What Happens When: I Default on a Traffic Ticket in NYC?

As the cliche goes, ignoring your problems will not make them go away. When a traffic ticket is not answered, or a missed hearing is not rescheduled, it eventually defaults. A default is the “failure to respond to a summons and complaint served on a party in the time required by law.” 
How long does it take for a ticket to go into default? 
As in most things with the TVB courts of New York City, the answer is, it depends. Technically, a ticket can default in as little as 60 calendar days. So, if you missed a trial on April 1, you could default as soon as May 30. But it rarely happens that way. The reality is that the TVB is arbitrary as to when it defaults a ticket. In recent years, TVB has been more proactive in defaulting tickets. I’ve seen it happen in as little as three months, but it often takes much longer. 
What Are My Options When I Default? 
You can file a motion to reopen the default. The good news: it’s a quick, easy process that can be filed online in a matter of minutes. The bad news: it’s almost impossible to get a default reopened. The DMV will only consider your application if it was factually impossible for you to appear for or answer your ticket. Unless you fell into a coma or were incarcerated right after getting your summons, it’s probably not worth your time.