How to Get a Ticket Off Your Record

Written by Mary Salatino

Receiving a traffic ticket is a frustrating experience for any driver. However, if you received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation in New York in the last 18 months, there are steps you can take to lessen its impact on your driving record.

Read on to learn how online defensive driving training can protect your record from a speeding ticket, point violations and potential penalties.

Do You Have a Traffic Ticket on Your Driving Record? Here's What to Do

If you get a speeding ticket or another violation, there are steps you can take to avoid penalties. While you may not be able to remove a speeding ticket from your court record immediately, you can take a defensive driving course to protect your driving record.

Accidents and traffic convictions usually stay on your record for three years after the end of the calendar year in which the incident occurred. Some violations will be displayed for much longer, or even permanently, depending on the severity of the offense.

Each violation adds points to your license. If you accumulate 11 or more points on your driving record in an 18-month period, your license may be suspended or revoked. However, you can reduce your point penalty and potentially avoid further consequences by completing a defensive driving course approved by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV).

You can complete our state-approved New York Defensive Driving Course online within 18 months of any eligible traffic violation to reduce up to four points on your record. The course can be taken every 18 months for an additional point reduction, but it's important to note that the DMV won't reduce more than four total points in an 18-month period.

Accumulating too many points on your record can also lead to penalties such as fines, increased insurance premiums and court-mandated driver responsibility assessments, which can negatively impact your driving record.

Benefits of online traffic school include:

Important Note:

Defensive driving school cannot prevent a mandatory license suspension or revocation. Completing an approved traffic school program does not mean points or tickets are removed from your driving record, but it does reduce your total number of points for the purpose of calculating suspension and other penalties.

How to Check Your Driving Record for Tickets

To check your driving record for points and violations, you can visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website. You can also do this in person at your local DMV.

There are three types of driving records, so make sure to read the DMV's information to select the correct document. To check your record for current and outstanding violations, standard driving records — also called abstracts — will tell you everything you need to know.

Reviewing your driving record allows you to observe and verify your traffic violations or points. You can then decide whether to take a defensive driving course to have points reduced from your record and save money your insurance premiums.

How Long Does It Take to Remove Points Off Your Record?

There are a few behind-the-scenes steps between finishing our online defensive driving course and seeing that traffic ticket disappear off your driving record.

The course will take at least 5.5 hours to complete, and there is no final exam. Simply review the course materials and pass a quiz at the end of each section. As soon as you complete the course, you can print your certificate of completion and send it to your insurer for a discount (more on that below).

We report your course completion to the New York State DMV within a week. Once they receive notification, the DMV can take up to 10 weeks to process your point reduction. They will update your driving record, and you will see a reduction of up to four points for a speeding ticket, traffic violation or other eligible offenses in the last 18 months.

Please note that the point reduction applies only to the last 18 months and will have no effect on future speeding tickets or traffic violations. If you only have two points on your driving record and go to traffic school, you can't “bank” the extra two points for your next traffic ticket. New speeding tickets will stay on your driving record until the next time you take a defensive driving course.

Good for More Than Just a Speeding Ticket

In addition to point reduction, our defensive driving course also offers a guaranteed 10% discount on your insurance premiums for three years. This discount can make a significant difference in your insurance costs, providing long-term savings, incentives for safe driving and improved access to coverage.

To receive your insurance discount, you must submit a copy of your course certificate to your insurance provider. Every provider is different, so consult your agent to ensure you're submitting your information correctly and that you officially obtained your discount.

Please note that a defensive driving course does not prevent your insurance company from raising your premiums due to accidents and traffic violations. It does provide a 10% reduction of premiums for your current liability, no-fault and collision premiums.

Prevent Speeding Tickets and Traffic Violations

The easiest way to get a traffic violation off your driving record is to not add one in the first place. Driver safety is important for everyone on the road. Practicing safe habits can help reduce the risk of driver-related accidents, injuries and fatalities — and save you from a speeding ticket and court problems.

Our online defensive driving course covers essential topics such as defensive driving techniques, traffic laws and accident prevention strategies to help you become a safer and more responsible driver, all while protecting your driving record.

Our course includes topics like:

  • Adhering to traffic laws
  • Avoiding distractions like cellphone usage
  • Yielding to pedestrians
  • Maintaining safe following distances
  • Signaling
  • Impaired driving
  • And more

Types of Traffic Ticket Violations

Understanding the types of traffic ticket violations is important for every driver. Avoiding these mistakes can protect you from fines, points on your driver's license record and a possible license suspension.

Common traffic violations include:

  • Speeding: When you exceed the posted speed limit or drive at an unsafe speed for the road conditions.
  • Driving under the influence (DUI): Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Seatbelt misuse: This includes the driver and passengers — especially children.
  • Running a red light or stop sign: Failing to stop at a red light, stop sign or an intersection without the right-of-way.
  • Disregarding road signs: Not obeying traffic signals such as yield signs or construction zone warnings.
  • Improper passing of a school bus: When a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing, drivers are required to stop.

This is just a sample of the many violations found in New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. Complying with traffic laws and regulations will keep traffic tickets off your driving record in the first place. But if the points start piling up, make sure to take our online defensive driving course to protect your record from traffic violations.