Can You Get a Payment Plan on an NY Traffic Ticket Fine?
While the team here at Scott Russell Law encourages you to get legal help before paying any traffic ticket, it is worth noting that thanks to the new Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act it is possible to pay traffic tickets in installments if you wish to do so and cannot afford to do so, or if your attorney makes a plea bargain that still requires you to pay some sort of traffic fine.
To get a payment plan, you must apply. If your ticket is returnable to the Traffic Violations Bureau you can apply online. That will cover tickets issued in New York City. Here in the Hudson Valley you’ll have to apply with the village court where your traffic ticket was issued.
If you’re paying because your attorney has created a plea bargain for you then you can ask your attorney to apply for the payment plan on your behalf, and to set it up for you.
What if my license was already suspended for failing to pay traffic fines and fees?
Your suspension should have been lifted in July of 2021 if the suspension was solely the result of being unable to pay. This was done in an effort to end racial and income inequalities. Your license can still be suspended for unanswered tickets, or for a failure to appear.
In the future, licenses will no longer be suspended merely for a failure to pay a traffic ticket.
What information do I need to provide when applying for a payment plan?
You’ll need to offer information about your monthly income. The payment will be calculated on the basis of your monthly income. A traffic judge technically sets the amount, which may be up to 2% of your monthly income or $25 a month, whatever is larger. Payments may never drop below $25 a month.
If you have child support payments or court-ordered wage garnishments these may be deducted from your income for the purposes of deciding what your monthly income actually is.
Will I be charged interest?
No. The courts may not add any additional fines, fees, or interest when they generate a payment plan.
Are there other requirements?
Once you enter into a payment plan the judge may require you to appear in court once a year until the debt is paid off. This is for the purposes of evaluating your financial circumstances, allowing judges to increase or decrease your installment payments.
What if my financial circumstances change?
You may ask for a reassessment of your financial circumstances up to twice a year.
Need help with your traffic ticket?
Before you pay, call us. Paying a traffic ticket can hurt you in other ways by adding points to your driver’s license or increases to your insurance rates. With our help, we may be able to get the ticket dismissed entirely, or reduced to a non-moving violation that won’t show up on your record.