New York state has a driving record points system. For every type of moving violation conviction, drivers will receive demerit points on their driving records. Violations can include speeding, reckless driving, failure to yield, DUI, or violations involving traffic signs or signals. The amount of points depends upon the severity of the violation. After receiving a certain number of points, disciplinary action in the form of a license suspension or revocation will occur to the driver from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Drivers who wish to lower the number of points on their record have the option of completing a Point and Insurance Reduction Program (PIRP). There are many benefits to completing an approved PIRP through a private company called course sponsors. Throughout the educational course, drivers will receive an overview to traffic laws, learn driving safety tips, and refresh their driving skills. In some cases, drivers will be eligible to have points taken off their driving record. They might also benefit from lower insurance rates.
The course is available in traditional classrooms or online through the Alternate Delivery Method. Regardless of the type of class, there is a minimum amount of course time, and the student must complete it within a specific window of time. Some courses have a final exam to verify the student’s knowledge.
If the DMV reduces points from the driver’s record because of a PIRP class, it is important to note that most violations are not erased from the record permanently. The points are simply not used against a driver who would otherwise face a license suspension or revocation. It is also not possible to reduce the total number of points to less than zero, which would basically be like adding “credit” against future traffic violations.
Insurance companies will reduce the premiums for liability and collision insurance if the driver shows proof that they completed a PIRP. It does not prevent an insurance company from raising premiums in general.
Drivers in New York cities such as Albany and Schenectady should consider retaining a lawyer to fight their traffic tickets to keep their driving records clean.