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 tickets play in Washington and New York.
- New York traffic tickets will be recorded on a Washington driving record and count toward the total number of moving violations needed for license suspension.
- New York does not allow deferrals for traffic tickets—one is required to either plead “guilty” and pay the ticket or plead “not guilty” and fight the charges.
- A WA resident can lose NY driving privileges which can be suspended in NY after only one or two tickets.
Seattle, Washington is regularly ranked as one of the worst cities to drive in, often more so than New York City. But there’s much more to Washington than its cities. The Evergreen State is also known for its prosperous suburban towns and beautiful scenic routes like Chuckanut Drive. In this way, Washington and New York State share much in common.
Something else Washington and New York share: information about each other’s drivers. While this may seem unimportant, it is a big deal if a Washington driver ever gets a traffic ticket while in New York. Both states participate in the Driver’s License Compact, which means any convictions for traffic violations that take place in New York will be reported to the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL). Likewise, any consequences that New York assigns to paying (or refusing to pay) a ticket will follow Washington drivers from one coast to the other.
Ignoring a NY Ticket Can Cost WA Drivers Their License
Despite living on opposite side of the country, Washington drivers cannot ignore a New York traffic ticket. Those who fail to respond to a New York ticket could be convicted of the charge by default. They can also find their right to drive in New York suspended. In addition to this, once the conviction and suspension are reported to Washington, the DOL can choose to suspend the WA driver’s license in kind.
There Are No Deferments in New York
Washington drivers with good driving records know they can request deferrals, in which the fine is waived if the driver does not commit any other violations for one year. This can help keep costs down (only the administration fee is paid) and keep the conviction off one’s record. In New York, however, the only choices are to plead guilty and pay the ticket or fight the charges in court (see below).
Washingtonians Must Deal with the Consequences of Points in NY
Washington does not have a point system. Instead, the DOL can place drivers on probation or suspend a license depending on the number of infractions they are convicted of in a given time period. New York does use a point system. While these points will not appear on a Washington license, the point value of an infraction still matters. The number of points associated with any infractions a driver is convicted of can lead to additional fines and even a suspension of driving privileges in New York State.
A NY Ticket Can Result in a Suspension of a WA License
The Washington DOL can put a driver on probation if they are convicted of four moving violations in 12 months or five in 24 months. Further, a driver can have his/her license suspended after six moving violations in 12 months. Convictions that take place in New York will count toward these totals.
New York can also suspend driving privileges for a WA driver that is convicted of 11 points worth of tickets in 18 months. Unfortunately, it only takes one or two tickets in some cases to reach 11 points. Here are some common high-point moving violations in NY:
|Speeding 41+ mph over the limit||11|
|Speeding 31-40 mph over the limit||8|
|Speeding 21-30 mph over the limit||6|
|Speeding 11-20 mph over the limit||4|
|Cell phone violation||5|
|Texting while driving||5|
|Failing to stop for a school bus||5|
New York, much like Washington, also has offenses that can result in a suspension even if the person has a clean driving record. This includes racing, drunk driving, driving without auto insurance, or fleeing police. Remember: Any time New York suspends driving privileges WA can respond by suspending the driver’s license at home.
A NY Ticket Can Increase Washington Auto Insurance
Any tickets received in NY can cause a hike in Washington drivers’ auto insurances rates. Average premiums vary from city to city. For example, in Walla Walla, the average rate is around $1,000 per year, while Seattle drivers can shell out $1,700 annually. Regardless, a single ticket can raise rates by as much as 20%. Traffic convictions—including for out-of-state tickets—are typically reported to insurance companies for three years. This means even someone with a low rate of $1,000 per year can end up paying an additional $600 ($200/year for three years) over a single ticket. For those on the higher end, a ticket can add $1,000 or more in additional premiums over three years.
NY Traffic Tickets Are More Expensive Than WA Tickets
Washington and New York are not terribly far apart when it comes to traffic fines. Still, New York tickets tend to be more expensive. For example, Washington charges $134 for most offenses, including texting while driving, stop sign violations, failing to signal a lane change and tailgating. In New York, those same violations would each cost $150. Likewise, speeding 21 mph over the limit costs $300 in NY but just $259 in WA.
Where NY and WA differ is the additional hidden costs associated with traffic tickets. In Washington, drivers can end up paying administrative costs of $15 to $25 per ticket, sometimes more. New York has something similar, which it calls a surcharge. This mandatory fee costs $88 or $93 per ticket, depending on where it was issued. Using speeding 21 mph over the limit and tailgating as an example, the combined cost of fines and surcharges for those two tickets would be $636 ($150 for tailgating + $93 surcharge + $300 for speeding + $93 surcharge).
Surcharges aren’t the only hidden cost. New York also tacks on a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee when drivers are convicted of an offense or offenses worth six points or more. DRAs cost $300 plus an additional $75 for each point over six. Washington drivers who fail to pay a DRA (or any fine from New York) can see their driving privileges in New York suspended. Adding the DRA for the above-mentioned tickets (which are worth a combined total of 10 points) would bring the total amount a driver could pay to $1,236.
WA Drivers Don’t Have to Come to Traffic Court if They Hire a NY Lawyer
With nearly 2,800 miles between Washington and New York, it would be quite an ordeal for Washington drivers to appear in court to fight a NY traffic ticket. An out-of-state traffic ticket can feel like a real conundrum: pay it and the driver accepts all the fines and points; ignore it and the consequences come anyway, plus a possible suspension. Thankfully, doing so is avoidable without having resign oneself to pleading guilty. Drivers who hire a qualified NY traffic ticket attorney get more than legal advice—they get to stay home while the attorney fights the ticket. New York allows an attorney in most cases to appear in court or negotiate a plea deal in lieu of a driver. This doesn’t just save money; it also offers logistical relief, since the driver does not need to take time off from work or arrange care for dependents.
Why Else Should Washington Drivers Hire a NY Traffic Ticket Attorney?
A skilled NY traffic ticket attorney can offer advice on the penalties a NY ticket can and can also develop a strategy to help avoid them. He/she can use their knowledge to minimize fines and get points reduced or eliminated. If there’s a risk of a suspension, the attorney will know how best to prevent it. In addition, as mentioned above, hiring an attorney most likely means the driver will not have to fly back to appear in court. Finally, if a trial has to be held, there is no one better to handle the traffic ticket trial than a New York attorney who has significant trial experience.
If you are licensed in Washington or any other state and recently received a New York 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.