Out of State Traffic Ticket and Car Insurance

Pointers for traffic tickets while on vacation

Traffic Violation
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Traffic tickets seem to be a little easier to obtain when traveling out of state -- which is definitely not a good thing. Not being familiar with an area or not sure of the speed limit makes you more susceptible to violating a traffic law and getting a traffic ticket. Getting a ticket while out of state can pose more questions and hassle than a traffic ticket received in your home state. Get answers to common questions regarding out of state traffic tickets:

Will an Out of State Traffic Ticket Affect My Car Insurance?

More likely than not, the answer is yes. A traffic ticket received out of state will get listed on your driver’s license -- after all, the United States includes each and every state, and your driving record in one will follow you wherever you go. In the same way that you couldn’t steal from someone in Ohio, move to Montana, and hope that everything will turn out just fine because different states have different laws, you can’t break the law in one state and expect the impact not to follow you.

When your insurance company runs your driving record, the violation will show on your motor vehicle report. Tickets received out of state are handled the same way as a violation received in the state.

Sometimes, you will get approval from law enforcement to pay a fine for the traffic ticket in order for the points to not appear on your driver’s license. However, even though points are not assigned to your license, your insurance carrier can still surcharge you for receiving the violation. Car insurance points are different from driver’s license points. Having the points not assigned to your driver’s license in a good thing. It gives you more room before being in danger of losing your license. But it doesn’t mean that your car insurance rates won’t be impacted. Car insurance companies and the government use entirely different points systems.

Moving to a New State

Moving to a new state is a little bit different. Something worth trying, but unfortunately not guaranteed, is to get a new license before purchasing in state car insurance. Any traffic violations obtained in your previous state might not show up for your new insurance carrier if you give them your new in-state identification. Potentially, this little trick could save you hundreds of dollars depending on your prior driving record, but it’s not guaranteed to work -- and if you’re in the same insurance company, you can probably forget about it. Insurance companies are resourceful and it is not impossible for them to get access to your prior record even if you have a brand new license.

Take Traffic Violations Seriously

Do not mess around with traffic violations. Procrastination will get you nothing but trouble especially when dealing with an out of state traffic ticket. Leaving an out of state ticket unpaid can get you arrested if you are ever pulled over again in the said state. Take care of it quickly. Pay the fine and or complete the traffic school course to reduce your penalties. Expect to see the violation on your next car insurance renewal.

Best Defenses against Traffic Tickets

  • Obey the laws of the road. The best way to not get a traffic violation is to not break any traffic laws. Use your cruise control and obey all signs.
  • Purchase minor violation forgiveness which is offered by a few insurance carriers. It is a good idea to purchase the coverage before a long trip when you are more susceptible to a traffic ticket.
  • Check to find out if the state you received a ticket in offers traffic school online for reduced or dismissed traffic tickets. Not every state offers this option, but it is so awesome when they do! It can save you tons of money in exchange for some of your time. Search the DMV, Department of Motor Vehicles, for the state in which you were caught to find out if they offer traffic school. You can also call the phone number on your ticket to get the info you need fast.

A traffic ticket can affect you for several years. Knowing how much it will cost you on your car insurance is not easy to determine. It can vary based on your other risk factors and your insurance carrier. Ask your insurance agent what you can expect in the future after receiving an out of state traffic ticket.