Driver Responsibility Assessment Program

* A change to the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law requires drivers who are convicted of specific traffic violations to pay an assessment to the DMV.  The Driver Responsibility Program applies to all drivers who operate, or operated, a motor vehicle in the State of New York, regardless of the state the motorist is licensed in.  The purpose of the Driver Responsibility Program is to prevent the repeated behavior of problem drivers and to improve traffic safety. *

Information About Driver Responsibility Assessments

What is a driver responsibility assessment?

In addition to any fines, fees, penalties, or surcharges that you pay for a traffic conviction, you must pay the driver responsibility assessment. The assessment is an amount that you must pay each year for three years. You pay the assessment to the DMV.

Who must pay a driver responsibility assessment?

You must pay the driver responsibility assessment if any of the following incidents occur:

  • You are convicted of an alcohol-related traffic violation and the violation occurred in NYS on or after November 18, 2004 (includes boats and snowmobiles); or
  • You are convicted of a drug-related traffic violation and the violation occurred in NYS on or after November 18, 2004 (includes boats and snowmobiles); or
  • A DMV hearing determines that you refused a chemical test and the refusal occurred in NYS on or after November 18, 2004 (includes boats and snowmobiles); or
  • You receive six or more points on your NYS driver record during a period of 18 months and the violations occurred in NYS, Quebec or Ontario on or after November 18, 2004.

Note: Except for Ontario and Quebec, points are not added to your NYS driver record if you commit an out-of-state traffic violation.  Points can appear on your NYS driver record if you commit a traffic violation in Ontario or Quebec.

The assessments apply whether you have a driver license issued by NYS or any other jurisdiction, or you have no driver license at all.

How do I know if I must pay the driver responsibility assessment?

If you must pay an assessment, the DMV will send a statement to you.  The statement will display the information that you will need to pay the assessment.

What is the amount of the driver responsibility assessment?

The amount of a driver responsibility assessment depends on the type of violation and the total of your driver violation points.

If you are convicted of a traffic violation that is alcohol-related or drug-related, or if you refuse a chemical test, the annual assessment is $250.  The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment.  The total assessment for the three years is $750.

If you receive six points on your driver record during a period of 18 months, the annual assessment is $100.  The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment.  The total assessment for the three years is $300.  If you receive more than six points on your driver record during a period of 18 months, the annual assessment is $25 for each point more than the original six points.  The minimum amount that you must pay each year is the annual assessment.  The total assessment for the three years is $75 for each point more than the original six points.

Note:  You can pay the three annual assessments in the first year or the last two annual assessments in the second year.  If you pay the total amount in one payment, you will not receive another annual statement for that assessment.

How to Pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment

When do I pay the driver responsibility assessment?

If you receive a statement from the DMV that instructs you to pay a driver responsibility assessment, you must pay the minimum amount in 30 days or less.  The statement will display the payment date.

What can occur if I do not pay the driver responsibility assessment?

If you receive a statement from the DMV that instructs you to pay a driver responsibility assessment, you must pay the assessment.  If you do not pay the assessment, the DMV will suspend your driver license, your learner permit, or your driving privileges.

Can I pay less than the minimum amount of the annual driver responsibility assessment and then pay the balance in the future?

No.  You must pay the amount that appears on your statement in 30 days or less.

Can I pay the three annual driver responsibility assessments in 1 year instead of 3 years?

Yes.  Normally, you receive three annual statements for each assessment. When you receive the first annual assessment statement, you can pay the annual assessment, or you can pay the total assessment that remains for the three years.  When you receive the second annual assessment statement, you can pay the annual assessment or the total assessment for the two years that remain.

You can also pay the total balance of assessments that remains at any time . For example, you have a total assessment of $300, and you pay the minimum payment of $100 due from your first annual statement. You can pay the $200 balance at any time. You do not need to wait until you receive the second annual statement.

There is an exception if there are additional assessments for additional incidents and you have not yet received an annual statement that includes the additional assessments. To pay your DRA balance in this situation, you must pay the amount of the additional assessments as well as the balance of the initial assessment. For example, your initial total assessment is $300. You you pay the $100 due on the first annual statement. Your balance is $200, but an additional total assessment of $150 is added to your DRA account after you paid the $100 annual assessment. You cannot pay the $200 balance on the initial assessment unless you also pay the $150 balance of the additional assessment. To pay your total DRA balance , you would have to pay $350.

You will be informed that there are additional assessments if you attempt to pay the balance of an initial assessment that does not include the additional assessments.

You are not required to pay the balance of assessments before you receive the annual statements. You can pay the annual assessment each year for three years until the balance is paid. If you do pay the balance, you will not receive future annual statements for assessments included in that balance.

How do I pay a driver responsibility assessment?

If you receive a statement from the DMV that instructs you to pay a driver responsibility assessment, the statement will include the instructions to pay the assessment on-line , by telephone at 518-402-2851, by mail, or at a DMV office . Note that the telephone number is in the 518 area code , and you must dial the area code if you are outside the 518 area code .  The address to pay by mail is: DRA Processing Center, State Office Building, 207 Genesee Street, Suite 6, Utica, NY 13501-2801.

Information About the Statement that You Received

I do not understand the different dates for a violation, a conviction, or a statement. How do these dates refer to my driver record and my driver responsibility assessment?

The violation date is the date that the incident occurred. For example, a law enforcement officer writes on a traffic ticket the date that a driver was stopped for speeding.

The conviction date is the date that a traffic court or a DMV hearing determines that the driver was guilty of a violation.

The assessment date is the date that the DMV enters an incident on a driver record. The DMV uses the date of the original assessment to determine the annual statement dates, and to check the driver record for new incidents.

The annual statement date is the date that the DMV issues a statement to a driver.

The payment date is the final date that a driver can pay a driver responsibility assessment to avoid a suspension of their driver license, learner permit, or driving privileges.

How An Assessment Can Affect Your Driver Record

How does the DMV calculate the total number of my driver violation points?

To learn how the DMV calculates your point total, see the information about the driver violation point system .

How can I determine the number of points on my driver record?

A driver abstract is a summary of a current driver record, and displays the number of driver violation points. To learn how you can request a copy of your driver abstract, read the information about driver records .

If you have a minimum of six points on your driver record, you will receive a statement from the DMV that indicates the number of points that you received. If you have less than six points on your driver record, you will not receive a statement from the DMV.

Can I reduce the amount of the driver responsibility assessment if I complete a DMV-approved accident prevention course?

No. You can reduce the total of your driver violation points and your insurance premiums, but completion of the course does not change your driver responsibility assessment.