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Do you have to pay a driver civil penalty?

Too many traffic tickets or certain violations could result in the state suspending your driver’s license. If this happens to you, you may have to pay a driver civil penalty.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles explains this penalty applies to anyone who wishes to get their driver’s license back after a suspension. But it only applies in certain circumstances.

About the penalty

The driver civil penalty goes to the DMV. It is mandatory for those required to pay it before the agency can reinstate your license. It is an additional fine to any others you may also have to pay and is a punishment designed to deter you from doing whatever you did to receive the fee.

Basics to know

Those who will have to pay the driver civil penalty include anyone who refused to take a blood alcohol test when suspected of driving under the influence and asked to do so by an officer. It also includes you if you were driving without insurance. All violations of the state’s zero-tolerance law concerning underage drunk drivers also require this penalty.

How much you will pay depends on the reason you lost your privileges. For example, refusing to take a BAC test will cost you $550, but a zero-tolerance violation is $125. Whether this is your first or subsequent time will also impact the amount. For example, if you lost your license twice for a test refusal within five years of each other, the second time, your fee will be $750.

Keep in mind that this is just part of your punishment. It will not restore your driver’s license. You must still follow the procedures to get that privilege back.