Resolving a Traffic Ticket
Seeking a traffic ticket reduction without appearing in Court
Seeking a traffic dismissal without appearing in Court
Only moving violations of NYSVTL Sections 319, 401, 509 and a few equipment violations are eligible for dismissal by mail.
For the following NYS VTL moving violations, if the motorist had a valid license, registration, inspection or insurance at the time the ticket was issued, provide by mail the documentation described below, along with a check or money order payable to NCTPVA, if applicable to “NCTPVA -Reduction/Dismissal by mail, 801 Axinn Avenue, Garden City NY 11550. A self-addressed stamped envelope should also be included.
Violation 319-1 Operating without Insurance
A conviction of this violation carries fines and fees as high as $1,688, an automatic 1-year revocation of your Driver’s License and a civil penalty of $750. Your insurance card and/or a copy of your insurance policy will not be accepted as proof.
If the vehicle you were driving at the time of the incident had insurance, you must produce an original letter (no photocopies or facsimiles) from the insurance company (not the insurance agent) that includes or meets the following requirements:
1.Insurance Company Letterhead and signed by a duly authorized representative of your insurance company.
2.Dated on or after issuance of violation
3.Names the violator and/or insured
4. The summons number
5.Starting and ending dates of the policy which contains the violation date
6. States the policy meets the minimum requirements prescribed by New York State Law for insurance of a motor vehicle
7.States 'no lapse in coverage occurred during the effective dates of the coverage period' or states 'the dates of insurance lapse during coverage period are _________________
8.States that coverage was in full force and effect on date summons was issued
9.Describes the vehicle including year, make, model, license plate number and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
If letter does not describe license plate number, include a copy of your registration.
Violation 509-1 Unlicensed Operator Provide official and authentic DMV abstract showing valid driving privileges on date of violation. Abstracts can be obtained online, by phone or in person at a local NYS DMV office. Visit New York DMV Records
Violation 401-1a Unregistered Motor Vehicle Provide copy of registration document showing valid registration on date of violation and a copy of the operator's Driver's License.
Certain equipment violations issued under sections 375, 376, and 381 will be dismissed upon timely correction and properly submitted proof of correction (PDF) prior to the court date. Follow the instructions and mail a properly executed proof of correction form along with documentation the form requires to "NCTPVA – Proof of Timely Repair, 801 Axinn Avenue Garden City, NY 11550". The motorist should keep a copy of the submitted documents. If the proof is accepted and a self-addressed stamped envelope is included, the dismissal receipts will be returned via mail. If the proof is not accepted, the motorist will receive a conference notice to come to court to discuss a possible settlement of the charges.
Contesting a Traffic Ticket by appearing in Court
If the motorist has a conflict on the return date of the ticket, he/she can appear prior to the date. To do this, confirm the ticket has been received by NCTPVA from the Police Agency that issued it by visiting Lookup/Pay Parking and Traffic Tickets. If information about the ticket displays, it means the motorist can answer the ticket. Consult the Court Schedule to see when Court is in session. During the court appearance, a prosecutor will discuss the options a motorist has to resolve the ticket. This usually, but not always, involves a reduction in fines and/or charges in exchange for a guilty plea. If the prosecutor and motorist agree on a settlement, the matter is put before a Judicial Hearing Officer (JHO) for approval. If agreement cannot be reached by the motorist and prosecutor, a trial will be scheduled at a later date and the motorist will be notified by mail of when to return for the trial.
Pleading "Not Guilty" by Mail to a Traffic Ticket
If the motorist is unable to confirm the ticket has been received by NCTPVA and the return date on the ticket is nearing, the motorist should enter a "Not Guilty" plea by mail by following the instructions on the ticket. This will save the motorist time in the case that the ticket was misfiled and needs to be entered into the system. (It should be noted that if the ticket was misfiled and the motorist fails to either appear in court or mail in a "Not Guilty" plea prior to the return date, the ticket will be subject to late fee, collections, and suspension once the ticket is properly filed).
In response to a "Not Guilty" plea, NCTPVA will schedule a conference and mail a notice advising the motorist to appear in court for that conference. If there is a conflict on the conference date, the registered owner may appear prior to the conference date.
During the court appearance, a prosecutor will discuss the options a motorist has to resolve the ticket. This usually, but not always, involves a reduction in fines and/or charges in exchange for a guilty plea. If the prosecutor and motorist agree on a settlement, the matter is put before a Judicial Hearing Officer (JHO) for approval. If agreement cannot be reached by the motorist and prosecutor, a trial will be scheduled at a later date and the motorist will be notified by mail of when to return for the trial.
Appearing in Court for a Traffic Trial
A trial is scheduled when a settlement can't be reached when a motorist appeared in Court for a conference. If the trial date received in the mail poses a conflict, the motorist must immediately request a trial postponement by sending, via certified mail, a notarized letter along with a copy of the trial notice to Clerk of the Court – Trial Postponement Request, 801 Axinn Avenue Garden City, NY 11550, explaining the conflict and providing written documentation (copies of airline tickets, etc.) supporting the claim. A copy of the request should be kept along with the certified mail receipt. The request will be reviewed by a Judicial Hearing Officer (JHO) and is not automatically granted. If it is granted, a "final" trial date will be assigned and mailed to the motorist. This final date will not be rescheduled. If the motorist does not receive a rescheduled trial date or the request is denied, the motorist should bring a copy of the submitted correspondence along with proof that it was mailed, to court prior to the trial date to discuss options, if any, with the prosecutor.
The motorist must appear on the trial date at the scheduled time of the trial. Failure to appear for trial will result in a default conviction and add an additional $75 to the fines and fees on each ticket. The officer who issued the ticket(s) will be present and will testify, under oath, in court as to why the ticket was issued and the registered owner will have the opportunity to question the officer about the ticket. The registered owner will then have the option of telling their version, under oath. If the registered owner chooses to testify, he/she will also be required to answer questions the prosecutor may ask them.
At the conclusion of testimony, the JHO will issue a verdict of "Guilty" and assess fines and fees or "Not Guilty" – no fines or fees.
Potential Adverse Consequences
Failure to resolve traffic tickets by ignoring them at any stage of the process described above can result in the referral of the debt to a collection agency and the suspension and/or revocation of the motorist's driving privileges. Fees and fines associated with collection efforts and suspensions/revocations are added to any ticket fines and fees that a motorist may be liable for. A motorist driving with suspended or revoked driving privileges faces arrest and criminal charges.
Seeking an Out of Area Waiver of Appearance
A motorist who receives a ticket but does not live on Long Island or the Five Boroughs may request an "Out of Area Waiver" for the purpose of settling charges. If it is your intent to seek such a waiver, send a letter to "NCTPVA - Out of Area Waiver of Appearance Request, 801 Axinn Avenue Garden City, NY 11530. Your correspondence should include a copy of your valid driver license and a copy of the summonses you received along with a statement explaining where you currently live and when, if at all, you plan to return to the area. If you have moved out of the state and your current residence requires you switch your license to your new state, you must send proof that you have applied for a new out of state license. The out of state prosecutor will review your correspondence and make a determination of whether your waiver will be granted. Include a valid email address and daytime phone number in your correspondence along with a self-addressed stamped envelope. If the waiver is granted, an offer of settlement may be made by telephone, mailed or emailed to you.
Pleading guilty to a traffic ticket and paying the fines online.
Traffic Tickets can usually be resolved by pleading guilty and paying fines online although there are tickets that require an appearance in Court. Motorists are encouraged to research the ramifications of a guilty plea before proceeding as a guilty plea is final.