Pleading traffic tickets online in New York?
October 21, 2008 6:44 PM   Subscribe

How can I plead my New York State traffic ticket online if the system does not recognize me? And: is this a smart idea in my circumstances? Yes, I realize that this is not legal advice.

I'm trying to pay NY State traffic ticket online at and it isn't recognizing me in the system (13 days after the ticket was issued; I've been hoping it was just an issue of the ticket not being in the system). I want to plead "not guilty" as it's a ticket for "failure to keep right" on my bicycle as I was moving from the left side of a street to its right side. I'd prefer not to plead by mail, as my understanding is that this requires a court date, whereas pleading on-line may not require a date in court. Does anyone have any relevant experience with the NYS DMV's online pleading system?

For what it's worth, the officer miswrote the state of my driver's license (he listed Washington State, but my license is from the District of Columbia). I would just pay the damn thing if it were under $50 but it looks like it's going to be $120 ($40 fee + $60 surcharge + $20 sur-surcharge) plus two points on my license, which I really don't agree with.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Pleading by internet is not going to get you out of the ticket, while going to court and pointing out the mistake you just found most likely will.

AND the other problem with the internet, as I found out two years ago, is that the system sucks and it might not log your plea and then you start getting them chasing you for fines for not paying the ticket in time and then you have to go to court ANYWAY with all your paperwork to get them to stop. I'd never chance it again, and mine was for a ticket for parking two inches into a crosswalk.

The first thing my boyfriend (an almost-lawyer) does when he gets a ticket is check to make sure the information on it is correct because if it's not, he's going to immediately and first try to get it thrown out on a technicality. You've got a BRILLIANT one here.

IANAL and neither is the BF. but just sayiing.
posted by micawber at 7:31 PM on October 21, 2008

No doubt you've already seen this, but the part of the site you linked to indicates there may be two reasons for you not being able to enter your ticket number: either this is not a Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) ticket, or it just hasn't made it to the system yet, in which case I think you can ask to be notified by email when your ticket makes it up to the site.

Just to provide a different point of reference than micawber, my girlfriend recently successfully contested a NYC parking ticket (not a moving violations ticket) online -- we argued in some detail why the ticket was wrongly issued. Unfortunately, we couldn't attach any photographs, which was a bummer, since they tended to prove what we were saying. Nevertheless, she subsequently received a notice in the mail dismissing the ticket on a technicality. I'm just putting this out there to say that it seems possible to win with their online system.
posted by lassie at 4:56 AM on October 22, 2008

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