Traffic Violations Bureau

What To Do If You Receive A Traffic Ticket


INTRODUCTION

If you are issued a ticket for a non-criminal moving traffic violation in the five boroughs of New York City, it will be handled by a New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). This allows courts in these areas to concentrate on criminal cases, including driving offenses, such as driving while intoxicated and driving while suspended or revoked (aggravated unlicensed operation). However, TVBs do not handle parking violations.

If you plead not guilty to a traffic ticket in one of these TVB areas, your case will be heard by a DMV Administrative Law Judge (Judge). A TVB Judge is an experienced attorney with special training in the Vehicle and Traffic Law. The Judge has the authority to decide whether you are guilty, set fines and take action against your license or driving privileges.  

At a TVB hearing, you will have the opportunity to testify, present witnesses and evidence on your behalf and, if you choose, be represented by an attorney.

TVB offices do not accept walk-in customers; a motorist must have a scheduled hearing or a reservation to visit a TVB office.


IF YOU ARE ISSUED A TICKET PLEASE FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS

Answer your ticket by pleading guilty or not guilty.

Don't delay! Follow the instructions on the ticket for the plea you wish to make, and act promptly.

If you don't answer the ticket by pleading guilty or not guilty in the time allowed, your license or driving privilege may be suspended.  Over time, failure to respond can result in a guilty finding (a default conviction).  A separate suspension will be imposed for not paying the fine and a judgment could be entered against you.

Plead Guilty

  • Online - Use the Traffic Ticket Pleas, Hearings and Payments online transaction 
  • By Mail - Read the instructions on your traffic ticket
    • Check the "guilty" box on the ticket
    • Fill in the requested information
    • Update you address if different than the one captured by the police officer 
    • Sign it
    • Mail it within 15 days of the violation date, with your payment to the Albany address listed on the ticket. 
    • Pay your fine and surcharge by credit card, or by a check or money order payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

Plead Not Guilty

Important: You are not required to appear in person for your TVB hearing

For your hearing, follow these steps:

  1. Schedule your hearing
  2. Complete a Statement in Place of Personal Appearance
  3. The judge will hold the hearing and you will be notified of the decision by email at the address you provided
  • Online - Use the Traffic Ticket Pleas, Hearings and Payments online transaction 
  • By Mail - Read the instructions on your traffic ticket

    • Check the "not guilty" box on the ticket 
    • Fill in the requested information
    • Update your address if different than the one captured by the police officer 
    • Sign it
    • Mail it within 15 days of the violation date, with your payment to the Albany address listed on the ticket
    • DMV will send you a letter telling you when and where to go for your hearing
    • If you are hearing impaired and require an interpreter let us know when you mail in your not guilty plea. An interpreter will be assigned to you at no charge

 

 

RESCHEDULING YOUR HEARING

You can only reschedule your hearing twice; and only if the new hearing date falls within 20 months of the ticket being issued.

  • Online - Use the Traffic Ticket Pleas, Hearings and Payments online transaction
  • By Mail - Read the instructions on your traffic ticket
    • Your request must be received by mail at least 10 days before the date of the scheduled hearing
      • Traffic Violations Plea Unit
        P.O. Box 2950 - ESP
        Albany, NY  12220-0950
  • By Phone - Call (718)-488-5710, at least twenty-four hours before the date of your scheduled hearing
  • Make a cash only payment in person - can only be done by making a reservation to visit a TVB Office

 

WHAT HAPPENS AT YOUR HEARING

You are considered innocent unless you are proven guilty. You cannot be found guilty unless there is "clear and convincing evidence" that you committed the violation.

If you find it hard to understand English, you may bring someone to help you. Inform the Judge or the clerk that you brought an interpreter upon check-in.

The Judge will listen to sworn testimony from the police officer, who will explain why you were given the ticket. Then, you or your attorney may ask the officer questions. You may testify, bring witnesses or present evidence on your behalf. The Judge may ask witnesses questions to better understand their testimony.

You do not have to testify, but you may if you wish. You cannot be found guilty just because you did not testify.

When all the evidence and testimony have been given, the Judge will decide whether you are guilty. That decision will be made in accordance with the law and based only on the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing. If the Judge decides the charge against you was not proven by clear and convincing evidence, you will be found not guilty. If clear and convincing evidence has been established, you will be found guilty. You may be required to pay a fine and any mandatory court surcharges. A conviction may result in a mandatory suspension or revocation.  Additionally, depending on the severity of the charges and your driving record, the Judge may take action against your license or driving privileges.

 

APPEALS

If you believe the ALJ's decision was incorrect based on the facts and the law, you may file an appeal. You can determine if you can file an appeal online or download Traffic Violations Bureau Appeal form (AA-33) from the DMV web site. The appeal form is also available at TVB offices. Read the instructions carefully. An attorney may help file the appeal on your behalf. Remember to include a payment for the appeal fees. The appeal form and fees must be sent to:

DMV Appeals Board
P.O. Box 2935
Albany, NY  12220-0935

 

LICENSE SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION

Common reasons a motorist is suspended or revoked:

Failed to timely answer a ticket.

Failed to timely pay a fine.

Suspended by the Judge for reasons other than those listed here.

Speeding/Misdemeanors —three speeding and/or misdemeanor traffic infractions within 18 months, will result in a revocation for at least six months.

New Driver Probation — You are on license probation for six months after you pass a road test. If you are found guilty of committing any two moving violations during your probation period, your license will be suspended for 60 days. It will also be suspended for 60 days if you are found guilty of committing a single, more serious violation during the probation period, including speeding, tailgating, unauthorized racing or reckless driving. If you are found guilty of committing a texting/cell phone violation during the probation period, your license will be suspended for 120 days.

Points — Most traffic violations carry violation points. The points will be added to your record using the date the violation occurred, not the date you are found guilty. If your violation points in any 18-month period add up to 11 or more, you may be suspended or revoked following a hearing.

The Judge will hold the point hearing immediately after you are found guilty of a violation that brings your total to 11 or more points in 18 months.


Violation Points

 

License Violation Points
VIOLATIONPOINTS
Speeding (MPH over posted limit)
1 to 103
11 to 204
21 to 306
31 to 408
Over 4011
Reckless driving5
Failed to stop for school bus5
Improper cell phone use

5

Use of portable electronic device "texting"

5

Railroad crossing violation

5

Failed to yield right-of-way3
Red Light3
Disobeying traffic control signal, STOP sign or YIELD sign3
Improper passing, changing lane unsafely3
Driving left of center, in wrong direction3
Leaving scene of property damage incident3
Child safety restraint violation3
Inadequate Brakes (employer's vehicle)2
Most other moving violation2
Failure to signal2
Improper turn2
Disobeying a traffic control device2
Tinted window0
No seatbelt driver/passenger 16 years or older0
Unregistered0
Unlicensed0
Uninspected0
Faulty equipment0

Taking a DMV-approved accident prevention course will help to prevent you from losing your license in the event you accrued 11 or more points on your driving record. Four points are 'subtracted' for the purposes of calculating a suspension if you have 11 or more points. However, the tickets/points do not physically come off your driving record. Learn about the New York State point system.

 



TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS BUREAU ADDRESSES AND PHONE NUMBERS

Additional information can be found at:
Tickets received in New York City

 

Mark J. F. Schroeder, Commissioner

C-49 (2/05) Edited for the Internet 7/20

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