Getting a notice in the mail from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles telling you that your driving privileges have been suspended can be a very unwelcome surprise, especially if you didn’t know that was even a possibility. If that happens to you, the notice you receive will tell you the reason for the suspension, and will provide further information about what you need to do to get your driver’s license back.
There are lots of reasons the state might suspend your license. Here are some of the most common reasons:
1. You didn’t have current auto insurance. Buying auto insurance is the law, so if you don’t buy it at all, or if you let your insurance lapse because you don’t pay the insurance premiums, your license can be suspended until you can prove that you are insured.
2. You didn’t handle your traffic tickets. If you either get too many tickets in too short a time period, or if you don’t answer tickets or pay the fines when due, the state can suspend your driving privileges until you take care of the tickets/fines.
3. You owe money. Whether you are behind on your child support obligations or haven’t paid the state of NY taxes you owe, your license can be suspended until you take care of (or make satisfactory arrangements to handle) those debts.
4. You were caught driving under the influence. If you are caught driving after having too much to drink (blood alcohol content of between .05 and .07), or are pulled over when under the influence of a drug, having a suspended license is just one of the consequences you may face. Similarly, if you are under age 21 and are found to be driving in violation of New York state’s “Zero Tolerance” law (having a blood alcohol content of between .01 and .07), your license will be suspended. More serious violations will result in license revocation.
5. You are under 18 and didn’t follow the rules. New York has a “graduated license” law for drivers under 18. If you don’t follow the restrictions under that program, your junior driver’s license can be suspended or revoked.
6. You were in an accident and didn’t report it. New York’s Vehicle and Traffic laws specify that every driver involved in an accident in NY when there is property damage of $1,001 or more, or any accident in which a person is injured or killed, must file a “Report of Motor Vehicle Accident” with the DMV within ten days from the accident. Failing to file a report when required can result in the DMV suspending your driving privileges.
If your license has been suspended, contact an experienced NY traffic attorney today; you need a knowledgeable advocate in your corner. An attorney who knows the ins and outs of the DMV’s suspension system will be able to help you through the steps you need to take, ultimately helping you to get back behind the wheel as quickly as possible.