HOV ViolationsHave You Been Issued A New York Traffic Ticket For A HOV Violation?

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As you drive through New York, you may notice lanes marked “HOV”. HOV, or High Occupancy Vehicle, lanes are designed to help improve traffic. How do HOV lanes help with traffic? In order to reduce congestion, you need to eliminate the quantity of vehicles on the road. HOV lanes help to do this by encouraging people to carpool during their commute. This helps to lessen the number of cars on the road during peak hours and streamlines traffic to reduce congestion.

HOV lanes are indicated by clearly posted signs both on and around the road. Specific regulations that apply to the HOV lanes are also posted. These regulations should indicate the minimum number of vehicle occupants, the hours of effectivity, as well as the operational days. Vehicles that carry a Clean Pass vehicle sticker are also able to use these lanes regardless of the number of passengers.

Interstate 495: The Long Island Expressway

The Long Island Expressway, or LIE as it is more commonly referred to by locals, includes perhaps the most notorious stretch of HOV lanes. Starting at Exit 32 and ending with Exit 64 on both sides of Interstate 495 (I-495), the LIE HOV lane restrictions are in effect Monday through Friday during the following hours: 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM through 8:00 PM. At almost 40-miles in length, these HOV lanes are often carefully monitored by law enforcement. Trained to spot improper use of the HOV lanes, including identifying “dummy” passengers, law enforcement is adept at catching those who disregard the law.


New York also strives to reduce the amount of vehicle exhaust emissions for a cleaner environment. The Clean Pass Program is a joint effort between the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To help further encourage this environmentally responsible movement, vehicles with a Clean Pass sticker are also permitted to use HOV lanes at any time, regardless of the number of vehicle occupants.

There are many different types of vehicles that qualify for a Clean Pass vehicle sticker. You should be aware, however, that you will need to meet specific criteria in order to receive you Clean Pass sticker. This will include the make, model, and year of your car. For example, if you drive a Ford C-MAX ENERGI plug-in hybrid electric vehicle manufactured in 2017, whose vehicle identification number (VIN) includes “P5E” or “P5F” in the fifth, sixth and seventh position, you are eligible for a Clean Pass sticker. For the Toyota RAV4 EV, only models manufactured in 2000 to 2003 and 2012 through 2014 will qualify. Audi, Azure Dynamics, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Mini Cooper, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo all have vehicles that make the Clean Pass list as well.

If you qualify, obtaining a Clean Pass sticker is easy. All you need to do is call the DMV or apply online. You should note that you cannot apply for a Clean Pass sticker in person at a DMV location. Applying for these stickers is free. Within 10 days of your request, you should receive a sheet of 4 Clean Pass stickers for use on your qualifying vehicle. These stickers must be placed in specific locations on your vehicle, so make sure you read all directions that come with your Clean Pass.

Do not put Clean Pass stickers on a vehicle that does not actually qualify for them. Law enforcement is trained to identify which vehicles can use the Clean Pass stickers. Using these stickers on a vehicle that does not qualify for them will likely result in additional traffic violations.


If you pay your HOV citation, it is considered a guilty plea. Once you do this, the conviction will be on your record and you will accrue any points, fines, and surcharges that come with it. If you have received a ticket for a HOV violation, contact an experienced traffic lawyer immediately. As with all other traffic citations, you must respond to your HOV ticket within 15 days.

When you receive a HOV ticket, you have the right to contest it. You can opt to plead not guilty and fight the ticket on your own. However, hiring a lawyer will give you a better chance at a successful outcome. With The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C., we make fighting your ticket as easy as 1-2-3!

Step 1: Submit your ticket.

We provide 3 easy and convenient ways to submit your ticket for evaluation. Call, email (Tickets@RiccaLaw.com) or submit your ticket online to The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. It takes seconds to do and gives your attorney the chance to initially review your case.

Step 2: Receive a free telephone consultation.

Expect a call within 24-hours of submitting your ticket to The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. This free consultation is aimed at helping you and the attorney fully understand the situation. We will inquire about the circumstances and specific facts of your case, as well as collect information to help formulate the best defense for you. In addition to this, the lawyer will go over all of the potential consequences and outcomes of your case. You are welcome to ask any questions you may have at this point in time, too.

Step 3: E-sign your Retainer Agreement and e-pay for our services.

To help expedite your case, The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. will email you a copy of our Retainer Agreement. You can digitally sign this agreement and send it back via email. In addition to this, we will include an e-pay link for our services to you. This helps to make payments quick and easy.


Violating HOV regulations may not seem like a serious issue. In fact, some may be tempted to just plead guilty and pay the associated fine and surcharges. However, it is your right to fight any traffic offense and we highly suggest that you do so with your HOV ticket. Why? Because the consequences of a HOV citation conviction can have a snowball affect over other aspects of your life.

New York Point System

Perhaps the most important reason to avoid any traffic conviction, the New York State point system is an unforgiving consequence.

According to the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1110(a), disobeying HOV regulations is a ticket-able offense. Often ticketed as “Disobeying Traffic Control Device,” this will result in 2 points being added to your driving record. A $150 to $200 fine and $88 to $93 surcharge will also be mandatory upon your first conviction for an HOV violation.

At first, 2 points may not sound like a lot. However, you may need to understand how the New York State point system works before you realize why 2 points matters. Points stay on your record for 18 months following any traffic conviction, including guilty pleas. When you accumulate 6 points within an 18 month period, you will be subjected to a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee. This fee is mandatory. To satisfy this requirement, you will need to pay $100 annually for the next 3 years. If you receive additional points during your 3 year assessment period, you will have to pay an additional $25 per point you have accrued over the original 6 for each of the three years. If you fail to make your Driver Responsibility Assessment payments, your license will be immediately suspended.

License Suspension

Driving in New York is a privilege, not a right. Violating the VTL can cause you to realize just how precarious that privilege can be.

Failing to pay your Driver Responsibility Assessment fee is not the only way to have your driving privileges suspended. If you accumulate 11 points within an 18 month period, the DMV will automatically suspend your license. License suspensions in New York can be definite or indefinite. Definite suspensions will come with a set start and end date. Indefinite suspensions, however, will come with a list of things you must complete before your license suspension can be lifted. In both cases, you will also need to pay a suspension termination fee prior to having your driving privileges restored.

In some cases, typically reserved for serious offenses or repeatedly being convicted of violating the VTL, you can have your driving privileges permanently cancelled. This is referred to as a revocation and can last for the rest of your life in some situations.

Compounding Tickets

In the majority of HOV violation cases we have seen, drivers were issued multiple, additional citations. The most common additional violations are:

  • VTL 1110(a)(h) – HOV Less Than Minimum: 2 points, $100 to $200 fine plus surcharge
  • VTL 1128(a) – Moved from Lane Unsafely: 3 points, $100 to $200 fine plus surcharge
  • VTL 1128(d) – Drove Across Hazard Markings: 3 points, $100 to $200 fine plus surcharge
  • VTL 1163(a) – Failure to Signal Lane Change: 2 points, $150 fine plus surcharge

Keep in mind that these fines are only for first time offenses within an 18 month period. If you are convicted of the same offense a second time, the fine will increase. For example, violating VTL 1163(a) for a second time will result in a $300 fine, another $88 to $93 surcharge, and an additional 2 points on your driver’s license.

These additional violations can compound the effects of a HOV conviction. Why? Because they add additional points, fines, and surcharges to your overall conviction. If you are convicted of your HOV violation (2 points), you will likely be convicted of the other tickets you received as well. For example, if you also received citations for violating VTL 1128(a), VTL 1128(d), and VTL 1163(a), that is an additional 8 points, $250 to $550 fine, and $264 to $279 surcharge. Because your new point total is 10, you will also be hit with a Driver Responsibility Assessment fee. Additionally, if you are convicted of just one more traffic violation, your license will automatically be suspended for crossing that 11 point threshold within an 18 month period. That means you will have a suspension termination fee to pay on top of all of the other fees and surcharges you already owe.

Tickets and points add up quickly. If you have received a ticket, the best way to avoid all of this is to hire a reputable lawyer immediately.


The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. has the passion, knowledge, and skills you need when fighting a HOV conviction. With our expertise, you can rest assured that the best possible outcome is achievable.

We understand how quickly tickets and their consequences can add up. With the unforgiving laws that govern New York roadways, it is imperative that you fight any and all traffic convictions. With the help of the best Nassau County traffic lawyer, the fight is much easier.

If you have received one or more traffic citations for violating HOV regulations, contact us today to learn more about how The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. can help you avoid serious consequences.