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Let’s face it: New York is a big state, and driving here can be intimidating. Traffic laws are strict, and you’ll need to know how to navigate the streets safely to avoid a traffic ticket or an accident. Luckily for you, this guide will help explain New York State’s point system and provide information on how drivers can benefit from completing an approved defensive driving course.

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What is the New York Point System?

The New York Point System is a way of measuring the number of traffic violations you have committed. Each time you commit a violation, the NY DMV will add points to your license. If you accumulate too many points or the DMV determines that your driving habits put other drivers at risk, they may suspend your license.

The New York DMV uses an accumulation system where each ticket has its own point value based on its severity; speeding tickets are worth 3 points, while reckless driving is worth 5 points. Points stay on your license for 18 months from when they were issued and can only be removed by taking New York-approved defensive driving classes (we’ll talk about those later).

When you accumulate 6 points or more on your New York State driving record within a period of 18 months, the NY DMV will require you to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee.

New York’s Point Reduction Program

The NYS Point Reduction Program is a great way to reduce your points. If you have been convicted of a traffic violation, such as speeding or failure to stop at a red light, the court will assign points against your license. Once you have accumulated enough points on your license, it can be suspended or revoked by the NYS DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles).

You can apply for the NYS Point Reduction Program if:* You were not involved in an accident.* You were driving under 20 mph over the limit.* There were no passengers under 18 years old with you when charged with an offense.* Another person did not own your vehicle at the time of the arrest

How Does the Point Reduction Program Work?

If you receive a traffic ticket in New York State, the court will notify you of the points assessed against your driving record. The more serious the violation, the greater number of points will be assessed against your license. For example, speeding ten miles over the speed limit could add between 3 points and 11 points depending on your speed. Reckless driving would result in 5 points to your record. If you accumulate 6 or more points within 18 months, then New York DMV will revoke or suspend your driver’s license.

The Point Reduction Program allows drivers who have committed less serious violations, such as speeding 1 to 10 miles per hour above the posted speed limit or failing to yield right-of-way at intersections with stop signs but no lights. Both are common occurrences among teens learning how to drive. You can reduce point totals by completing a defensive driving course offered by licensed providers throughout New York State.

How to Qualify for Point Reduction in New York State

To qualify for a point reduction, you must:

  • Have a clean driving record for at least three years. You could not qualify for a point reduction if you were convicted of a moving violation in the last 18 months.
  • Not have completed a defensive driving course within the past 18 months. You can still enroll in one now or later on
  • Ensure it doesn’t appear as completed within that time frame on your DMV record.

Point Reduction Process Overview

To apply for a point reduction in New York, you must first meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been ticketed within the past 18 months.
  • You must not have completed a defensive driving course within the last 18 months.
  • You must have your certificate of completion when going to the DMV.

Once these requirements have been met, you can fill out an application on the DMV website, submit it in person at any New York State DMV location, or mail it in with payment via check or money order (credit cards are not accepted).

Drivers Can Get Their Insurance Rates Reduced if They Complete a Defensive Driving Course

If you’ve received a traffic ticket, knowing there are ways to reduce your insurance rates is essential. You can take a defensive driving course every three years to maintain the insurance discount. First, check the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website for information about your violation. From there, contact an attorney or visit the courthouse to learn what action should be taken next.

If you have questions about how defensive driving courses can help reduce your insurance costs after completing one and want more information on courses available near you, visit our page on defensive driving courses in New York State

Final Thoughts

New York’s Point Reduction Program is an excellent option if you’re looking to reduce your car insurance rates. The program offers drivers the chance to get their points reduced by completing a defensive driving course and passing the exam at the end of it. If you want more information about how this program works and whether or not it’s right for you, check out our partners at Improv Learning for the most comprehensive and fun defensive driving course in New York state.

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