With Canada so close to New York, it is no wonder that Canadians are receiving New York traffic tickets and vice versa. If you are a Canadian driver from Quebec or Ontario and you are traveling through NY, you may be in more trouble than you think if you get a NY traffic ticket.
Many of the Canadian motorists receiving tickets simply plead guilty and mail in their payment. They reason that they cannot fight the ticket while living hundreds of miles from the town court where the hearing is to be held. Paying your NY speeding ticket without fighting is a big mistake whether you are a resident of Ontario, Quebec or New York.
Shared Driver Information
The United States and Canada may have very different legal systems, but New York and Canada share driver information with one another. Some of this information includes who received a traffic ticket, where it was issued, and when the incident happened. Essentially, New York State will transfer notices of conviction to Ontario and Quebec (and vice versa). Once they have this information, they will have the ability to assess demerit points against your driving record.
According to the Société de l’assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), an equivalent offense committed in another province or in an American state that Quebec has a reciprocal agreement with (e.g. New York) will result in demerit points being put on your driving record as if the offense occurred in Quebec itself.
This means receiving a New York traffic ticket for an offense that is recognized in Quebec will likely result in demerit points being added onto your Canadian driving record.
The points you receive will be set by the SAAQ point system based on the equivalent offense that you committed. Remember, you will only be allowed to receive a maximum of 15 demerit points on your license before losing your driving privileges.
To speak directly to a New York traffic ticket lawyer contact us at 888-883-5529.
Ontario also has reciprocity with New York.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, demerit points will be assessed against you for any traffic violation that you commit in NY that is equivalent to a traffic offense in Ontario. Ultimately, receiving a New York speeding ticket can lead to an expensive fine, demerit points, a possible suspension, and an increase in your car insurance premium.
In Quebec, if you amass 15 demerit points, your license is automatically revoked.
At 7 points, the SAAQ issues a notice of warning. An Ontario driver that accumulates six demerit points will receive a letter. If the total reaches 9 points, the driver will have to argue to keep his license. When 15 points are amassed, driving privileges are suspended. To avoid such point accrual from New York speeding tickets, Canadian drivers need to contact a New York traffic attorney who has a successful record combating speeding violations.
New York Drivers
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.” However, NY makes exceptions for alcohol-related violations, drug-related violations, and moving violations committed in Quebec or Ontario. This means that New York will put points on your NY driving record for any recognized offenses that you commit in Quebec or Ontario.
Not only will your insurance carrier have the ability to raise your insurance rates due to the violation you committed, but you will also face points and a steep fine. Depending on the severity of the violation, your license could even be suspended.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
If you are a Canadian driver with a license from Quebec or Ontario 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 the Canadian point system.
Therefore, if you are found guilty of speeding 41 miles over the posted speed limit or get convicted 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.
Remember, your driver’s license will not be suspended by Quebec or Ontario and NY does not have the authority to suspend your driver’s license. However, since Quebec and Ontario have reciprocity with New York, they will honor the “suspension” of your NY driving privileges (even though they will not take away your ability to drive in Canada or other states).
Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA)
Furthermore, if you are convicted of a NY traffic ticket for an offense or set of offenses that amounts to 6 or more points under New York’s Point System, you will also be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA).
This applies regardless of whether you are a Canadian driver or licensed in NY.
If you get 6 points in 18 months, the assessment will be $100 per year for 3 years.
If you get more than 6 points in 18 months, an additional $25 per year will be charged for each additional point you receive. This means 1 extra point will cost you $75 more (since the assessment lasts for 3 years). If you get convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related offense or you refuse to submit to a chemical test, the assessment will be $250 per year for 3 years.
Who Should You Contact?
If you ever run into trouble and receive an out-of-state traffic ticket, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm. He will be able to tell you what you are facing and will do what he can to help you get out of the ticket entirely. He can be reached at 888-883-5529.