- Wyoming drivers could see a 57 percent spike in insurance premiums for a NY traffic ticket.
- A NY ticket counts toward the total number of moving violations needed for the Wyoming DOT to suspend a license.
- NY’s point system affects out-of-state drivers and can result in additional fines and a suspension of driving privileges.
Wyoming is known for two things: Yellowstone National Park and its hundreds of miles of long, straight, flat roads. Wyoming is thought of as a flyover state, but it’s really more of a drive-through state. In fact, Wyoming roads see so many out-of-state drivers that police issue twice as many speeding tickets to non-Wyoming drivers than to those licensed in the state. That doesn’t mean Wyoming drivers get off easy. In fact, the Equality State ranks No. 4 for the most speeders nationwide.
New York is not easy on out-of-state drivers either, and Wyomingites who visit the Empire State would do well to keep that in mind. A traffic ticket issued in New York can and will follow an out-of-state driver home. Drivers from Wyoming who pay a New York traffic ticket will face heavy fines, points, and risk having their driving privileges suspended. That doesn’t mean one should ignore a New York ticket either. Instead, Wyoming drivers would be well advised to hire a New York traffic ticket attorney to fight the underlying charges.
Wyoming and New York Share Driver Information
One thing that makes a New York traffic ticket so serious for Wyoming drivers is that both states share information with each other. The Driver’s License Compact is an interstate agreement that ensures that when a driver from a participating state such as Wyoming is convicted of a traffic ticket issued in another participating state (e.g. New York), the licensing state is notified. If the driver is convicted or fails to pay or respond to the ticket it will be recorded on his/her Wyoming driving record.
Ignoring a NY Ticket Has Serious Consequences
In addition to convicting the driver by default, New York can suspend driving privileges in the state for anyone who fails to respond to or pay a traffic ticket issued there. Once New York issues a suspension of privileges against the driver it will notify the Wyoming Department of Transportation (DOT). Participation in the Compact means not only will Wyoming record the suspension on the driver’s record, but it could also choose to suspend a Wyoming license in response to the NY suspension. This is the case for any kind of suspension issued in another state, not just one for failing to respond to the ticket.
Drivers Can Lose Their Wyoming License Over a NY Ticket
Wyoming drivers are allowed to commit up to three moving violations with no ill effect. However, after four or more violations drivers can have their license suspended. Since out-of-state tickets appear on WY driving records, a New York traffic ticket can count toward that total and result in a suspension.
In addition, any suspension issued in New York can compel Wyoming to suspend the license as well. There are a lot of ways in which a driver from out of state can lose their right to drive in New York. This includes:
- Committing 11 or more points worth of infractions based on NY’s point system.
- Speeding in a work zone twice in 18 months
- Speeding three times in 18 months
- Drunk driving
- Driving without auto insurance
- Fleeing police
WY Drivers Can Get Points in NY
Wyoming’s DOT does not use a point system for traffic violations. By contrast, New York does use a point system. Although New York cannot impose points on a Wyoming license, the penalties for accumulating points still affect drivers from out of state. Drivers who are convicted of six or more points worth of offenses in 18 months can end up paying additional fines. Those convicted of infractions worth 11 points or more can lose the right to drive in NY.
This is easier than it may seem. For example, most tickets in New York are worth three points, which means it only take two for a driver to end up paying additional fines. That’s not all: A single ticket for speeding 21 mph over the limit worth six points alone. There are also a number of infractions worth five points, including texting while driving, hands-free cell phone violations, and failing to stop for a school bus. Any one of these combined with the above-mentioned speeding ticket or any two three-point tickets can find mean facing a suspension.
NY Tickets Can Cause WY Auto Insurance to Skyrocket
Due to the Compact, Wyoming driving records will show New York traffic convictions. More importantly, these convictions can impact auto insurance rates. Wyomingites suffer more when this happens than drivers in most other states. One study found that a single ticket can increase insurance rates by as much as 57 percent! With an average premium of $1,195.92, that means a single NY speeding ticket can cost an additional $683 per year in auto insurance.
New York Traffic Tickets Cost More than in Wyoming
Ticket costs in Wyoming vary from county to county and city to city. Generally speaking, they tend to cost less than an equivalent ticket in New York. Speeding tickets in New York State, for example, usually cost between $150 and $600, sometimes more. By comparison, the City of Casper charges from $47 to $230 for speeding. Likewise, a ticket for texting while driving costs about $75 in most parts of Wyoming, which is half of what New York sets for the offense ($150).
In Wyoming, the ticket price includes court costs and other fees. New York’s fines are not the a final cost of a ticket. The state tacks on a surcharge of $88 or $93 on top of every ticket. Thus, driver ticketed while in New York for texting and speeding 21 mph over the limit can face a combined cost of $636 ($150 for texting + $93 surcharge + $300 for speeding + $93 surcharge).
In addition to surcharges, New York will impose an additional fine called a Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee (DRA) on any driver convicted of six or more points worth of violations. A DRA costs $300 ($100 per year for three years) plus an additional $75 ($25 per year) for each point over the six-point mark.
The two tickets mentioned above are worth 11 points in total, which would put the cost of the DRA at $675 over three years ($300 for the first six points plus $375 for the remaining five points). That bring the final amount paid to New York State—including fines, surcharges and DRA—to $1,311. This would be in addition to the hefty increases in insurance premiums Wyomingites face. Moreover, since the two tickets are worth 11 points in total, the driver would also be facing a possible suspension of driving privileges.
Wyoming Drivers Could Beat a NY Ticket Without Returning to the State
It is impractical (and costly) for any driver to make the trek from Wyoming to New York just to appear at a NY traffic court hearing. Thankfully, NY traffic court allows drivers from any state to hire an attorney to appear on their behalf. The attorney can present arguments and (where applicable) make plea deals while the driver stays at home.
Why Wyoming Drivers Should Hire a NY Attorney to Fight a Traffic Ticket
Ignoring a New York traffic ticket means being convicted by default. At the same time, paying a ticket means admitting guilt and accepting a conviction. Either way the driver will have the offense appear on his/her driving record and end up paying a fine, dealing with points, and potentially losing his/her right to drive. Hiring a skilled attorney is the best way to get out of this Catch-22. An attorney can potentially reduce or eliminate the fine by negotiating with the prosecutor and/or the judge. A New York traffic ticket attorney will also know how best to minimize the impact of points and avoid any risk of a suspension. Not to mention, he/she can do this while the driver remains at home.
If you are licensed to drive in Wyoming and recently received a traffic ticket in New York, contact The Rosenblum Law Firm right away. Our team of experienced NY traffic ticket attorneys can help you avoid the fines, points, insurance hikes, and suspension risks that come with a conviction. Contact us today at 888-883-5529.