Press Release 06-22-2018

DMV News


Friday, June 22, 2018

Lisa Koumjian            
[email protected]      




The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued a list of the top five mistakes that customers make when doing business with DMV and offered tips on how they can be avoided. These errors can result in significant problems for motorists, including encounters with law enforcement, suspended driver licenses, additional fees, and multiple trips to the DMV for the same transaction.

“We see customers making these easily avoidable mistakes over and over, so we’re working to make everyone aware of what they need to know and do to ensure a successful transaction the first time” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner. “This will save our customers time, money and spare them from needless aggravation, as well as make it easier for DMV staff to provide the best possible customer service.”

The top five mistakes DMV customers make are:

1. Forgetting to Update Address

Motorists are required, by law, to report a change of address to DMV within ten days of moving within or out of the state for both the address on their driver license and all of their vehicle registrations. Customers who do not report an address change can miss toll notices, suspension orders and may be charged with operating an unregistered vehicle and/or aggravated unlicensed operation, both misdemeanors. Writing the new address on the back of the license or changing an address with the United States Postal Service are insufficient and do not update the new address in DMV’s records.

Customers can change their address online, by mail or at a DMV office. Learn more about how to change the address on your license and registrations.

Customers can also sign up to receive email and/or text reminders before their driver license, non-driver ID card, registration or vehicle inspection expires.

2. Leaving the State Without Notifying DMV

Prior to moving to another state, motorists should resolve any issues regarding their New York State license or registration. Unanswered tickets, suspensions and revocations can prevent motorists from getting a license in their new home state. To avoid an insurance lapse, it is also important that they remember to surrender their license plates to New York State DMV before they register their vehicle in another state.

Plates can be returned by mail or to a DMV office.

3. Letting Insurance Lapse

New York State requires motorists to maintain auto insurance from a company licensed in the state on every registered vehicle, and DMV works with insurance companies to electronically monitor insurance coverage. When coverage is dropped on a registered vehicle, DMV notifies the registrant of the insurance gap. If unresolved, not having insurance, even temporarily, can result in suspensions of both the vehicle registration and the driver license.

Learn more about Insurances Lapses and How to Surrender your Plates 

4. Not Understanding Penalties for Traffic Violations

DMV assigns points for certain traffic violations to track dangerous drivers.  When a driver accumulates multiple points in a short period of time, their license may be suspended. DMV may also charge a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee, which is separate from any fines imposed by the court.  Failure to pay a DRA charge can also result in a suspended license.

Learn more about the NYS Driver Point System and how to Pay Driver Responsibility Assessment.


5. Not Bringing Proper Documentation or Funds to DMV Office

DMV recommends customers first check the department’s website at to see if their transaction, such as an address change, registration renewal, or scheduling a road test, can be done online. Customers can also sign up for MyDMV, which offers additional personalized and secure online services. If the transaction requires an office visit, such as getting a REAL ID, motorists should make sure they bring what they need to avoid a second trip. The DMV website provides an easy-to-use Document Guide to help customers better prepare for an office visit.