I just got my license suspended, what are my options?
Getting a notice in the mail or finding out that your license is or will be suspended is a serious legal issue. Not being able to drive can have a tremendous impact on your daily life, which means that you might not be able to go to work, run errands or go anywhere in case of an emergency.
What Is A Suspension Termination Fee?
If your license has been suspended you can pay what is known as a Suspension Termination Fee also known as a “Scoff Lift Fee” to end the period of suspension. This only applies in cases where your license has been suspended because of an unpaid ticket, fine or traffic court matter that was not taken care of. The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law states that if a driver pays the suspension termination fee, the temporary period of suspension will be lifted and the original matter then can be resolved.
For example, if you got a speeding ticket and failed to respond, the judge ultimately notify DMV which will issue a notice of pending driver’s license suspension. Having your license suspended means that your driving privileges will be taken away indefinitely until you take some action (either pay the fine or appear in court). If the license suspension goes into effect, before the case can be reheard in the court you will be required to pay a suspension termination fee. Some courts will not allow you to pay and fee and get your privileges back until the ticket is resolved either by a guilty plea to the offense as charged, a plea to a lesser offense (assuming the prosecutor is willing to negotiate a reduction) or a conviction at trial. Having the court tie up your license until the case is over can be an extreme hardship and underscores the importance of being attentive to deadlines to make sure your license is not suspended for failure to respond to a ticket or show up in court on a scheduled court date.
Note that if you are driving in New York on a suspended license then you can be pulled over and charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, which is a criminal offense and carries serious consequences. There are a number of different reasons as to why someone can have their license suspended in New York. The following are some of the most common reasons why your license can be suspended:
- Accumulation of 11 or more points or 3 speeding convictions within an 18 month period.
- Failure to answer a traffic violation summons
- Failure to pay a traffic ticket fine or other outstanding parking fines, surcharges and other court imposed fees.
- Failure to pay child support
- Mandatory suspension in cases of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
Having your license revoked is more severe than having your license suspended. If your license was suspended, your privileges will be automatically reinstated after the suspension period is up. Revocation means that your driving privileges are taken away and will not automatically be reinstated after the revocation period is over. At the end of the revocation period, you will have to pay a reinstatement fee and the Department of Motor Vehicles then needs to issue you a new license.