Driver's License Suspension Reform Act

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the “Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act” on December 31, 2020. The new legislation not only ends license suspensions due to failure to pay traffic fines, but the law also allows people who have had their driver’s license suspended because of non-payment to enroll in a payment plan to have their driving privileges reinstated. 

According to the bill, the payment plan must be either two percent (2%) of a person’s monthly income or $25 a month, whichever is greater. Although individuals who fail to appear in traffic court hearings will not have their driver’s license reinstated, they will be issued two notifications before the court suspends their license. 

The main purpose of the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act is to decriminalize poverty. Several studies also suggest that Black and Latinx individuals are disproportionately stopped, ticketed, charged, and convicted of traffic violations. 

According to a Justice Coalition study, New York issued nearly 1.7 million driver’s license suspensions for failure to pay traffic fines and failure to appear at traffic hearings between January 2016 and April 2018. If a driver operates a vehicle with a suspended license, they are subject to arrest, more fines and fees, as well as jail time. 

New York is the ninth state and Washington D.C. that have passed similar laws over the last three years. The other states include California, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Oregon, and West Virginia. 

If you are interested in getting your driver’s license reinstated in New York City, contact Stites Law today at (212) 729-0472 to let us help you get back on the road as quickly as possible. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act.