You are reading

NY Driver’s Licenses Will No Longer Be Suspended for Unpaid Traffic Tickets

iStock

June 30, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

New York drivers no longer need to worry about having their licenses suspended due to unpaid tickets.

The Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act took effect Tuesday, with all suspensions related to unpaid traffic and parking fines being lifted automatically.

The new law will end license suspensions due to non-payment of traffic fines, while making affordable payment plans available.

Drivers who have been hit with fines can enter into a payment plan of $25 a month or 2 percent of their net monthly income, whichever is greater. The plan is also available to drivers whose licenses were suspended.

“The Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act will finally begin the first step of addressing the disproportionately harsh outcomes that occur when a driver without financial means accumulates too much traffic debt,” said Assemblymember Pamela Hunter of Syracuse, the bill’s Assembly sponsor.

“Suspending a license for failure to pay a fine does nothing but punish low-income families that are disproportionately people of color. An income-based payment plan is fair and ensures everyone has an opportunity to resolve their license issues.”

The Department of Motor Vehicles will be sending written notices to those who have had their licenses suspended due to unpaid fines—and to inform them that they can enter into a payment plan.

The bill also addresses those whose licenses were suspended for failing to appear in court. Those people can go to the DMV or traffic court and state that they are there to clear their suspension and enter into a payment plan.

Licenses can still be suspended for other reasons, including driving under the influence, not having liability insurance or failure to pay child support.

The bill was introduced in 2019 after nearly 1.7 million driver’s licenses were suspended in New York between January 2016 and April 2018 due to non-payment and non-appearances, according to the Fines and Fees Justice Center.

The bill passed the State Assembly and Senate in July of 2020 before being signed in to law last December by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The legislation was co-sponsored by a number of Queens elected officials, including David Weprin and Catalina Cruz in the Assembly, and Jessica Ramos, Mike Gianaris and John Liu in the Senate.

email the author: [email protected]

14 Comments

Click for Comments 
Walter Eberle

I was just charged 278.00 to get my suspended licence reenstated. How do I get my money back.

Reply
Horace Martin

A restricted license to go work 8 to5 Monday to Friday I promise to a payment every time I pay to I finished payment

Reply
Robert Panton

I PAID MY TICKETS IN 1988, I COME HOME FROM FEDERAL PRISON 30 YEARS LATER TO FIND A NOT ELIGIBLE NEXT TO MY NAME FOR A CIVIL PENALTY OF $300 I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT, BECAUSE I DIDN’T RECEIVE NOTICE WHEN I PAID THE FINE, AND THEY SENT NOTICE, THEY SAY, TO AN ADDRESS I NO LONGER LIVED AT. THE PENALTY WAS FOR DRIVING WITHOOUT A LICENSE, THEY STATE A NO INSURANCE, WHICH I DON’T REMEMBER, AND RUNNING A RED LIGHT. WHICH I DISPUTE WITHOUT MOMORY OF THE ISSUE IN 1988. ALL I WON’T IS THE ABILITY TO PAY THE CIVIL PENALTY IN PAYMENTS; AND FOR THEM TO TAKE AWAY THE NOT ELIGIBLE DESIGNATION IN THE DATA BASE. BECAUSE I’M TRYING TO GET MY PERMIT IN FLORIDA AND START MY LIFE OVER.

Reply
LIC Direct

WTF: Driving is a privilege if you are a bad driver you get a ticket and get the license suspended , don’t use the low income disproportionate economically disadvantaged person as a scape goat for passing this law which makes no sense, pay your tickets’, respect the law. Another pass for the lawless and lawlessness. There is no accountability no punishment, time to leave the sh*t hole city and state, becoming a 3rd world city.

17
1
Reply
Todd

Woke insanity. Suspensions don’t target anyone! If you can’t pay the fines, there is a simple solution: don’t break the law!!!!

15
1
Reply
ABoondy

ummm…shouldnt they be in prison for unpaid parking tickets? whats next, hit and runs will be legal?

12
3
Reply
Louisa

They should forgive all traffic tickets during the pandemic. A lot of people are under a great deal of stress and have been experiencing brain fog.

11
Reply
What's the point of having the ticket book?

What’s the motivation for paying the tickets?

And if you are poor then you shouldn’t own a car!

11
2
Reply
Here's the deal...

If enough people of an ethnic minority commit a particular crime/violation, then the laws must be changed to accomodate them.

Obviously, people belonging to certain selected groups can, under no circumstances, be held individually accountable for their actions.

Identity politics at its worst.

16
1
Reply
Jake

How unbelievable is this! More reasons to disobey the laws and do as they please in NYC. Mopeds on the sidewalks, all sorts of bikes riding in reverse traffic direction, almost no one paying attention to traffic lights. It’s the Wild West in NYC thanks to the mayor, city council etc.

13
1
Reply
Lucky number 7 train

If I get a ticket tomorrow and there are no consequences for not paying the fine why should I pay it? Or can I pay the $25 once get my license back and go right back to my old ways?
All for making it easier for people to pay their fines off but this seems dangerous. If some people wont learn from their recklessness behavior after multiple times and many chances then maybe they need to lose their driving privileges. To many folks on the bike lanes now for dangerous driving ( I’m not a cyclists )

Reply
Lucky number 7 train

So really what they are saying is we dont have to pay tickets anymore because there are no consequences.
Also what I get from this is that if enough people dont show up to court and scream injustice the courts will just ignore the law and even change it. It’s great I’m gonna park anywhere and drive like a lunatic.

10
1
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.