Massachusetts and New York may be close together geographically, but they are worlds apart when it comes to out-of-state traffic tickets. If you plan on driving through either of these states in the foreseeable future, it is crucial that you read the following article and familiarize yourself with the ways each state handles out-of-state traffic tickets.
Driver’s License Compact
Both New York and Massachusetts have signed the Driver’s License Compact. This means NY and MA freely share driver information with one another.
If you receive a NY traffic ticket but are a MA driver, MA will be notified about the ticket you received. Likewise, this also applies if you are licensed in NY and got a ticket in MA.
In Massachusetts, points will be assessed against your MA driver’s license for almost all out-of-state traffic offenses.
Out-of-state traffic violations “will be treated by the RMV like they happened in Massachusetts.” (See chapter 2 of http://www.mass.gov/rmv/dmanual/chapter2.pdf.)
In other words, if you commit a traffic violation in NY that is recognized in MA, in most circumstances, MA will put the equivalent amount of points on your MA license.
New York Drivers
New York handles out-of-state traffic tickets very differently. If you have a New York driver’s license and receive a Massachusetts traffic ticket, New York will not typically add points onto your driver’s license.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, “The NYSDMV does not record out-of-state violations committed by NYS drivers in other jurisdictions.” Nonetheless, NY makes exceptions for alcohol-related violations, drug-related violations, and moving violations committed in Quebec or Ontario.
As such, if you are caught speeding in Massachusetts, not a single point will be added onto your New York driver’s license. However, your insurance carrier will have the ability to raise your insurance rates due to the violation you committed. This point about insurance is also applicable if you are a MA license holder ticketed in NY.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
If you are an out-of-state driver and accrue 11 points or more, you will lose your New York driving privileges. This accumulation of 11 points will be determined based on the New York point system, not your home state’s point system.
Therefore, if you are caught speeding 41 miles over the posted speed limit or get cited twice for speeding 21-30 miles over the limit, you will no longer be allowed to drive in the State of New York for a specified duration of time.
Unlike other states, Massachusetts will not only honor this suspension of your NY driving privileges, but it will also suspend your Massachusetts license altogether. Remember, if your driving privileges are suspended or revoked in another state, your Massachusetts license will be suspended automatically.
If your privileges get reinstated in the other state (i.e. New York), you will have to bring a reinstatement letter or your current driving record from that state to your local motor vehicle agency in MA before being able to have your MA license reinstated. Be careful, MA is much stricter than NY when it comes to out-of-state traffic tickets.
Never forget, no state can require you to pay a double fine and you will only be required to pay the state in which you received the ticket. As such, if you got a NY traffic ticket, you will pay the State of New York. If you got a MA traffic ticket, you will pay the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm is a traffic ticket attorney licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey. He can be reached via e-mail or at 888-883-5529.