Project Green Light


Project Green Light provides New Yorkers charged with failing to answer a motor vehicle summons or pay a fine an opportunity to have their cases dismissed by paying their tickets and clearing their licenses with the DMV. Instructions differ for 1) those who received a DAT and have not yet been arraigned, and 2) those who have already been arraigned in Criminal Court.

What is Project Green Light?

Project Green Light gives you the opportunity to pay your outstanding fines or answer your outstanding summonses to clear your suspensions and at the same time avoid going to criminal court and avoid getting a criminal record.


If you received a DAT and have not been arraigned yet:

How can I learn more about this?

For more information call the Project Green Light hotline at NYC Criminal Justice Agency at 646-213-2633 or email greenlight@nycja.org.

Who is eligible? To be eligible…

  • You must have been arrested for driving while your license or privilege to drive in New York is suspended for failing to answer a summons or failing to pay a fine in violation of VTL § 511(1)(a), and no other charges other than unlicensed driving, VTL § 509, AND
  • You must not have been convicted of a violent felony in the last 10 years (or released from prison for a violent felony within the last 10 years), AND
  • You must never have been convicted of a sex crime.
  • You must not otherwise be ineligible according to the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
  • The NYC Criminal Justice Agency (CJA) will reach out to you if you are eligible to remind you to clear your suspensions.

What do you have to do to have your case diverted out of criminal court?

  • Within three (3) weeks of your arrest, you must clear your suspensions. 

How do I clear my suspensions?

The suspension order you received from the DMV will tell you how to get the suspension removed. If your suspension is from New York City, you can do it in person at the Traffic Violations Bureau locations in New York City or go online to get your suspensions cleared.

Answering/Paying Tickets                       

ONLINE: You can answer a ticket or pay a fine online if the ticket/fine is from New York City or Rochester. (If the traffic ticket was issued in any other part of New York State, you must contact the local court directly.) Here’s the link to do so: https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/plead-or-pay-tvb-tickets

BY MAIL: Some tickets can be paid by mail. See the instructions on the back of your ticket. Eligible tickets can be mailed with payment to Traffic Violations Plea Unit, PO Box 2950-ESP, Albany, NY, 12220-0950.

IN PERSON: You can go to one of eight (8) Traffic Violations Bureau locations in New York City listed at https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/find-tvb-office-locations or you can call 718-488-5710 where you can also get more information about answering tickets.

You can check https://dmv.ny.gov/mydmv/mydmv to see the status of your license suspensions.

What happens if I clear my suspensions within 3 weeks?

Three weeks after your arrest, the New York County District Attorney’s Office will decide whether to bring criminal charges against you. If you are eligible for Project Green Light, the DA’s Office will check the status of your license (or privilege to drive in New York). If all suspensions have been cleared, the DA’s Office will decline to prosecute your case, and you will not have to appear in court. You will receive a letter from the DA’s Office letting you know that we have declined to prosecute your case and that you do not need to appear in court.

What happens if I do NOT clear my suspensions in 3 weeks or I’m not eligible for Project Green Light?

You must appear in court on the date that appears on your Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT). If you are eligible, you may still have the opportunity to get your case dismissed if you clear your suspensions. Failure to appear in court may result in the judge issuing a warrant for your arrest.

Note that regardless of what happens to your criminal case, in order to drive in New York your suspensions must be completely cleared or you risk getting arrested again for driving with a suspended license.

What if I have legal questions?

You may hire an attorney OR if you cannot afford an attorney…

  • If your return Court is Midtown Community Court (check your DAT)
  • If your return Court is 100 Centre St. and you live in Harlem
    • Contact the Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem, Ariadne Ellsworth, who can connect you with an attorney, aellsworth@ndsny.org, 212-876-5500.
  • If your return Court is 100 Centre St., you don’t live in Harlem, and your return date is on a Thursday
    • Contact New York County Defenders, Sydney Lester at slester@nycds.org, 212-803-5113.
  • If your return Court is 100 Centre St., you don’t live in Harlem, and your return date is not a Thursday


If you have already been arraigned:

Post-arraignment Project Green Light: If you are eligible (see below), and you clear your driver’s license suspensions by paying outstanding fines or answering outstanding summonses by the day before your next court date, the New York County District Attorney’s Office will dismiss your case on the next court date.

 How do I know if I’m eligible?

To be eligible …

  • You must have been arrested for driving while your license or privilege to drive in New York is suspended for failing to answer a summons or failing to pay a fine in violation of VTL § 511(1)(a), and no other charges other than unlicensed driving, VTL § 509, AND
  • You must not have been convicted of a violent felony in the last 10 years (or released from prison for a violent felony within the last 10 years), AND
  • You must never have been convicted of a sex crime.
  • You must not otherwise be ineligible according to the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

What do I have to do?

  • Your case will be adjourned at your arraignment. Your attorney must consent to your next adjournment, waiving time under CPL § 30.30.
  • You then must clear your suspensions by the day before your next court date.
  • If you clear those suspensions and show up to court, the New York County District Attorney’s Office will dismiss your case on your next court date.

How do I clear my suspensions?

The suspension order you received from the DMV will tell you how to get the suspension removed. If your suspension is from New York City, you can do it in person at the Traffic Violations Bureau locations in New York City or go online to get your suspensions cleared.

Answering/Paying Tickets                       

ONLINE: You can answer a ticket or pay a fine online if the ticket/fine is from New York City or Rochester. (If the traffic ticket was issued in any other part of New York State, you must contact the local court directly.) Here’s the link to do so: https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/plead-or-pay-tvb-tickets

BY MAIL: Some tickets can be paid by mail. See the instructions on the back of your ticket. Eligible tickets can be mailed with payment to Traffic Violations Plea Unit, PO Box 2950-ESP, Albany, NY, 12220-0950.

IN PERSON: You can go to one of eight (8) Traffic Violations Bureau locations in New York City listed at https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/find-tvb-office-locations or you can call 718-488-5710 where you can also get more information about answering tickets.

You can check https://dmv.ny.gov/mydmv/mydmv to see the status of your license suspensions.

What if I have legal questions?

Speak to the attorney who represented you at your arraignment (your first court date).