The Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act (DLSRA) which went into full effect in June 2021 will make it easier for New Yorkers to keep their driver’s licenses if they cannot pay traffic fines. Before the DLSRA was passed, a driver’s license could be suspended if the driver could not pay a traffic fine or fee upfront and in full. Because of this, many New Yorkers who could not afford to pay these fines in a single payment had their licenses suspended. This made it harder to find a new job or get to work.
The new law:
•Prohibits driver’s license suspensions for failure to pay traffic fines and fees.
•Reinstates licenses that were previously suspended for failure to pay traffic fines and fees.
•Allows drivers to enter into installment payment plans for all traffic fines, fees, and surcharges.
•Allows drivers to have their license reinstated if it was suspended for failure to pay a fine or appear in traffic court if they enter into a payment plan and/or appear in traffic court.
Under the DLSRA, your license can be suspended for failing to appear in traffic court, failing to answer a traffic summons, or failing to pay a driver’s responsibility assessment. The DMV will also still suspend licenses based on dangerous driving. Drivers who have their licenses reinstated but have unpaid traffic fines also must still pay those fines. But, the DLSRA makes payment plans for as little as $25 per month available.
This FAQ from the Fines and Fees Justice Center has more detailed information about the DLSRA and how to enter an installment payment plan for unpaid traffic fines.
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