New York City Traffic Tickets (TVB Tickets)

Table of Contents

NYC TVB Ticket Information

Traffic tickets in NYC are quite different from tickets in the rest of the state. New York City denizens have to contend with both the DMV and the TVB. People in the rest of New York only have to deal with DMV tickets. The differences become even more noticeable when you consider the intricacies of each individual local and county court. Almost never do two different local jurisdictions work the same way.

There are also a number of similarities between NYC TVB tickets and tickets elsewhere in the state. For example, the Traffic Violations Bureau and courts that are outside of New York City are all still bound by the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law (NYS VTL), which lists hundreds of different ticketable offenses. The NYS VTL even has regulations pertaining to bicycles and in-line skates.

That law covers hundreds of violations, outlines the costs of surcharges, lists a series of potential penalties, and includes a long list of other applicable fines and fees. All of which we will discuss in the section entitled NYC TVB Ticket Costs.

What is the TVB?

The dreaded TVB ticket is one that many New Yorkers recognize. On top of all federal and state rules of the road, the people of New York City also have to deal with the rules of the Traffic Violations Bureau.

The TVB is an extension of the New York City government. The TVB functions in accordance with the Administrative Adjudication of Traffic Violations regulation. The City of New York established the TVB in order to handle the overwhelming volume of tickets and hearings within the five boroughs.

Since the TVB and the DMV work closely with one another and both have jurisdiction within the borders of New York City, it is possible to be ticketed by both organizations. Typically, the ticketing officer will only write one ticket. The real double whammy is the fact that you will likely owe multiple payments for a single ticket — one to the DMV and one to the TVB.

Parking Violations Versus Traffic Violations in the NYC

There is a long list of differences between parking violations and traffic violations in New York City. For starters, parking tickets are not considered a form of traffic ticket.

Traffic tickets, with a few exceptions, exclusively apply to violations that occur when the car is turned on and a driver is behind the wheel. Parking tickets typically only apply when the driver has stopped and exited the vehicle. Keep in mind that this difference is a general rule of thumb and not an absolute rule.

There are two kinds of motor vehicle violations in New York City: moving and non-moving violations. Non-moving violations are often — but not always — a form of parking ticket. Moving violations are violations that are related to the motion of the vehicle.

A common misconception is that you can only get a traffic ticket while your vehicle is in motion. The reality is that, even if your vehicle is stopped and in park, you might still be committing a traffic violation.

Here are a few examples of moving violations that might get you a TVB ticket:

  • Speeding.
  • Failure to stop a red light.
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign.
  • Failure to use proper signaling.

Here are a few examples of non-moving violations:

  • Illegal stopping or obstructing.
  • Faulty equipment.
  • Operation of an unregistered vehicle.

In general, the Traffic Violations Bureau only handles moving violations and the Department of Transportation (DoT) only handles parking violations. This division of labor enables the courts to operate with greater efficiency.

Be sure to keep in mind, however, that the DMV oversees both of these organizations. That means that, for either TVB tickets or DoT tickets, you may still end up having to go through the DMV at one point or another. All of these acronyms can easily become a confusing mess.

Be sure to contact WinIt support if you have any specific questions about your TVB ticket.

NYC TVB Ticket Costs

Everyone who gets a ticket quickly understands that there is a fine associated with the ticket. However, that fine is only the tip of the iceberg. New York City TVB tickets can also invoke surcharges, criminal charges or other penalties, and additional fees whenever applicable.

On top of all of those direct costs, there are also a number of indirect costs. Receiving a single New York City speeding ticket conviction can result in up to 11 points on your license and a subsequent increase in your insurance premiums of 30% or more. If you are convicted of drinking while driving, your insurance premiums might even double.

If these additional costs, fines, and penalties make it impossible for you to pay your ticket, the court might send your ticket to a collections agency. This can substantially increase the cost of your overall ticket and can reduce your credit score by over 100 points.

It is also possible for the court to increase the severity of these consequences, depending on the specific circumstances pertaining to the violation.

The effect of points on your license can last up to four years. The effects of many of these other consequences can last a lifetime. The only way to ensure that you don't have to worry about these consequences is to fight your case and win it in court.

TVB Ticket Fines

TVB tickets in New York City follow the same fine schedule as much of the rest of the state, with a few minor differences. That means NYC TVB ticket fines will typically fall between $150 and $300 — emphasis on the word "typically." While most tickets will fall into this price range, it is possible for the judge to increase or decrease the fines to better match your specific circumstances.

Each additional time that you are convicted of a certain violation, the maximum fine increases. For example, let's say you are convicted of speeding one mile of the speed limit. You obtain a ticket between $130 and $235. If you are convicted of the same violation a second time, the maximum increases to $385. If either violation occurred in a work zone, the fine would be doubled.

Certain criminal violations, such as street racing or drunk driving can result in exponentially greater fines than non-criminal violations.

There are also a number of "fix-it" fines listed in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Fix-it fines are essentially simple penalties that require no direct payments to the court. Instead, they require you to fix whatever problem it was that caused the violation. For example having improper plates can carry a "fix-it" fine and a mandatory court appearance. Once you've paid to obtain the correct plates and appeared in court to prove it, you may have your case dismissed.

Note: A case dismissal in traffic court is the best possible outcome.

TVB Ticket Surcharges

The total prices of traffic tickets in NYC tend to be a good bit higher than the standard fine. That's because of surcharges and applicable fees (which will be discussed in the next section). Surcharges are basically additional fines associated with each ticket. Oftentimes, people don't even know that they have to pay a surcharge until they see the bill. That's after your conviction.

There are a number of different values for traffic ticket surcharges in New York City. These values range from $0 to $94 but are typically $88. An interesting fact about TVB traffic ticket surcharges is that you will still have to pay the surcharge in full regardless of the value of your ticket.

One story, published in CNYCentral, described a man who got a ticket fine of only $45. After the man pleaded guilty and accepted the $45 fine, the court hit him with an $88 surcharge — nearly double the price of initial fine.

The New York State Budget Office then provided a breakdown of where surcharge funds go: On an $88 surcharge, $28 go to the general fund, $55 go toward funding court-appointed attorneys, $5 are set aside for the Crime Victims Assistance Fund. After the budget for court-appointed attorneys has been collected, all remaining funding goes into the state's general fund.

Applicable Traffic Ticket Fees

Unlike the rest of the state, there are relatively few additional fees that New York City traffic tickets can impose. For example, Nassau County Traffic Court has a list of 13 potential fees. New York City only has only a few common fees. However, the Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA) fee contains several different sub categories.

You may also be required to pay fees to other organizations than the TVB. That could include attorney's fees and court costs as well as all of the fines and surcharges associated with the ticket. Examples include: paying fees to obtain information regarding your case, request motions, file claims, and a long list of other court costs.

Without a qualified attorney to represent you, many of those costs will simply be lost. Very few court costs are refundable. Even those that are refundable require extensive work to contact and discuss the case with the court.

The list below is non-exhaustive and is subject to change. Be sure to ask your attorney if there are any other applicable fees for your specific case.

TitleCostDescription
Appeal Fee$10Applicable for each TVB ticket conviction that you wish to appeal.
Credit Card Convenience Fee2%Applicable every time you use a credit card to pay a parking or camera violation. For example, the use of a credit card to pay a fine of $600 plus an $88 surcharge and $100 DRA fee would result in an additional Credit Card Convenience fee of $15.76.
Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee – Six Points$300*Applicable when you are convicted of six points within an 18-month period.
Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee – Each Point Over Six$75*Applicable for each and every point you get over six points within an 18-month period. For example, receiving nine points could result in a total fee of $525 paid over three years.
Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee – Alcohol- or Drug- Related Conviction$750*Applicable if you are convicted of a drugged or drunk driving violation.
Driver Responsibility Assessment Fee – Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test$750*Applicable if you refuse to submit to a chemical test.
Suspension Lift Fee$50 or 100 †Applicable if your license is suspended. You must pay this fee before your license can be reinstated.

*Each year includes an annual assessment. The number listed here is the total cost over the three years of the penalty.

†The fee is $50 for standard definite suspensions or $100 for suspensions involving the NYS Zero Tolerance law pertaining to alcohol-related driving violations.

TVB Traffic Ticket Penalties

The Traffic Violations Bureau works closely with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to invoke a number of penalties. The four primary penalties are as follows: License suspension, license revocation, collections, and jail.

  • License Suspensions in NYC

The New York State DMV may suspend your driver license for a number of reasons.

Here is a brief list of a few violations that could cause the court to suspend your license: Failure to New York State tax debts, failure to answer a traffic ticket, and operation of a motor vehicle without proper insurance. Failure to pay any portion of fines, fees, or surcharges may also result in the suspension of your driver license.

What is a license suspension? The DMV issues a license suspension when they wish to suspend your license. A suspended license is considered an invalid license. The only way to have the DMV reinstate your license is to satisfy the terms of the suspension, pay the Suspension Lift Fee, and wait for the time period to pass.

There are two kinds of license suspensions in New York City: Definite and indefinite suspensions. Definite suspensions include a specific date when the DMV will lift the suspension. Indefinite suspensions can last forever, until you take whichever actions the DMV prescribed. Either way, you will have to pay the Suspension Lift Fee before the DMV will reinstate your license.

Driving on a suspended license can result in jail time.

  • License Revocations in NYC

The NYS DMV will issue an order to revoke your driver license if you commit actions that convince the NYC TVB that you are a danger behind the wheel. Example violations include: obtaining three speeding tickets within an 18-month period, any drunk or drug-related driving violation, and falsifying information on your license and/or registration.

A license revocation in NYC is essentially a more severe version of a definite license suspension. When your license is revoked, it is completely taken away and there is no chance to ever reinstate the same license. This revocation typically — but not always — includes a scheduled end to the revocation period.

After the revocation period ends, you can attempt to obtain a new driver license by undertaking the standard driving test and applying as you would if you had never had a driver license before. Of course, the process may be more difficult for you, as the DMV keeps a record of violations.

Driving on a revoked license can result in jail time.

  • Traffic Ticket Collections in NYC

Failure to pay a TVB traffic ticket fine, fee, or surcharge in its entirety within a set period of time can result in the TVB or DMV sending your ticket to a collections agency. This can incur additional costs in the form of attorney's fees and the collections agency's other expenses.

All of these additional costs are added to the total value of the ticket and are in addition to other penalties such as license suspension for unpaid TVB traffic tickets.

TVB traffic tickets that go to collections will be marked as delinquent accounts and reported to credit reporting agencies. As mentioned above, a single unpaid traffic ticket can reduce your credit score by over 100 points. This can have additional costs in the form of higher interest on loans and the inability to obtain mortgages.

  • Jail Time for Traffic Violations in NYC

There are only a few traffic violations that may result in jail time. If you are convicted of a criminal traffic violation by the NYC criminal courts, you can spend years in prison. Examples of criminal traffic violations in NYC include

About the NYC Traffic Violations Bureau

The Traffic Violations Bureau of New York City is an administrative organization that the DMV set up in order to handle the overwhelming volume of traffic tickets in New York City. This organization services NYC traffic tickets of all kinds, ranging from simple bicycle violations to felony offenses.

In criminal cases, the DMV does most of the work. The DMV will handle the court procedures, trial, verdict, sentencing, appeals, and just about everything else in the NYC criminal court process. The TVB will handle only the administration of the civil ticket. The TVB only services non-criminal moving violations.

In terms of how you pay a NYC traffic ticket, the TVB and the DMV are two separate organizations. However, it is important to keep in mind that the TVB is considered a subsidiary or a division of the DMV. The TVB has jurisdiction in all five boroughs of NYC but still has to report back to the greater DMV.

TVB Locations

The city of New York has a total of eight TVB locations. Where you get your ticket determines where you will have to go to contest or pay that ticket. This location is called the court's jurisdiction. Where you live does not influence which court you are assigned. Only the location where the violation took place determines where you must go to court.

All eight TVB locations are listed in the table below:

TitleAddressLink to Map
Brooklyn South (Coney Island)2875 West 8th Street Brooklyn, NY 11224Directions to TVB Court
Brooklyn NorthAtlantic Center Mall 2nd Floor 625 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217Directions to TVB Court
Bronx696 East Fordham Road Bronx, NY 10458Directions to TVB Court
Manhattan North159 East 125 Street 3rd Floor New York, NY 10035Directions to TVB Court
Manhattan South17 Battery Place 10th Floor New York, NY 10004Directions to TVB Court
Richmond (Staten Island)West Shore Plaza 1775 South Avenue Suite 2 Staten Island, NY 10314Directions to TVB Court
Queens North30-56 Whitestone Expy 2nd Floor Flushing, NY 11354Directions to TVB Court
Queens South168-35 Rockaway Blvd 2nd Floor Jamaica, NY 11434Directions to TVB Court

TVB Contact Information and Additional Resources

The best way to contact any of the prosecutors or judges assigned to your case is through your attorney. Attorney's often have connections, raport, and tools that help them to quickly obtain accurate information that can help you win your case.

If you are looking for simple information about the TVB or your case, you may want to call the TVB call center. The TVB call center phone number is +1 (718) 488-5710. The TVB call center handles phone calls for all of the TVB locations. The hours of operation for the TVB call center are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for on official holidays.

The TVB only issues tickets within the five boroughs of NYC. If you get a ticket outside of NYC proper, you will have to work with the local or county court in that jurisdiction in order to resolve your case. Here is a helpful tool to look up traffic court locations in New York.

NYC Traffic Violations Bureau Court Process: How to Respond to a TVB Ticket

If you decide to fight a traffic ticket, you and/or your representative will have to attend traffic court. The traffic court process is relatively the same across the country. Before we go deep into the details of NYC's TVB court process, let's take a general look.

The case begins with a ticket. On your ticket, you will see a court address. That's where you will go on the day of your hearing to contest your ticket. You then enter a plea. Sometimes, you will simply get a summons in the mail, requiring that you go to court on a specific date.

At court, you will wait for the clerk to call your case. Then comes opening arguments, examination of evidence and witnesses, cross-examination, and finally closing arguments. After this two-to-four-hour event, the judge will make a decision and render their verdict.

A traffic ticket conviction is followed by sentencing. Sentencing for a traffic ticket conviction typically involves simply being told to pay the ticket and all related fines, fees, and surcharges in addition to taking the full brunt of the penalties. A traffic ticket dismissal means you will face no punishment of any kind either from the court or your insurance provider.

In other words, the best case scenario is that your traffic ticket will be dismissed.

How to Read a TVB Ticket

Reading a TVB ticket is the same as reading a standard DMV ticket. There are five sections in total.

  • Section 1: Your information

This is the top left of your TVB ticket. It includes your name, address, information about the car, and a few other things. Minor mistakes here, such as the color of the car, will not result in the dismissal of your case. However, major mistakes, such as the officer writing the wrong name or license plate, sometimes will result in the dismissal of your case.

  • Section 2: The charges

Most people are familiar with the phrase "criminal charges," but there are also non-criminal charges. Most traffic tickets are non-criminal charges. This section, located just below section 1, includes information on the charges. That is, this section tells you why the officer wrote the ticket and what law they believe you were breaking.

This is the most important section when fighting your ticket.

  • Section 3: The court's information

This section is located in the bottom left of the ticket. It lists the name of the court in whose jurisdiction you got the ticket. It also includes the court's address and the response date (i.e. "due date") of the ticket. Oftentimes, you have to contact the court and request a hearing in order to obtain a court date.

  • Section 4: Information on pleading guilty

The top right section of the ticket contains information that enables you to enter a guilty plea. Entering a guilty plea will absolutely result in a conviction and all of the fines, fees, penalties, and surcharges that come along with it. There is no way to fight a ticket after you plead guilty.

  • Section 5: Information on pleading not-guilty.

The bottom right section of the ticket contains information that enables you to enter a not-guilty plea. Entering a not-guilty plea enables you to fight the ticket in court, potentially resulting in the dismissal of your case. This is the best possible option for somebody wishing to avoid a traffic ticket conviction for any reason.

TVB Ticket Plea Options

NYC is one of the few locations in the northeastern United States that does not allow any form of plea-bargaining in traffic-related offenses. NYC also does not offer any pleas of no contest. That means that you only have one of two plea options: guilty or not-guilty.

A plea of guilty means that you are admitting guilty and accepting all of the consequences associated with the ticket. A plea of not-guilty means that you are refusing to accept the consequences associated with the ticket. A not-guilty plea does not mean you are innocent. Rather, it means that you want to fight the ticket.

If you have a valid explanation for why you broke the law and you believe that the court will dismiss your ticket after hearing your explanation, you still have to plead not-guilty in order to have your day in court.

Keep in mind that the DMV of New York will not allow you to plead guilty via mail if the conviction for that offence would result in the suspension or revocation of your license.

Dismissing your ticket means no fines, fees, surcharges, penalties, or increased insurance rates.

How to Pay a TVB Ticket

If you want to contest your ticket, do not pay it until after you get a conviction for that specific ticket. Paying a traffic ticket is considered an admission of guilt, which means you will be convicted of the ticket.

If you do not succeed in beating your ticket in court or you simply want to plead guilty and get it over with, there are a number of ways to pay a TVB ticket:

  • Click here to pay online.
  • Mail your payment to the following address: Traffic Violations Plea Unit P.O. Box 2950 - ESP Albany, NY 12220-0950
  • Pay in person at the court listed on your ticket.

How to Dispute a TVB Ticket

To dispute a TVB ticket, you must plead not-guilty and request a court date. Sometimes, a court date will simply be assigned to you. We strongly suggest hiring a lawyer as soon as possible in order to maximize your chances of successfully beating your ticket. You can do so through the WinIt app.

Next, you will go to court on your assigned date. Arrive early and be prepared to wait, possibly for hours. When the clerk calls your case, be prepared to debate with the ticketing officer and the prosecution. Do not raise your voice or otherwise cause a disturbance, as you can face additional charges for acting rude or improper in court. This is known as contempt of court.

Here are a few tips to dispute a TVB ticket:

  • Dress in business formal attire.
  • Address the judge as "your honor," "judge," or "the court."
  • Speak with confidence.

The best way to win your case is to hire an expert attorney to help you. Having a skilled attorney who knows the law inside and out can make the difference between a suspended license and getting away scot free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even though this article is quite lengthy and comprehensive, there's just no way to list everything in one document. The New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law is just too massive to cover all at once. There are literally hundreds of ticketable offenses, surcharges, fines, and penalties. That said, from legal services to courtroom advice, we at WinIt are happy to help in any way we can.

Do you have any additional questions? We know how time-sensitive and stressful legal matters can be. Feel free to reach out and our lawyers will provide detailed answers as soon as possible. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions:

  1. Can I reschedule my court date?

Yes. The New York State DMV's Traffic Violations Bureau allows you to reschedule your court date if you have "good cause." This is subject to the court's discretion. In order to do so, you must request a postponement in person or over the phone at least one day before your court date. You can also request a postponement by mail at least 10 days before your court date.

  1. Can I fight my TVB ticket if I live out of state?

To dispute a NYC traffic ticket from outside the city, you have two options. Either you make travel arrangements and head back to NYC for your hearing date or you hire somebody to do so for you.

  1. What happens if I don't pay my traffic ticket?

Failure to pay a NYC traffic ticket can result in additional fees being added to the total value of the ticket. If a sufficiently long period of time has gone by without any attempts at repayment, the court may send your ticket to a collections agency. This may result in further increased costs and significant decreases in your credit score.

You may also have your license suspended or revoked.

  1. What do I do if I lost or misplaced my ticket?

If you lost, misplaced, or otherwise cannot find your traffic ticket, you will still be liable to pay it in full. In order to find a lost ticket, you can use WinIt's traffic ticket lookup system. This can provide you with your ticket number, court address, and other important information.

  1. Can parking tickets affect my insurance?

No. Parking tickets will not appear on your driving record. Since parking tickets do not appear on your driving record, there is little chance that your insurer will ever even find out about them.

  1. How do I check the status of my traffic ticket online?

WinIt uses a specialized service that helps you check the status of your traffic ticket online or from your phone. Click here to contact WinIt and check the status of your traffic ticket.

  1. How can I look up my driving record?

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles offers a MyDMV service that enables you to see your driving record. You can view whether your license is valid, the number of points currently on your license, and when your driver license is set to expire.

You can even download or print a full-length, certified copy of your driving record through the MyDMV's "Get My Driving Record Now" function.

  1. Do I have to go to court in person?

No. If you cannot make it to court, you can request a Settlement in Place of Personal Appearance.

  1. Are camera violations the same as traffic violations?

No. Traffic violations and camera violations are similar but not the same thing. The law includes subtle differences between the two and puts them in different categories. Talk to your lawyer for more information.

  1. Can you appeal a traffic ticket conviction?

Yes. You have 30 days after your conviction to file an appeal for a TVB ticket. You must also pay a $10 fee per ticket appealed.

  1. Can the government take my car?

Yes. The state of New York is allowed to confiscate motor vehicles from people who are convicted of five traffic violations of any kind within a 12-month period.

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