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  1. #1
    traeh is offline Junior Member
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    long-expired inspection sticker: can I lose my license?

    I'm in New York State, in Rockland County (Chestnut Ridge). My parents recently -- about 3 weeks ago -- gave me their car. I haven't yet transferred ownership to myself, and my parents are still paying the insurance. I was too stupid to notice that the inspection sticker is about 6 months expired. I was pulled over and given a ticket.

    The ticket says at the bottom:
    A PLEA OF GUILTY TO THIS CHARGE IS EQUIVALENT TO A CONVICTION AFTER TRIAL. IF YOU ARE CONVICTED, NOT ONLY WILL YOU BE LIABLE TO A PENALTY, BUT IN ADDITION YOUR LICENSE TO DRIVE A MOTOR VEHICLE OR MOTORCYCLE, AND YOUR CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION, IF ANY, ARE SUBJECT TO SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION AS PRESCRIBED BY LAW.
    [My bolding]

    1) Does that mean that if I plead guilty to a 6-months' expired inspection sticker, I may lose my driver's license?

    2) On another part of the ticket, if one pleads guilty, there are a couple of lines where one is invited to make a "statement of explanation." Suppose I go and get the inspection done the day after I got the ticket. Would the following "statement of explanation" help or hurt me:

    "In early April, 2010, my parents gave me this car, which they had been keeping in storage, and I stupidly didn't even think to notice the expired inspection sticker. On April 22, the police officer gave me the ticket, and the next day I went and got the vehicle inspected. I apologize for the stupid oversight, and request that any fine, penalty, or record be dismissed."
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Your explanation is meaningless - you shouldn't even waste time writing it out.

    Why didn't you register the car? If the ownership was transferred it needed to be registered and inspected by you.

    Inspecting it the next day doesn't help you because you were operating an uninspected vehicle when you were stopped. This is NOT a correctable violation.

    The statement on the ticket takes into account all possible cases. The fact that it was expired 6 months pretty much means nothing more than the fine is somewhat higher than if it was expired 60 days or less. Unless you have some major problem with your driving record, it's safe to say that your license will not be suspended in this case. Not by a judge, and certainly not by DMV.
  3. #3
    traeh is offline Junior Member
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    Reply to HighwayMan

    The ownership has not yet been transferred. For the last three weeks, the car has effectively been on loan to me from my parents, who had it in storage. I have been very busy, and planned to do the ownership transfer a couple of weeks from now. I didn't even look at the inspection sticker. I am relatively inexperienced with car ownership. Had I realized there was a problem with the sticker, I would have had the car inspected immediately.

    My driving record, apart from this ticket, is perfect. I've never had any kind of ticket before this.

    So there is no point in writing any explanation where it says "statement of explanation" on the ticket?

    And should I definitely plead guilty?

    In my position, is there any point in pleading not guilty and somehow contesting the ticket? What concerns me a bit is not a fine, but a permanent mark on my driving record, and also, whether that means car insurance -- which I'll need when I transfer ownership to myself, as the car is currently under my parents' insurance -- whether car insurance will be significantly more expensive for me because of this ticket.

    Thank you for your earlier reply and for any further info.
  4. #4
    InsaneJane is offline Member
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    If you are fined for the inspection and fail to pay the fine in the given time, then your license may be suspended and you will have to pay all fines plus charges to restore your license. The important part is to get it inspected so you don't end up with it being towed. In many states the fine goes up for sequencial inspection tickets.

    Advice;
    Get the sticker
    pay the fine
    Don't tell anyone
    put it behind you
    Don't let it happen again
  5. #5
    xylene is offline Senior Member
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    Get the car inspected immediately

    ASAP

    Then go to the court date with the inspection and plead not guilty

    Then work with the court and you will get a fine if found guilty or the matter will be dismissed.

    The matter will not be dismissed if you plead guilty or guilty with an explanation

    "guilty with an explanation" is an attempt to get you to hang yourself. The court does not 'go merciful' if you give an explanation

    You really need to go to court. Don't 'save yourself' by not going and just paying a fine

    Also deal with transfer and registration. You really should not have but that off.

    Lastly - you are a new york driver. You need to know the inspection sticker. Don't play the clueless card. You can see the sticker when you are driving!

    If you borrow, rent, use a car with NYS plates, you are responsible for the inspection and registration being current! Always check! That is in the DMV drivers manual, it isn't something you learn as you go.
  6. #6
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    As I said the explanation is useless. It is just another one of the hundreds of useless excuses that judges have heard a thousand times and will get you no where. When I stop someone and they start telling me something like that I basically just tune them out because EVERYONE says the same thing over and over again.

    This is a non-moving violation and will in no way affect your insurance. The conviction gets recorded - so what? It is no points.

    I am not telling you to plead guilty or not guilty - it's up to you. I don't know the courts in Rockland. Worst case is you will have to pay the fine and surcharge, best case is a sympathetic judge or prosecutor will waive the fine and you will still be responsible for the state surcharge.

    If you are not concerned with the relatively small fine then I would just mail in a guilty and be done with it. If you have time to kill and want to go to court (maybe more than one appearance) then be my guest.

    This infraction really means nothing so don't be concerned about it ruining your life. You really are too worried about this. You need to be more concerned with mailing the ticket back in a timely manner and making sure the court gets it.
  7. #7
    traeh is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you

    Thank you all so much for the information and advice. I read it all carefully. Especially that of HighwayMan. I'm relieved to hear that I'm worrying too much about this. Part of the worry was the fact that in the last few days I heard somebody or other say that my driving with an expired inspection sticker was classed as a moving violation. And the words on the ticket about possibly losing my license got to me. I started thinking about having to go to court. All of that was gnawing at me. I'm glad to hear from HighwayMan that I was mistaken about all that, and also that this is not even a moving violation. I'm going to mail the ticket in and plead guilty, and pay the fine.

    Thank you very much. I won't be so clueless next time thanks to you folks.

    Oh. And I got it inspected.
  8. #8
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Well, it's a "moving violation" in as much as it's a traffic ticket issued to a driver while driving and it gets recorded on your driving record, as any traffic ticket does.

    It definitely carries no points and is just not a big deal. It carries no more weight than a parking ticket as far as your license is concerned.

    It is absolutely nothing to worry about.

    Once again the statement printed on the ticket is a general one for all violators. It's main purpose is to remind violators to answer the ticket or risk suspension and also a reminder that, depending on the offense, a possible penalty may include suspension or revocation of one's license. For instance, three speeding convictions within eighteen months is an automatic license revocation - the court has no say in the matter. All traffic tickets issued in New York State have the same wording and that wording if specified in the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
  9. #9
    traeh is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks again.

    HighwayMan, thank you for the additional clarifications about the language on the ticket. I'm glad to hear no points are involved, and that this is like a parking ticket, nothing to get all worried about. You told me exactly what I needed to hear. What a relief!

    Thanks again.

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