New York DMV Driving Violation Point System

The DMV driver violation point system helps to identify drivers who commit several traffic violations during a specific time period.

Eleven Points:

  • Speed 41+ over the speed limit

Eight Points:

  • Speed 31-40 over the speed limit

Six Points

  • Speed 21-30 over the speed limit

Five Points:

  • Failed to stop for a school bus
  • Reckless Driving
  • NEW:  Cell Phone violations carry FIVE points as of June 2013.

Four Points:

  • Speed 11-20 over the speed limit
  • Following too closely
  • Inadequate brakes

Three Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the speed limit.
  • Unreasonable speed (no exact speed cited)
  • Passing improperly, changing lanes unsafely, driving to the left of center, driving in the wrong direction
  • Failed to obey a traffic signal, a Stop sign, or a Yield sign
  • Railroad crossing violation
  • Failed to yield the right-of-way
  • Seat belt and child safety seat violations for passengers under the age of 16
  • Left the scene of an accident that includes property damage or the injury of a domestic animal
  • Cell Phone violations carry three points if issued between October 2011 and May 2013.

Two Points:

  • Disobey traffic control device
  • Failure to comply with a lawful order
  • Cell phone violations carry two points if issued between February and September 2011
  • Most other violations not specifically mentioned above

Zero Points:

  • Seat belt violations for adults (over age of 16)
  • Cell phone violations carry no points if issued prior to February 2011 

DMV calculates your point total by looking at the violation points you received during the 18 previous months. The points are counted from the dates of your traffic violations, not from the dates of your traffic convictions. Points do not appear on your driver record until you have actually been convicted of the violation. Eighteen months after the date of the violation, the points for that violation are removed from your point total. However, the conviction remains on your record forever. Your driver abstract will always reflect that you were guilty of a particular traffic violation no matter how long ago it was.

Except for Ontario and Quebec, points are not added to your NYS driver record if you commit an out-of-state traffic violation. Points can appear on your NYS driver record if you commit a traffic violation in Ontario or Quebec.

A note on automobile insurance

Insurance companies have their own internal systems of calculating points to determine which drivers are a greater risk to insure. In fact, some insurance companies consider some no point violations (seat belt, for example) evidence that a driver is a greater risk and will potentially raise insurance rates for these no point violations.  From an insurance perspective, consider the severity of the violation to be the important factor, not whether NY State chooses to assess 1, 10 or 100 points for a particular violation.  Insurance companies don’t suddenly consider a cellphone ticket more serious just because NY State made it a two point violation instead of no points in February 2011.  To the insurance company, the violation constitutes the same risk it always did.