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Department of Taxation and Finance

Driver's license suspension

If you have at least $10,000 in past-due tax debt personally assessed against you, the Tax Department is permitted by law to recommend the suspension of your New York State driver's license. 

You may be eligible for a statutory exemption from suspension if you:

  • hold a commercial driver's license (CDL);
  • have wages we currently garnish;
  • pay court-ordered child support or combined child and spousal support;
  • receive public assistance benefits as defined by the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) at http://otda.ny.gov/; or
  • receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a Federal income supplement program (not Social Security benefits) and is designed to help aged, blind, and persons with disabilities with little or no income.

For more information, see TSB-M-13 (4) I, Summary of Budget Bill Personal Income Tax Changes Enacted in 2013 – Effective for Tax Years 2013 and After.

What happens

If you fail to resolve your tax debt, we will recommend the suspension of your New York State driver's license, and may take other collection action against you. 

Before we recommend your license for suspension, we will send you a Notice of Proposed Driver’s License Suspension, giving you 60 days to resolve your tax debt.

If you do not respond to this notice:

  • we will contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to recommend suspension of your New York State driver's license, and
  • DMV will send you an Order of Suspension or Revocation 15 days before the date your license will be suspended. 

If you fail to resolve your debt by the date in the Order of Suspension or Revocation notice, DMV will suspend your driver's license.

For additional information on the collection process, see Publication 131, Your Rights and Obligations Under the Tax Law.

How to resolve

If you received a Notice of Proposed Driver’s License Suspension, or your license has already been suspended, you must:

  • Pay your debt in full—If your license has already been suspended, we will notify DMV to remove your suspension, or
  • Set up an installment payment agreement—If your license has already been suspended, we will notify DMV to put your suspension on hold. If you fail to comply with the terms of the agreement, we will notify DMV to remove the hold and resume your license suspension. If your license has not yet been suspended, we will not request that DMV suspend your license provided you comply with the terms of the agreement, or
  • Demonstrate you are eligible for a statutory exemption from suspension, see Challenge Tax Department actions.

If you believe the suspension of your driver's license will cause you undue economic hardship, you may also demonstrate this hardship by completing both of the following:

Note: Submission of forms DTF-5 and DTF-5.1 is NOT considered a formal protest. To preserve your right to formally protest your proposed suspension, you must also follow our formal protest procedures. For more information, see Challenge Tax Department actions.

You should also contact us if you:

  • received a notice not intended for you;
  • already resolved your debt;
  • filed a bankruptcy petition for your past-due debt; or
  • are eligible for innocent spouse relief.

For questions regarding your driver's license suspension, contact the Civil Enforcement Division at 518-862-6000 during regular business hours to speak to a representative.

If you need assistance obtaining a restricted use license that will allow you to drive for certain purposes, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles for more information about conditional and restricted licenses.

You may also check the status of your driving privileges at https://dmv.ny.gov/ (search: MyDMV).

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