Living in New York state, you may have heard about points on your license. The more traffic violations you have, the more points you get. But how can those points affect you?

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses points to track your violations. If you receive enough points in 18 months, you may face more consequences than the fines from your tickets.

Enough points can lead to consequences

If police cite you for a traffic violation, you will likely receive a ticket with a fine. If you admit guilt or you receive a conviction, you pay the fine and move on.

But for every infraction you receive a conviction for, the DMV puts points on your driving license. Once you receive six points in 18 months, you must pay an extra fee on top of any fines. And if you get 11 or more points, the DMV will suspend your right to drive.

Each violation can give you different amounts of points

Most infractions won’t automatically suspend your license. For example, you might get three points for not yielding or for running a stop sign. And you only get three if you receive a speeding ticket for less than 10 miles over the speed limit.

However, the more serious the infraction, the more points you receive. Texting and driving can leave you with five points. You get the same amount for driving past a school bus with its lights flashing. And driving more than 40 miles per hour over the speed limit leads to an automatic suspension with 11 points.

A suspended license can seriously affect your life

Traffic violations for things like speeding or running a stop signal may seem somewhat insignificant. You may feel that once you pay the fine, you no longer need to worry about the incident.

But when you collect points for each infraction, you can put your license at risk. Without the right to drive, you must rely on others for a ride. If you commute for your job, this can become frustrating. You may end up coming in late. Or if you don’t have anyone to drive you, you can even lose your job.

Unless you fight a conviction, points can lead to a license suspension

The DMV will only put points on your license when you receive a conviction for a traffic violation. If you can fight the ticket, you can avoid the consequences of too many points.

But if you let points build up, you may find yourself unable to drive.