There are only a few things in life that are more frustrating than being pulled over by the police for speeding while driving. Unless the officer lets you off with a warning, you’re likely to get a speeding ticket.
According to statistics, the US traffic police issue nearly 41 million speeding tickets annually with fines ranging from $20 to hundreds of dollars. However, the consequences can easily extend from a small fine to license suspension and even jail time, depending on the state and your driving record, which also affect your insurance rates.
One of the most frequently asked questions by motorists in the US is, “How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record?” In this post, we’ll help readers understand the effects of speeding tickets on their driving records, status, and auto insurance.
Once a traffic officer writes a ticket for your traffic violation, such as speeding, it will stay on the DMV record for at least one year, depending on the state where the violation occurred.
For example, in California, speeding tickets are taken off your record after 39 months. But in Nebraska or Washington, they will stay on your record for five years.
On the other hand, in Colorado and Alabama, more serious traffic violations, like speeding due to DUI or reckless driving, stay on the record forever.
The US Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) uses a point-based system to monitor traffic violations. However, the system is also influenced by state laws and guidelines that determine the citation severity following the incidents.
The math is simple, though — if you receive a speeding ticket, the DMV will add some demerit points to your driving record.
The number of points added and the penalties and consequences of the traffic violation vary from state to state. Having too many demerit points can lead to temporary or permanent driver’s license suspension, depending on your speed, previous violations, or any injuries caused in case of an accident.
Your age and income affect your insurance premium. However, one of the most important things insurance companies consider when determining your rates is your driving record. If you have a clean record, you can potentially save thousands of dollars annually. However, if you have a speeding ticket on your record, you’ll likely pay more.
In some cases, insurance providers might find you ineligible for their plans due to your high-risk status. To determine your risk level, these companies will assess your entire driving record, including accidents, tickets, DUIs, reckless driving, and other incidents.
The more severe your traffic violation, the higher your premiums will be. For example, if you face license suspension, many companies can decline to write your policy, and you’ll be stuck with limited options that specifically deal with high-risk drivers.
Speeding tickets are issued to drivers who violate speed restriction laws while driving. Generally, every state follows two-speed restriction law types:
Depending on the infrastructure and pedestrian traffic in a particular area, the state may declare maximum speed limits for highways (usually 65 mph) and school zones (usually 25–30 mph).
For example, even if the max speed limit on a rural highway is 65 mph, you should try keeping it way under this limit during rainstorms and high winds, which can disrupt vision, cause distractions, or lead to damage by debris. This can also potentially result in a speeding ticket since your actions can pose a threat to other drivers.
Absolute speed limits are the most important speed laws drivers have to follow. For example, if a traffic sign states 60 mph, exceeding this limit will result in a traffic violation.
Many states around the country, such as Texas, allow drivers to drive over the specified speed limit as long as they’re driving safely. However, this doesn’t mean drivers should drive 40 mph in a 35-mph zone. It might be legal, but that is for the officer to decide if they pull you over, as these violations are more nuanced.
However, if it’s a clear, sunny day with little or no traffic on a highway, you can convince the judge that you were driving safely, given the conditions.
This theory states that an officer can issue you a ticket even if you were driving under the speed limit due to the driving conditions at that moment. For example, if you were doing 30 mph on icy roads, an officer could decide that you were going much faster than you should’ve been.
Here’s a list showing how long a speeding ticket will stay on your record in different states, along with the action/penalties taken:
|State||Time||Fines/Jail Time||License Actions|
|Alabama||Permanent Record of Incident (Points Removed After 2 years)||First Offence - $100/10 DaysSecond Offence - $200/30 DaysThird Offence - $300/3 Months||Suspension or Revocation|
|Alaska||1 Year||Fine of $300||Suspension or Revocation|
|Arizona||1 Year||Basis Speeding - $250 MaxExcessive Speeding - $500/30 Days||Suspension or Revocation|
|Arkansas||3 Years||First Offence - $100/10 DaysSecond Offence - $200/20 DaysThird Offence - $500/6 Months||Suspension By Court Order or Point System|
|California||3 Years & 3 Months||First Offence - $100Second Offence - $200Third Offence - $250||Suspension|
|Colorado||Permanent Record of Incident||Fine of $15–$100||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Connecticut||3 Years||Fine of $35–$90||Suspension or Revocation|
|Delaware||2 Years||First Offence - $25–$75Subsequent Offences - $57.50–$95||Suspension|
|Florida||5 Years||Fine of $25–$250||Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System|
|Georgia||2 Years||Fine up to $500||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Hawaii||10 Years||First Offence - $200Second Offence - $300Third Offence - $500||Court-Ordered Suspension|
|Idaho||3 Years||Fine up to $300||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Illinois||5 Years||Fine up to $1,000 or $1,500/30 Days in Case of a Class C Misdemeanor||Suspension or Revocation After Three Traffic Violations Within a Year|
|Indiana||2 Years||Fine up to $1,000||Suspension|
|Iowa||Up to 5 Years||$65–$625/30 Days||Suspension|
|Kansas||3 Years||Up to $500||Revocation, Restriction, or Suspension|
|Kentucky||5 Years (Points Removed After 2 Years)||$60–$100 (Doubling Fines in School Areas)||Suspension or Revocation|
|Louisiana||3 Years||First Offence - $175/30 DaysSubsequent Offences - $500/90 Days||Revocation, Cancellation, or Suspension|
|Maine||1 Year||Fine of $25–$500||Suspension or Revocation|
|Maryland||3 Years||Fine up to $500||Suspension|
|Massachusetts||6 Years||Not less than $50 + $10 on Every Additional 10 Mph Above Limit||Suspension or Revocation|
|Michigan||7 Years||Depends on the Number of Mph Above Limit||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Minnesota||5-10 Years||$300 or $1,000/90 Days||Suspension or Revocation|
|Mississippi||1 Year||First Offence - $100/10 DaysSecond Offence - $200/20 DaysThird Offence - $500/6 Months||Suspension|
|Missouri||3 Years||$400 (20 Mph Over the Speed Limit) or $1,000/6 Months||Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System|
|Montana||Permanent Record of Incident (Points Removed After 3 years)||Up to 10 Mph Above - $4011–20 Mph Above - $7021–30 Mph Above - $12031 Mph Above - $200||Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System|
|Nebraska||5 Years||1–5 Mph - $106–10 Mph - $2511–15 Mph - $7516–20 Mph - $12521–35 Mph - $20036 Mph or More - $300||Revocation Through a Point System|
|Nevada||Permanent Record of Incident (Points Removed After 1 year)||$1000/6 Months||Suspension Through a Point System|
|New Hampshire||3 Years||1–10 Mph - $5011–15 Mph - $7516–20 Mph - $10021–25 Mph - $20026 Mph or More - $350||Suspension by Court Order or Revocation for Three Annual Offences|
|New Jersey||5 Years||$50–$200/15 Days||Suspension Through a Point System|
|New Mexico||1 Year||$15–$200||Suspension Through a Point System|
|New York||1.5 Years||1–10 Mph - $45–$15010–30 Mph - $90–$300/15 DaysOver 30 Mph - $180–$600/30 Days||Suspension or Revocation|
|North Carolina||3 Years||$100||Suspension|
|North Dakota||3 Years||Depends Upon Exceeded Mph||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Ohio||Permanent Record of Incident (2 Years Towards Suspension)||First and Second Offence - $150Third Offence - $250/30 DaysSubsequent Offences - $500/60 Days||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Oklahoma||1-3 Years||1–10 Mph - $511–15 Mph - $2016–20 Mph - $3521–25 Mph - $7526–30 Mph - $13531–35 Mph - $15536 Mph and More - $205||Suspension|
|Pennsylvania||1 Year||$42.50 Upon Exceeding 65 Mph$35 for Speeding Violations||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Rhode Island||3 Years||1-10 Mph - $95>11 Mph - >$250||Suspension or Revocation|
|South Carolina||2 Years||1–10 mph - $15–$2511–14 mph - $25–$5015–24 mph - $50–$7525 mph and over - $75–$200||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Tennessee||2 years||$50/30 Days||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Texas||3 years||Up to $200||Suspension or Revocation Through a Licensing Agency|
|Utah||3 Years||1–10 Mph - $17011–15 Mph - $22016–20 Mph - $32021–25 Mph - $47026–30 Mph - $67031 Mph and Over - $870||Suspension Through a Point System|
|Vermont||2 Years||Up to $1,000||Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System|
|Virginia||5 Years||$6 for Each Mile Over the Speed Limit||N/A for Speeding|
|Washington||5 Years||Up to $250||Suspension Based on Violation Frequency|
|West Virginia||5 Years (Points Removed After 2 Years)||First Offence - $100Second Offence - $200Third and Subsequent - $500||Suspension Based on Violation Frequency|
|Wisconsin||5 Years||$30–$300||Suspension by Courts|
|Wyoming||1 Year||Depends on Mph Above Limit||Suspension|
|Washington, D.C||2 Years||$75–$300||Suspension or Revocation Through a Point System|
If you’ve been caught speeding or got any other traffic ticket, you can face steep penalties from your auto insurance company. How much you’ll have to pay depends on your state laws, the severity of the violation, and the damages.
The traffic violation that causes the biggest impact on insurance rates is a hit and run. Negligent drivers can pay up to 82% more for premiums following the incident.
Here are other kinds of tickets that can affect your insurance:
Most insurers only assess your driving record for moving violations, such as infractions or accidents that occur due to speeding. For instance, a parking ticket won’t affect your premium.
However, not all speeding tickets have the same impact on your insurance premium. Some tickets can cause a significant increase in rates. For example, any overturned or expunged tickets from your driving record will influence your rates, no matter when the incident occurred.
Insurance companies typically consider violations on your driving record for at least three years following the infraction. This is why you should compare car insurance companies in your city or state so you can find the best option.
While your rates will undoubtedly increase after a speeding ticket, there are steps you can take to save on insurance:
Every insurer determines a different percentage increase in rates after a ticket. If your insurance company decides to increase your rates, this is an opportunity to look for another provider that can offer better premiums.
The last thing you need is to add more traffic violations on top of your existing speeding tickets, especially more severe violations like DUIs or hit and runs. Not every insurance company will increase your premium after a single speeding ticket, but if it becomes a pattern, they might not let you off the hook in the future.
Leading auto insurance companies like Geico and State Farm offer this great program for customers. By taking a defensive driving course, you can lower your insurance rates. Additionally, drivers in New York can avail of a 10% discount for three years after completing the course.
If you can’t afford your plan any longer after the infraction, you can save money by switching to the minimum coverage plan, at least temporarily, until you become financially stable. This way, you can continue to drive legally as per your state laws.
However, this might not be possible for drivers with car loans or leases since most lenders require them to carry collision and comprehensive coverage to minimize their liability.
When should you drop collision coverage on your car? Once you’ve talked to your lender or paid off the loan or lease.
If you think you didn’t deserve a ticket or were speeding due to a legit emergency or situation, you can contest it in court. You might not win, but if you do, your insurer can’t legally hold that ticket against you while assessing your record.
When you receive a ticket, you’ll get a court date at least a few weeks or months away. You can ask for a continuance to extend the date for almost a year. At this time, the officer that issued the speeding ticket can resign, be fired, retire, or get transferred. When this happens, you can ask the court to dismiss your case. This is a rare occurrence. However, if you’re fighting a heavy fine, it’s an option you can consider to save on insurance.
If you have a good driving record and haven’t gotten a ticket in years, you can ask the court for mitigation. This might not clean your record. However, it could help lower the fine. All you have to do is plead guilty and explain your circumstances to the judge. For example, if you had a medical emergency and had no choice but to speed, the judge can dismiss or at least lower the fine. Or, if you run a red light by 2/10th of a second, the judge could excuse the fine.
Your best bet to keep a ticket off your record is to fight and get the fine either reduced or dismissed. Unfortunately, 95% of drivers pay the fines thinking to get it over with and end up paying higher premiums in the long run.
So, if you’re still wondering, “How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record?” don’t. Instead, use the time you have to either fight the ticket or improve your driving record, especially in states where the ticket stays on the record for over a year. And most importantly, avoid speeding at all costs to save yourself from financial and emotional stress in the future.
There are several ways to get a speeding ticket off your record. The most straightforward one is to contest the ticket in court or contact the clerk of court. Other ways include taking a defensive driving course or opting for mitigation.
Almost every auto insurance company works with drivers who have speeding tickets on their driving records. However, insurers might not offer good premium rates for high-risk drivers. Hence, you should consider companies like USAA, State Farm, and American Family Insurance because they offer great premiums for drivers with different infractions on their driving records.
The fastest way to save on auto insurance with a speeding ticket is to look for a cheaper insurance company. Or, if you have the time, you can take a defensive driving course, which will help dismiss your speeding ticket and keep your premium rates low.
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