I Got a Traffic Citation! Now What? Points, Fine + Insurance
Traffic citations are the worst. Whether it was an innocent mistake or you are actually okay with it because you have have been driving like a maniac for years, maybe you would be a little more cautious if you consider the fact that with an expensive fine there are also points on your license and with that is an increase in your insurance premiums for years to come.
To help you think twice before breaking rules on the road, we have listed the points given for different infractions and information about how citations affect car insurance premiums. Additionally, we have included the three different options for drivers that get a traffic citations in Florida and what to do if you get a citation out of your home state.
Traffic Citation Point Breakdown
Points for speeding*
Up to 15 MPH over limit: 3 points
Over 15 MPH above limit: 4 points
Speeding that results in an accident: 6 points
Points for reasons other than speeding*
Driving with an open alcohol container: 3 points.
Child safety restraint violation: 3 points.
Littering: 3 points.
Fleeing the scene of an accident with property damage over $50: 6 points.
Reckless driving: 4 points.
Collision resulting from a moving violation: 4 points.
Passing a stopped school bus: 4 points
License suspension due to points*
12 points within 12 months: 30 days
18 points within 18 months: 3 months
24 points within 36 months: 1 year
* Information is from Florida DHSMV
What Points on Your License Could Cost You
An article published by Forbes cites information from an analysis of over 490,000 policy quotes done by Insurance.com.
According to an article by Forbes, “Depending on the violation, getting just a single ticket can boost an average policyholder’s auto insurance premiums by as much as 22 percent, according to an analysis of over 490,000 policy quotes conducted by Insurance.com.
Being cited for reckless driving was found to boost premiums by the largest margin at the aforementioned 22 percent.”
Depending on one’s insurance plan, an insured customer may pay those increased rates for years. Ouch. Furthermore, if a driver gets too many points on their license in a certain time frame, an insurance company can choose to drop the driver because they are seen as too risky.
So what can you do? Keep reading.
3 Options to Pay or Resolve Traffic Citation
Option 1: Pay the ticket
Many people choose this option as in many cases it is the easiest. If you chose this option you must pay the ticket within 30 days. Taking this option will result in points on your driving record.
Option 2: Pay the ticket and do a driving safety course
This is another valid option for taking care of the fine. Drivers that get a citation for speeding or a moving violation can take a driver’s course to prevent the points from being added to their license. However, it is important to note that a driver can only take a driver’s course once in 12 months and only five times in their lifetime — so choose your tickets wisely.
Option 3: Fight the ticket in court
Another option is to fight the ticket in court. If you were speeding, chances are you will still have to pay the ticket unless the police officer doesn’t show up, then the ticket is voided. With this option you have to pay some legal fees as well. Choosing this option doesn’t mean you won’t have a ticket to pay, but in many cases a lawyer will get the points off of your record. If you don’t have time to take a driving course, but don’t want the points, this is the option for you.
What if you get a ticket out of state?
Getting a ticket out of state sounds like it would be frustrating and extra stressful, but the procedure is actually pretty simple. According to the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators pretty much every state with the exception of Michigan and Wisconsin have adopted either the “Driver’s License Compact” or “Non-Resident Violator Compact.” If you receive a ticket in a state with those compacts that state will transfer the information to the DMV in your home state. Then, the ticket will follow the same rules as mentioned above.
Stay safe and be especially careful to watch out for these speed traps in Florida! Hope this information is helpful. Follow our blog and follow and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to read more informative driving related information!