How To Fight Your NYC Traffic Ticket

NYC Traffic Ticket

Summary & Quick Facts

  • Adjudication for traffic tickets in NYC is exclusively handled by the NY Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • The TVB does not adjudicate parking tickets issued in NYC.
  • Drivers have three ways to fight their traffic tickets: online, in-person, or by mail.
  • Failure to pay traffic tickets will lead to additional fines and serious penalties.
  • If you are found not guilty all the penalties you face will be dismissed
  • If you are found guilty, you will have to pay the traffic ticket fine as well as face any penalty associated with the infraction.
  • If you are found not guilty, you will not be responsible for paying any ticket fines nor face any additional penalties

Want to Dispute An NYC Traffic Ticket?

As we have mentioned before in our article on how to pay your traffic ticket, while the focus of is mainly to help drivers learn about parking tickets in NYC, we do get many questions from readers about NYC traffic tickets. Here, regulations and penalties can differ greatly between parking tickets and traffic tickets. The same goes for the different ways drivers can decide to fight them. Dealing with traffic tickets can be quite a time consuming and confusing task for drivers. For some, fighting an NYC traffic ticket can be a quick and easy process especially for a minor moving violation. For others with more serious violations, however, the battle can be lengthy. Moreover, its outcome can have a significant impact on your future and ability to drive.

If you’ve decided to fight an NYC traffic ticket, you’ll be dealing with the NYS Traffic Violations Bureau (the TVB). The TVB is a state administrative agency that is part of the NYS DMV and handles the payments and adjudication of traffic tickets (also known as moving violations) issued throughout NYC. The TVB does not handle parking tickets issued in NYC, so be sure to check our articles if you are looking for information on how to pay or fight your parking tickets.

After receiving your NYC traffic ticket, the first decision you need to make is whether it’s worth it to fight the ticket. Alternatively, you are also able to just plead guilty and pay the ticket. While there is no requirement that you fight it, be sure to only fight the ticket if you believe that you have legitimate grounds to dispute.  In addition, your decision should weigh a few factors including but not limited to the severity of the traffic violation, your previous driving history and your schedule and availability. You must also decide whether to fight it yourself or hire a professional lawyer if you think a lawyer is the right move for you.

The Different Ways To Fight Your NYC Traffic Ticket

There are a couple ways you can fight an NYC traffic ticket. You can either fight it online, by mail or in person at a TVB court. In all cases, you will need your TVB traffic ticket number and either your ID number from your New York State driver’s license, permit, or non-driver ID or your full name, date of birth, and gender as they appear on the traffic ticket.

By mail

You can choose to fight your traffic ticket by mail. Simply write  your plea on the ticket  and mail to:

Traffic Violations Plea Unit

P.O. Box 2950 – ESP

Albany, NY  12220-0950

You will receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail stating the time, date and location of your traffic ticket hearing.


At a TVB office

You also have the option to fight your NYC traffic ticket and schedule a hearing at a Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB).  Find a TVB near you. Just remember that the TVB office is not the same as a DMV issuing office.  You cannot plead to or pay a TVB ticket, or schedule a hearing at a regular DMV Issuing Office.



To fight your traffic ticket online, simply head over to the NYS DMV Traffic Ticket Pleas, Hearings and Payments portal. Here you will be able to enter your plea as well as schedule your hearing date. While fighting a ticket online is fairly easy, do note that in some cases it can take several days for a ticket to enter the DMV database.  So if you do not see your recently issued traffic ticket online but you are certain that the information you entered is correct, continue to check the portal every few days.

Fighting a ticket online can make things quite convenient especially compared to pleading by mail, there are two main advantages.  First, you’ll get instant confirmation it was done. Second, you’ll get to hold on to the original ticket instead of mailing that back to the DMV in Albany.

The Possible Outcomes of Your NYC Traffic Ticket Hearing

If the judge finds you not guilty of the traffic violations, congrats! You have a lot to be happy about. A “not guilty” verdict leads to the dismissal of all charges and the traffic ticket. You won’t have any penalties or fines to pay and no points added to your driving record. If the judge, unfortunately, finds you guilty, the severity of your traffic violation will determine the penalties you face. For all guilty verdicts, you will be responsible for the traffic ticket fines and associated fees that must be paid the same day. Some other penalties include additional points on your license, possibly suspended license and even jail time. Again, this, of course, depends on the severity of the infraction


Tips For Fighting Your NYC Traffic Ticket

Be Meticulous

Always review your traffic ticket carefully.  Look for any obvious errors or omissions on the face of the ticket. While not every little mistake will matter to the judge, some can definitely change things in your favor. Also, it may be good to crosscheck everything the officer says in their testimony to what is actually written on the ticket. Look for any obvious contradictions.


Timely Response Is Key

Timing is crucial if you expect to successfully negotiate your stance on your ticket. Never let the ticket go beyond its date. Otherwise, you may find that you end up guilty by default. You’ll see on the front of the ticket it mentions that “you must answer this ticket within 15 days of the date of offense”.  “Answer” refers to entering your plea and if you are fighting your ticket you will be entering a plea of not guilty.


Be Respectful

It’s always a good idea to be respectful when fighting your ticket. Traffic tickets can be infuriating but taking it out on the judge or testifying officer will only hurt your case. Always let people who are speaking finish before making your point, judges don’t like interruptions and always seek order in their courtrooms.

Sometimes the courts will grant you leniency, especially if you don’t have a history of traffic violations. Afterall, judges are people too and they recognize that people make mistakes. However, their attitude largely depends on your attitude and the manner in which you address the situation. It’s important to show the court respect and demonstrate some level of regret. Always keep this in mind if you want the best outcome for your hearing. 


Don’t Let Your Traffic Ticket Sit There

Drivers face certain risks should they choose to not pay or fight their ticket. Sorry drivers, but the fines are only the beginning. Failure to handle your NYC traffic ticket can lead to additional penalties that can be serious and lead to more significant issues in the future. This includes points added to your license and even a suspended license. Once it is suspended, if you continue to ignore the ticket, you will be guilty by default, and you will have no chance to fight the ticket, even if you were not guilty.


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