Suspensions and revocations

Conviction of a serious traffic violation or multiple traffic violations can result in the suspension or revocation of your driver license or privilege to drive in New York State.  It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle when your driver license or driving privilege 1 is suspended or revoked.  

If your license or driving privilege is suspended or revoked, DMV will send a notice (called an “order”) to the address we have on file.  Be sure to follow the instructions on the order.

To check if your license is suspended or revoked, you can sign up for MyDMV and use the My License, Permit or ID service.

 

What does it mean if my driver license or driving privilege is suspended?

A suspension means your license or driving privilege will be taken away for a period of time before it is returned.  You may be required to pay a suspension termination fee.  The suspension period can be definite (which has a beginning and end date) or indefinite, which does not end until you take a required action. 

If you receive a definite suspension order, it will tell you how long the suspension period will last.  You cannot drive until the suspension period ends, pay a suspension termination fee, and have a valid driver license.  You can use DMV’s My License, Permit or ID service to check if your license is valid. 

Common reasons for definite suspensions are

  • you did not have automobile liability insurance  2
  • you were convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving charge  3
  • you received too many traffic tickets in a certain amount of time  4
  • you did not follow the rules for junior drivers  5

If you receive an indefinite suspension order, it will tell you what you must do to remove the suspension, such as answer a traffic ticket, pay a traffic ticket fine or file a motor vehicle crash report.   

Common reasons for indefinite suspensions are

  • you did not answer a traffic ticket  6
  • you did not pay for a traffic ticket fine  7
  • you did not file a motor vehicle accident report
  • you failed to pay child support  8
  • you have unpaid NYS tax debts  9
  • you did not have automobile liability insurance 10

Note:  Your license or driving privilege may be suspended due to a medical condition that affects your ability to drive safely (see Administrative Review Suspensions)

 

What does it mean if my driver license or driving privilege is revoked?

If you receive an order from DMV saying your license or driving privilege is revoked, this means your license has been cancelled and you must get a new one when the revocation period ends.  In most cases, before you can get a new license you must first request approval from DMV when the revocation period is over. You may be required to take the written and driving tests again and pay a license re­application fee. Your application may be denied if you have a high risk driving record or fail to meet DMV requirements.  You may also need to pay a driver civil penalty before your license or driving privilege can be restored.  

These are common reasons for revocations

  • you operated or permitted operation of a vehicle without insurance
  • you were involved in an uninsured motor vehicle accident
  • you were convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving charge  11
  • you were convicted of a serious traffic offense or multiple offenses
  • you failed a DMV road test
  • you made a false statement on an application for a license or registration
  • you were a driver in a motor vehicle crash that involved a fatality

 See also Suppose Your License was Taken Away.

  • 1. A driving privilege is your legal authority to drive in a state other than the state that issued your driver license. If you have a driver license issued in another state, DMV can revoke your privilege to drive in New York State, but your out-of-state license may still be valid to drive in other states.
  • 2. If you were suspended for an insurance lapse, you can submit proof of insurance online.  If the vehicle is not insured and the registration is still valid, you must surrender your registration and plates to DMV.  If you are required to pay the suspension termination fee, you can pay online. See more information about insurance lapses
  • 3. For more information, see Alcohol or drug related violations.
  • 4. For more information, see About the NYS Driver Point System
  • 5. See Information about the Graduated License Law for more information.
  • 6. If you were suspended because you did not answer a traffic ticket issued in New York City or Rochester (the ticket will say “Traffic Violations Bureau”), you can plead or pay for the ticket online. If the traffic ticket was issued in any other part of New York State, you must contact the local court directly. DMV’s My License, Permit or ID service can give you additional information about where to respond to a traffic ticket.
  • 7. If you were suspended because you did not pay a fine for a traffic ticket issued in New York City or Rochester (the ticket will say “Traffic Violations Bureau”), you can pay the fine online. If the traffic ticket was issued in any other part of New York State, you must contact the local court directly. DMV’s My License service can give you additional information about where to pay to a traffic ticket.
  • 8. To remove a suspension for the failure to pay child support, you must contact the local child support enforcement agency or the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). The OTDA website has a list of local child support enforcement agencies.
  • 9. For information on clearing these suspensions, contact the Department of Taxation and Finance at 518-862-6000 or visit their website at www.tax.ny.gov.
  • 10. If you were suspended for an insurance lapse, you can submit proof of insurance online. If the vehicle is not insured and the registration is still valid, you must surrender your registration and plates to DMV. See more information about insurance lapses.
  • 11. See Alcohol or drug related violations for more information.