What Happens When: It’s Been A Few Weeks, But My TVB Ticket is Still Not in the System?

If you’ve gotten a ticket in New York City, one of the first things you noticed may well have been this ominous warning: “You must answer this ticket within 15 days of the date of offense.”

Of course, this is a myth. No such rule exists. Most of the time, tickets in the Traffic Violations Bureau courts of New York City pop up online a few days after they are issued. Sometimes they take a week, or two weeks, or three weeks, or four. All of these scenarios are common. But it’s possible you’ve been checking for six weeks, or eight weeks, or ten weeks, or even longer, and still haven’t found your ticket online. What to do?

First, make 100% sure the ticket number is correct. The ticket number consists of ten digits, usually beginning with AB or B2. If you don’t know your ticket number, go to a TVB court location with your driver’s license, and they can help you find it and schedule a court date. If the ticket number is correct, the only thing to do is to keep checking. It’s theoretically possible for a ticket to be filed months after it was issued. But that’s rare. Most likely, if it’s been three or four months since you received your ticket and it’s still not in the system, it means that the ticket does not exist. Meaning, it was never filed. Meaning, somewhere along the chain of command, a mistake was made. Maybe the police officer never gave the ticket to his sergeant. Maybe the sergeant never filed the paperwork to send the ticket along to Albany. Maybe a clerk in Albany made a clerical error and never got around to entering the ticket. The TVB system is staffed by human beings, and human beings make mistakes. 

After about six months, the odds of your ticket ever being filed are tiny. My office has a policy to close out TVB tickets after six months pass, for this reason. Otherwise, we’d check them in perpetuity. After that time period, I’d say you can breathe easy. Of course, there’s a teeny-tiny chance your ticket does indeed makes its way into the system nine months or a year after you got pulled over. If this happens, it’s okay. DMV will send you a mailing about the ticket, asking you to enter a plea. You won’t be suspended. DMV can’t suspend you for not answering a ticket that does not exist. 

At that point, you enter your plea and go from there, and it’s like any other ticket. If you hire my office for a ticket and this scenario occurs, notify us and we’ll get right back to work on it. And if you want to save yourself the difficulty and stress of looking for an invisible ticket, just hire my office, and we’ll do all of that work for you.