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July 27, 2009 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Can a New York Transit Authority ticket catch up with me back home in Los Angeles?

Have received a ticket in NY but am a CA resident with no ties to the NY area.

When filling out the ticket the PO took down my SSN, Ca driver's license number, cell phone, and the address of our host. My partner's ticket has only the host's address and license number, no SSN or phone number. The driver's license state is not recorded on the ticket, and the violation is 4(a) entered without payment.

Our host insists we ignore the ticket, that nothing can happen. I will without any question pay the fine to avoid even the possibility of trouble, but am now looking into the issue for purely hypothetical / curiosity reasons.

It seems from Internet searching that since CA and NY are both members of the DLC a traffic violation could prevent license registration in CA, but it's not clear if this qualifies. It also seems clear that were I to travel back to NY at any given time in the future I could find a warrant issued over the violation, and that another worst case is getting calls from a collection agency. Again I will pay the fine regardless of what I learn about it, am just interested in knowledge for it's own sake. Has anyone experienced this or have any insight?
posted by oblio_one to Law & Government (8 answers total)
Whatever the worst experience you've ever heard of involving Kafkaesque government, inconvenient timing and embarrassing police interactions starts off with someone not paying a simple and easy to take care of ticket.

Pay it or something terrible will happen at the worst time, dealing with the worst uncaring bureaucrats in front of everyone you are trying to impress.

Without knowing the offense, it is otherwise impossible to tell you what will happen.
posted by bensherman at 6:58 PM on July 27, 2009

Without knowing the offense

Oy. "The violation is 4(a) entered without payment", he said.
posted by mendel at 8:08 PM on July 27, 2009

As a result of 9-11 there is now a National Driver Registry, which is just what it sounds like: a nationwide database of everyone in every state with a drivers license. If you get a ticket in one state it will follow you to every other state. They usually catch up to you when you try for any kind of renewal. I had personal experience with this recently when a 14 year old speeding ticket came back to haunt me, as other Mefites have also discovered.
Your only hope is that the Transit Authority doesn't use it- small chance of that. So pay the ticket.
posted by TDIpod at 8:14 PM on July 27, 2009

To clarify, based on your tags and the violation, it sounds like you got the ticket for jumping the turnstyle on the subway or some other form of fare evasion. Right?

These kinds of tickets may be treated differently as they probably don't count towards points against your license and are not moving violations. Hopefully you'll get some advice from someone who's had one of these before specifically.
posted by zachlipton at 8:36 PM on July 27, 2009

Wow, I totally missed the violation sentence. What i said still stands, though this is closer to a jaywalking ticket. It isn't a criminal offense, but ignoring it might be.
posted by bensherman at 9:41 PM on July 27, 2009

Clarification, we were 'doubling up' through the subway turnstyle, we swiped once and then both passed through. A foolish way to save two dollars...
posted by oblio_one at 5:08 AM on July 28, 2009

I've never before heard of an American cop requesting your SSN.
posted by Rash at 5:31 AM on July 28, 2009

The worst case scenario is that, if NY felt like being *really* vindictive, the court could issue a bench warrant for your appearance, and ask the California authorities to detain and extradite you. The chances of this happening are between slim and none, but it is theoretically possible.
posted by Citrus at 1:56 PM on July 28, 2009

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