Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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The differences between license suspensions and revocations

Fines and points added to driving records may be the most well-known consequences that drivers in New York face after receiving traffic tickets but they are certainly not the only ones. According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, license suspensions and license revocations may be ordered based upon the nature of the offenses or other extraneous circumstances. Each of these penalties is given for different reasons and has its own associated way to reinstate driving privileges.

A suspended license simply means that the license is not active for a certain period of time. This can be issued for the following reasons:

  • Failure to carry liability insurance
  • Failure to file a required accident report
  • Failure to reply to or pay a ticket
  • Too many points on a license or some impaired driving convictions
  • Lack of adhering to rules for junior drivers

Unpaid child support or state taxes can also end up leading to a suspended license. Restoring the license is typically done through paying all fines and penalties, including a suspension termination fee.

A revoked license means that a driver’s license is essentially cancelled. This is considered a more serious penalty than a suspended license and can be issued for the following reasons:

  • Failure to carry any automotive insurance
  • Involvement as a driver in an uninsured or fatal accident
  • A traffic offense considered to be of a serious nature
  • Some impaired driving convictions
  • Lying on a driver’s license or registration application

The process for obtaining new licenses from the DMV after license revocations is more complex than for terminating a suspension but it is possible. Some people can complete the request for this online but people with complex situations may be best served by pursuing new licenses manually. 

Even out-of-state drivers may be affected by the rules governing driving privileges in New York. With increased vigilance by authorities on various traffic violations in the state and especially within New York City, being aware of these penalties can be important for drivers.

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