Driver Responsibility Assessment
The New York Vehicle and Traffic Law was amended in 2004 to include a Driver Responsibility Assessment (VTL 503(4) and VTL 1199). The Driver Responsibility Assessment is a yearly fee paid over a period of 3 years. The fee is in addition to any fines, penalties, and surcharges paid to the court after a conviction. The stated purpose of the law is to prevent the repeated behavior of problem drivers and improve traffic safety.
You must pay the Driver Responsibility Assessment if:
- Convicted of an alcohol related traffic violation while driving a motor vehicle, boat, or snowmobile
- Convicted of a drug related traffic violation while driving a motor vehicle, boat, or snowmobile
- A DMV hearing finds a refusal to take a chemical test for blood alcohol content
- You accrue 6 points or more on your driving record in any 18 month period for convictions that occurred in New York, Ontario, or Quebec
The amount of the Driver Responsibility Assessment depends on the circumstances that triggered it.
The Driver Responsibility Assessment for an alcohol or drug related conviction or a chemical test refusal is $250 per year for 3 years. Thus, the total assessment paid over 3 years will be no less than $750.
The Driver Responsibility Assessment for accruing 6 points or more in any 18 month period depends on the total number of points. The assessment for the first 6 points is $100 per year for 3 years. Each point over 6 costs the driver an additional $25 per point per year for 3 years. For example, a driver with 9 points on their license will be subject to a total driver responsibility assessment of $525 ($100/year for 3 years plus $75/year for 3 years).
Drivers subject to the Driver Responsibility Assessment will receive a statement from the DMV indicating the amount owed and how to pay. The recipient has 30 days to pay, and can pay the assessment in three annual installments or pay the total remaining balance. Failure to pay the Driver Responsibility Assessment will result in suspension of your license, or driving privileges.
Importantly, a driver safety course that removes 4 points from your driving record will not eliminate or reduce the amount of the Driver Responsibility Assessment.
Contact The Shelton Law Firm if you have questions regarding your Driver Responsibility Assessment.