Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Does the Geneva Police Department issue picture identification cards?
No, the Police Department does not. If you need an identification card, you can check with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. They have an office on Seneca Street in downtown Geneva.
- Does the Police Department do fingerprinting for licenses and permits?
Yes! The Police Department does fingerprints for such things as liquor licenses, adoption, citizenship, employment, and guardianship. Fingerprinting fee is $5.00 and you must bring your own fingerprint card(s).
- If I am involved in an accident, when do I need to file an accident report?
You need to file a report with the Police Department in the event that the accident resulted in physical injury to any of the persons involved, when the physical damage to one of the vehicles is greater than $1,000 or if one of the parties involved requests one. If the accident does not meet said criteria, a Police Officer will assist motorists in the correct exchange of license, registration and insurance information of the persons involved.
- How do I obtain a copy of my accident report?
You can obtain a copy of your accident report at the Geneva Police Records office located at 255 Exchange Street in Geneva during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm, except on holidays. There is a fee for a copy of an accident report.
Also, you can go online to the CrashDocs website and look for The City of Geneva - to get a copy.
- I just got a traffic ticket for speeding, how much is the fine?
Fines for traffic tickets are determined by a City Court Judge and are based on several factors. Parking fines range from $20 to $75
- Why does the dispatcher ask so many questions when I call about a concern?
Dispatchers are trained to get as much information as possible to determine the priority and nature of the complaint in order to send appropriate personnel and to enhance the handling of the complaint.
- Will I be identified as the complainant when I call in a complaint to the Police Department?
Generally complainants are not identified, but on some occasions, if a charge is pursued it is necessary for prosecution of the case.
- If I strike a dog or cat with my vehicle, do I have to report it?
Yes! By law a motorist has the responsibility to locate the owner of the animal and if unable to, notify the police.
- Does the City of Geneva have an Animal Control Officer?
The City of Geneva uses the Ontario County Humane Society for their animal control. Call them to see if they could help with your matter.
- Does the City of Geneva have a leash law?
Yes! The City does have a leash law and it requires all dogs to be on a leash. This law also applies to Lake Shore Park where the Chamber of Commerce is located.
- Are there any other City laws regarding dogs?
Yes! All dogs must be licensed. Also, there is a City law prohibiting nuisance dogs. There are several things that contribute to being a nuisance. They are, but not limited to, loud howling or habitual barking, habitually chasing and/or barking at persons or moving vehicles, jumping on a person or knocking them over, running together in a pack, or causing damage to another persons property. In addition, there also is a law prohibiting dangerous dogs.
- Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk?
If you are 12 years of age and under you can, except for in the Downtown Business District, or if you are a handicapped person who cannot walk as stated in section 65.88 of the Municipal Code below:
65.88 Riding on Sidewalks
- No person shall ride a bicycle upon any sidewalk. This provision shall not apply, however, to children twelve years of age or under or to handicapped persons who cannot walk.
- No person, except handicapped persons, as indicated in the above subdivision, shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk in the Downtown Business District, specifically Exchange Street between Seneca to Lewis Street; Main Street between Seneca and Castle Street; Seneca Street; Castle Street between Main Street to the railroad tracks on E Castle Street; Linden Street.
- Is there any rules or laws that I should know when I am riding my bicycle or in-line skating?
Yes! Bicycles and inline skaters have to follow the same rules of the road as motor vehicles do. Bicycles and inline skaters have to go with the flow of traffic and obey all traffic control devices, such as stop signs and traffic signals. If riding at night, bicyclists must have a light on the front and rear.
- What is the age for helmet use on a bicycle?
All bicyclists under fourteen years of age are required to wear approved bicycle helmets whether they are the operator or passenger on a bicycle. Children under five years of age must wear an approved bicycle helmet and ride in a seat attached to the bicycle when riding as a passenger.
Please note: Children under one year old are prohibited from being transported on a bicycle.
- Could I be held accountable if my child does not wear a helmet?
Yes! According to Vehicle and Traffic Law, Section 1238.8: "A summons shall be issued to a parent or guardian (who is eighteen years of age or older), if the violation occurs while in the parents presence."
- Are there any City laws regarding alcoholic beverages?
Yes! There is an open alcoholic beverage container law in the City of Geneva. There is also a local law prohibiting persons under 21 of possessing alcoholic beverages in a public place, whether open or not. In addition, there are state laws regulating the sale, purchase and possession of alcoholic beverages.
- Can I fire a BB gun on my property?
No! No person shall discharge any firearm, air gun, spring gun or other similar instrument within the city. In addition, no person shall carry any of the aforementioned items while loaded upon any public street or public place.
- Are there any other local City laws that I should know about?
There is a littering law within the City and there is also a noise ordinance prohibiting persons of making unreasonable noise. Also there is a law against interference with city streets, which is, but not limited to, the throwing or kicking of snowballs, stones or other objects into the street, interfering with the free, safe and convenient use of the street.
- What types of violations can I be ticketed for?
Some of the violations that you can be ticketed for are as follows:
- Parking more than 12 inches from the curb
- Parking left of the curb
- Parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
- No parking here to corner
- Blocking the sidewalk, crosswalk or a driveway
- Parking outside of marked lanes
- Parking in handicapped zone
- Parking between the curb and the sidewalk or in front yard without permit
- Parking between the hours of 2 to 6 am
- Parking where there are signs stating no parking or limited time parking
- How much are parking tickets?
Parking fines range from $20 to $50 depending on the violation.
- A $20 fine not paid within 15 days becomes $30.
- If the $20 fine is not paid within 30 days it becomes $40.
- A $35 fine or a $50 fine if not paid within 15 days doubles.
Also parking violations could result with the vehicle being towed.
- How do I pay a fine for a parking violation?
Ticket and fine may be brought or sent with your name and address to the following address:
City Comptroller, City Hall
47 Castle Street
Geneva, New York 14456
You may also pay your ticket/fine online.
- Could my vehicle be towed for a parking violation?
Yes! According to Municipal Code section 60.60 subsection A1: "When any vehicle is parked or abandoned on any highway in the City during a snow storm, flood, fire or other public emergency which affects that portion of the public highway upon which said vehicle is parked or abandoned, or when any vehicle is found unattended on any highway in the City where said vehicle constitutes an obstruction to traffic, or when any vehicle is parked or abandoned on any highway or parking lot in the City where not duly registered or not displaying registration and plates is parked or abandoned on any highway or any City property, said vehicle must be removed by the direction of any police officer of the City to any place or garage designated by the Chief of Police."
Please note: Towing of vehicles is most common during the winter parking regulations, which are between December 1st and April 1st.
- How much does it cost to get my vehicle out if it is towed/impounded?
You have to pay the parking ticket for the violation in addition to the tow fee plus storage charged by the tow agency.