How long do points stay on your license in New York State?

Navigating the New York driver’s license point system can be confusing. Learning how the system works can help you make informed choices as you work or wait to clear your points. Your points stay active for 18 months on your driver's license. Taking the New York approved points reduction class will reduce your points by four and save you 10% on your auto insurance rates.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to Know

  • New York offers a points reduction program to lower your points
  • Your traffic ticket points will expire from your license after 18 months 
  • Most lesser violations will show for four years or less on your DMV record

Getting tickets with points on your license can be a stressful time. Understandably, the New York DMV points system can feel overwhelming. More than likely you have a lot of questions about the process.

Figuring out how many DMV points you have and when they expire can help keep you on the right track to a clean driving record. As with all government systems, there are a lot of rules and different agencies tracking your driving record.

These are some of the New York government reporting Agencies:

  • NY State and Local Police
  • Local Traffic Violations Bureau
  • New York Department of Motor Vehicles

Your traffic ticket points are active on your driver’s license for 18 months. They are added retroactively from the day you got the ticket. That is because the points are tied to your driving violations. This can put you several months ahead in getting them cleared, no matter when you go to court, plead down your tickets, or pay the tickets.

It all starts on the day you got your ticket. Let’s say you received your ticket on July 1 but don’t go to court until September 30.

This breakdown shows when and how they will be added to your driver’s license.

  • Court date September 30
  • Points added on September 30
  • Points count as being on your license since July 1

This example shows only a few months in between the ticket and your points becoming active. In many cases, it could be much longer until you go to court. The good news is that every month from your ticket date counts toward them being taken off, no matter when they are added.

How long do points stay on your driving record?

18 months is how long the driver’s license points count against your DMV driving record. They can stay on your permanent record for much longer. But, because they are not on your license after 18 months they don’t cause you driving suspensions problems.

In NY your points are added to your driver’s license record, your lifetime driving record, and can be added to a criminal report. After 18 months they are not active on your driver’s license.

You will find different information with each state recording office.

  • DMV Driver’s Record
  • Lifetime Driving Record
  • Criminal Record of driving Offenses

Each of these state reports will record and hold information for different lengths of time. Some information will clear from your lifetime and criminal driving record over time. Due to government rules changing and updating often for these, there is no way to say exactly when or if your lifetime or criminal record will clear.

Your New York DMV driver’s license points will always clear 18 months after your ticket date.

New York will not notify you that the points are no longer active. They will just expire leaving you with a clear DMV points report. You can help clear your record and reduce your auto insurance rates by keeping track of when these should come off your license, and checking that they have expired on time.

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How many points does it take to suspend my license in New York?

Your NY driver’s license can be suspended if you get 11 or more points in any 18 month period.

Points are calculated by how dangerous New York considers the driving offense. Speeding less than five mph over the limit or running a red light can add three points per ticket to your driver’s license.

Only driving 40 mph over the posted limit can get you 11 points in one ticket. But, several tickets at once can quickly exceed the 11 DMV points and put you at risk of losing your license.

Each of these driving offenses carries five points per ticket:

  • Texting while driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to stop for a school bus

Each police officer can write the tickets as they see your driving offenses. You could easily get two or more tickets at once if you were speeding and texting while driving, which together the officer deems as reckless driving.

One traffic stop can put you in danger of losing your license.

  • Speeding at least three points
  • Texting and driving five points
  • Reckless five points

With this one traffic stop, you could have 13 points on your license, two more than the NY state rules for driving suspension. The State of New York does offer a points reduction program that can help you keep your driver’s license.

The Point & Insurance Reduction Program can take four points off your driver’s license record. It also offers a mandatory 10% auto and motorcycle insurance rate reduction. This program is offered by many state-approved defensive driving schools and groups.

The State uses these two acronyms for the in-person classes held under the Point & Insurance Reduction Program and the Internet Point and Insurance Reduction Program.

  • PIRP

It can be called many different names by the state-approved providers, with varying words for defensive driving classes. To be sure you get both your points reduced and your insurance savings make sure that the course you find is a NY state-approved class provider.

How long does a ticket stay on your record?

All traffic and driving tickets are not equal in how long they stay on your records in New York.

Some lesser traffic offenses will clear quicker than more serious charges. More serious driving offenses can carry both a traffic ticket and a criminal charge. Each of the reporting groups will have your information on file for as long as the state rules say it should be available.

The state guidance says that your standard DMV records will have information going back four years for most lesser violations. They record this information by the year of the ticket or accident, then hold the information another three years.

Driver’s license points will only count against you during the 18 month period between your ticket date and the expiration date. You can take steps to be sure your record is correct and that the points are taken off when your 18 months are up.

These are three proactive steps you can take to help clear your driver’s license.

  • Take the NY Point & Insurance Reduction Program
  • Use extra caution and care until your 18 months are over
  • Check often that your information is current and correct

Remember, both the online and in-person approved classes offer you a 10% insurance rate reduction, this insurance rate benefit will last for three years.

How can I find out how many points are on my license?

New York makes it easy to find your driving records. Like many government agencies, they use code words for each group of records. Knowing which one you need can save you time as you collect your information.

These are some of the New York DMV code words for driving records.

  • The standard driving record is called the ‘Abstract of Driving Record’
  • “Non-Scofflaws” are reported events tied to a suspension of your license
  • “Scofflaws” contain your information if you fail to pay your tickets or appear in court

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How many points do I have on my license?

Nothing is more important than knowing where you stand with your NY driving privilege. You can find your driving points information on your standard driving record. There are several ways listed to order your records.

By keeping current with your fines, avoiding new tickets, and always staying current on your auto insurance you can get back to a clean record quicker.

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