Suffolk County’s new traffic court opened Monday in Hauppauge, taking over for a New York State-run bureau in a move that will help local lawmakers plug perpetual budget gaps.

The Department of Motor Vehicles Traffic Violations Bureau was replaced by the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Authority, which handles non-criminal traffic and parking violations in Suffolk’s five western towns—except for villages that have their own courts.

The court is expected to generate up to $11 million annually in revenue from fines, most of which went straight to Albany under the old system.

Suffolk officials have said the new court will also reduce the backlog of unanswered and unpaid summonses.

Drivers issued parking or traffic tickets prior to April 1 must still answer the DMV. Only tickets issued after April 1 go through the new court.

Unanswered tickets may result in a driver’s license being suspended. A suspension termination fee may be due regardless of the verdict.

The new court is located in the H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge. The new court’s phone number is 631-853-3800.

To answer a pre-April 1 ticket through the DMV after their bureau closes, contact any state-run Traffic Violations Bureau, call 518-474-0941 or visit the DMV website for more information.

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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.