TLC Drivers and NYC Traffic Tickets

By: Adam H. Rosenblum Esq. | Last Updated:

nyc taxi cab

Taxi, black car and limousine drivers in New York City need to be extra diligent in avoiding tickets and keeping points off their license. After all, one’s driver’s license is one’s livelihood. TLC drivers can get tickets from more than just the NYPD; the Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York can also issue its own tickets to drivers on top of those issued by police. Moreover, the TLC can enact penalties based on convictions for tickets written by police.

Whether a ticket is issued by the TLC or NYPD, paying it means an automatic conviction and can result in costly fines, points, and a possible suspension or revocation of the hack license or driver’s license (or both).

How NYC Traffic Tickets Affect TLC Drivers

The immediate consequence of NYPD or State Trooper-issued tickets is the same for TLC drivers as it is for any other driver in NYC. TLC drivers will pay fines and a state surcharge of $88 per ticket for all tickets written in NYC. Accruing 6 or more points will result in an additional fine known as a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA), which costs $300 plus $75 per point over six. Those who reach 11 points can have their driver’s license suspended.

TLC drivers should do everything possible to fight a NYC traffic ticket. Unfortunately, the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) does not allow drivers to negotiate traffic tickets, which means the only option is to fight the underlying charge and hope to win a dismissal. In most cases, this requires the aid of an experienced traffic ticket attorney.

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TLC Penalties for NYC Traffic Ticket Convictions

Taxicab and livery drivers who are issued a traffic ticket must also defend themselves against the charges in front of the Commission, in addition to the TVB. Most tickets can be paid online but others may require an appearance. Drivers can be fined up $400 by the TLC for violations such as speeding and following too closely. For violations deemed “hazardous” by the TLC, drivers can also have points levied on their hack license. This point system is separate from the DMV’s and does not affect a state-issued driver’s license. Drivers who accrue between 6 and 9 points in 15 months from the Commission (regardless of the DMV points) can have their hack license suspended for 30 days. Those who reach 10 Commission-issued points can have their hack license revoked.

Hazardous violations and their associated points are as follows:

Violation Points
Speeding 1 to 10 mph above posted speed limit 3
Speeding 11 to 20 mph over 4
Speeding 21 to 30 mph over 5
Speeding 31 to 40 mph over 6
Speeding 41+ mph over 8
Failing to stop for school bus 5
Following too closely (tailgating) 4
Inadequate brakes (own vehicle) 4
Inadequate brakes (employer’s vehicle) 2
Failing to yield right of way 3
Traffic signal violation 3
Stop sign violation 3
Yield sign violation 3
Railroad crossing violation 3
Improper passing 3
Unsafe lane change 3
Driving left of center 3
Driving in wrong direction 3
Leaving scene of an accident involving property damage or injury to animal 3

TLC drivers may not realize that these tickets can be fought with the help of an attorney. A lawyer with experience working with TLC drivers can appear at the hearing an help argue a case to have the charges dismissed, thus avoiding any risk to the hack license and one’s income.

Non-Traffic TLC Tickets

The NYC TLC can also issue tickets to taxi and street-hail livery drivers for non-traffic offenses. These are code of conduct rules and each comes with its own points and fines some of which can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Examples include:

  • Not cooperating with law enforcement
  • Failing to cooperate with the TLC
  • Threatening or harassing someone
  • Threatening a service animal
  • Fraud
  • Bribery or the appearance of bribery

Even if the charge (such as bribery or fraud) is considered a crime under NYS law, a charge from the Commission is not a criminal hearing. However, any evidence used to convict or acquit a TLC driver in a Commission hearing can be used to defend or prosecute the driver in criminal court, should charges be brought there too. That makes it all the more critical that one hire an attorney to fight any such “ticket.”

How Can TLC Drivers Defend Against NYC Traffic Tickets?

The best course of action for most TLC drivers facing a NYC traffic ticket or Commission-issued ticket is to hire an attorney to fight underlying charges. The attorneys of the Rosenblum Law has helped many TLC drivers avoid the fines, points, and risk of license suspension associated with a conviction. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.