. Our team of experienced NY traffic ticket attorneys will be able to help you avoid the most serious consequences. Contact us today at 888-883-5529.
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