How Long Do Points Last on My License

Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.

This is a question we get often and unfortunately the answer is not simple. There are two aspects to “points” going on your license. The first is insurance purposes and the second is for DMV purposes. They each have their own calculations.

Points appear on your driving record on the day of conviction. In New York State, there are different types of driving records. There is a lifetime record and a standard driving record. Once a violation goes onto your lifetime driving record it never comes off unless the conviction is vacated (appealed). There is also a standard driving record. Your violation will no longer appear on your standard driving record on January 1 following three years since the date of conviction. For example, if you are convicted in July of 2022, the violation will appear on your record in July of 2023 (year 1), July of 2024 (year 2), July of 2025 (year 3), and will continue appearing on your record through December of 2025. It will no longer appear on your record in January of 2026. This timeline roughly correlates with insurance calculations. Your insurance company can raise your rates for 3-4 years after a conviction.

DMV purposes means as follows: The DMV can take action against your license if you amass certain violations within a certain time. The action they take may include driver assessment fees, suspension, and revocation. The relevant time period in which violations combine to trigger DMV action is always 18 months. For DMV purposes, the only relevant date is the date of violation. Obviously, no action is taken until there is a conviction, but upon conviction, the DMV will always look back at the date of the violation. The DMV will look at the 18 months preceding the date of violation and 18 months subsequent to the date of the violation. Any other violations during that period (for which there was a conviction) will combine. The typical consequence of combining violations is the imposition of a driver responsibility assessment fee. More serious sanctions include suspension or revocation. The DMV action is almost always automated and taken pursuant to the entry of a court order. There is almost no human involved.

An important note when discussing DMV action. Actually appearing on your record does not mean a lot. A violation can appear on your record, but the violation “expired” because it was more than 18 months ago and there are no other open or closed cases within 18 months. On the other hand, a violation can already be off your record, but it is still counted towards future action regarding other violations committed within the same 18 months.

If you need help tracking your violations and understanding the timeline and consequences of multiple convictions, you can reach out to the attorneys at the Benjamin Goldman Law Office. Our firm’s main practice area is traffic ticket defense. We are quite familiar with the nuances of the Department of Motor Vehicles.