You may think driving above the speed limit saves you time, but if time is money, then speeding — and subsequently facing a speeding ticket — may actually cost you more in the long run.
After all, this offense comes with a hefty speeding ticket cost, and depending on your state, you may have to go to court. This would result in even more time lost than what you saved trying to get to your destination faster in the first place!
On top of this, you’re also putting your fellow drivers in danger by driving above what’s legally allowed. When you’re behind the wheel, it is crucial to always follow the rules of the road — for everyone’s safety and your well-being. If you don't, you could have trouble finding the best and cheapest car insurance.
And don’t forget that your driving record influences how much you pay for car insurance, too. Whether you have a clean record or have received a ticket or two, you can use our free search tool to find quotes near you.
But to get back to the speeding ticket — how much does it cost if you get a speeding ticket?
What happens if I get a speeding ticket?
You get pulled over, and a law enforcement officer writes you a speeding ticket. This means you will have to pay a fine, and potentially face additional consequences.
The speeding ticket cost may vary depending on the state, and rise depending on the severity of your speeding. For example, in New York, here’s what you can expect your speeding ticket to cost you:
- $45 - $150 – for speeding up to 10 miles per hour over the maximum speed limit, or for driving at what law enforcement considers to be an “inappropriate speed.”
- $90 - $300 – for speeding more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, but only up to 30 miles per hour over the speed limit.
- $180 - $600 – for speeding more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Potential additional consequences for speeding
Speeding is often considered an infraction or civil offense and results in only fines or other penalties instead of jail time.
Most likely, you will only face a fine and potentially have points added to your record that track your traffic violations.
Like fines, the number of points is also generally determined by how many miles over the speed limit you were driving. For example, Florida uses a points system that adds three points to your license for speeding up to 15 miles per hour over the posted limit and four points for speeding by more than 15 miles per hour.
Though it’s not common, you can also potentially face jail time for speeding. In some cases, certain circumstances can raise your speeding violation to a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can potentially face some time behind bars and an increased speeding ticket cost.
This can be the case if any of the following conditions apply to your speed limit violation:
- Extreme speeding – Much like how the fine for speeding increases depending on how many miles per hour over the speed limit you drive, driving at extremely high speeds can increase the consequences you will face. The existence of this policy and its threshold depends on the state you are in and can either be a fixed mile-per-hour limit or a certain amount of miles per hour over the speed limit.
- Reckless driving – Reckless driving is a misdemeanor charge you may be faced with if you drive without regard to the safety of yourself and those around you. Certain states consider extreme speeding to be reckless driving. While the definition varies, you may be charged with reckless driving if you race another car, switch lanes to pass a car on a two-lane road without a clear view of oncoming traffic, or try to drive away from law enforcement.
- Failure to pay the ticket – When you get a speeding ticket, it will come with a deadline by which you have to pay your fine. If you let this deadline pass without paying or showing up in court to contest your ticket, a judge can issue a warrant for your arrest. Being arrested can lead to some jail time. It’s best to pay the ticket promptly if you can to save yourself trouble in the future.
There are some additional costs to a speeding ticket besides the financial toll. You could get points on your driving record or even spend some time behind bars if the situation is compounded with other factors. Not to mention, you could seriously harm yourself or those around you by not driving safely and following traffic laws.
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Will my speeding ticket affect my insurance policy?
You may have to inform your car insurance company that you have gotten a speeding ticket. Generally, your driving record impacts your auto insurance policy—and past speeding infractions are something car insurance companies want to know.
To put it simply, insurance companies want to avoid risk. If they see you as a risky driver, they may increase your insurance rate if you get a speeding ticket.
In an extreme case where you get multiple speeding tickets, you may even be dropped by your insurance provider. Since you cannot drive without insurance, this may keep you off the roads for some time while you cover the lapse in your insurance.
I got a speeding ticket. What next?
You can either plead “guilty” or “not guilty” to your speeding ticket. When you plead “guilty,” you accept the speeding ticket fine you are charged and pay it immediately. You also accept any other consequences you may face, such as points on your record.
If you choose to plead “not guilty,” you will be asked to schedule a court hearing to contest the terms of your speeding ticket.
To respond to your speeding ticket, you will need to provide your ticket number and identifying information. The ticket number identifies the specific speeding ticket and allows it to be located in the government system.
The identifying information can be your Department of Motor Vehicles identification number (this is either the 9-digit number on your driver’s license or your full name, birth date, and gender as recorded on your speeding ticket).
How do I pay a speeding ticket?
You know what a speeding ticket cost you are facing, and you’ve got the necessary amount of money together. Now, how do you pay your speeding ticket fine? You have several options.
In most cases, you can pay a speeding ticket by going online as directed by the speeding ticket itself, by mail, or by appearing in person at a courthouse or relevant local office
What else can I do, besides paying for my ticket?
Maybe you want to contest your speeding ticket, but you don’t have extensive knowledge of the legal system.
Don’t try to argue or lose your temper with the officer who is issuing you the ticket — this will likely only aggravate the situation and make things worse. It’s best to cooperate and sign the ticket at the time you are pulled over. Give yourself time to cool off, and consider your best route forward with a level head.
If you don’t want to pay the cost of a speeding ticket, you have a couple of options to try. If this ticket is your first speeding infraction, you may be able to opt for a traffic school course that is approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles instead.
While these traffic school courses traditionally take place in-person on weekends, there are also options for these courses that you can take online for added comfort and flexibility.
Aside from lessening or avoiding your fine, taking a traffic school course may also offer you a point reduction from your driving record. Take a look at the costs benefits of a defensive driving course before you make your decision.
Can I get my speeding ticket dismissed in court?
You could attempt to get your ticket dismissed in court. However, this option is potentially even more costly than your ticket, as you may be responsible for paying court costs. Therefore, you shouldn’t take your court date lightly or go into it without significant preparation. You will have to prove that you weren’t speeding, and often, it’s your word against the officer’s word.
Maybe you’re not sure what path is best for you when facing your speeding ticket. That’s understandable — the legal process is complicated, and many people don’t have extensive background knowledge.
If you’d like to work out the best course of action for you with a professional, you can talk to a traffic attorney. This way, you can avoid fighting a losing battle in court or know exactly what you should say to a judge to have your ticket dismissed.
When you’re considering the cost of a speeding ticket, remember to keep in mind how long a speeding ticket stays on your record. You might pay more over that time in higher car insurance rates than it would cost to fight the ticket in court if you have a good defense.
How can I stay safe behind the wheel?
When you’re getting on the road, there’s a lot to remember — what documents to carry with you, what traffic laws to follow, and how to safely care for your motor vehicle. You can stay safe and protected by obtaining an auto insurance policy that works for you and your motor vehicle.
Don’t know where to start when it comes to auto insurance? We’ve developed our technology to match you with a top-notch insurance provider. When you enter your ZIP code to start your search for car insurance quotes, we’ll speed up the process for you to get auto insurance — no speeding ticket required.