If You Get a Speeding or Parking Ticket in Another State, What Happens?
For many drivers who travel for work or go on vacation frequently, out-of-state travel can involve dealing with different laws and speed limits, inconvenient or unusual parking scenarios and the threat of receiving a speeding or parking ticket.
Should you have to deal with a speeding or parking ticket in a different state, you may have a number of questions, including what to do about it, where to go in order to deal with it and whether or not you have to pay for it. Read below to find answers to the most common questions related to this scenario.
It’s not uncommon to receive a parking ticket in a strange town, especially if you are out after dark and the signage is difficult to read. It’s normal to be frustrated after receiving a parking ticket, especially considering that parking ticket offenses can cost anywhere from $60 to $240, depending on where you receive the ticket and why. What are your options? You have several to choose from:
Parking Ticket Option 1: Pay for the Ticket
It makes good financial sense to promptly pay the fine associated with the parking ticket, mainly because the fine generally increases the longer you wait to pay it. Although it might be frustrating, paying the fine as soon as possible might cost you less in the long run.
Parking Ticket Option 2: Ignore the Ticket
In certain municipalities, a gradual increase in the amount of fine you pay is only the first step in the process. If parking tickets remain unpaid, county authorities may also place a vehicle-immobilizing device, or “boot,” on your car. If you rarely visit the state where you received the ticket, getting a boot might not seem too scary, because you can pay the ticket and have the boot removed. The next step, when the municipality sends your parking ticket to a collection agency, might be a bit more concerning. Depending on the state where you live or where you received the ticket, you could end up with a negative impact on your credit, in addition to being unable to renew your license or registration. The threat of these negative repercussions may influence your decision, and you may determine that ignoring a parking ticket is not worth the additional hassle!
Parking Ticket Option 3: Fight the Ticket
If you feel as though you were wrongly ticketed, you can fight the ticket in court, even if you don’t have an attorney. You have several additional options:
Send a written affidavit to contest the ticket.
Directly contact the local prosecutor.
Pay for an attorney to defend you.
You may want to carefully considering the additional cost of time and travel expenses involved, as this option might not be worth it financially.
Driving faster than the posted speed limit is one of the most common traffic violations in America, and even the best drivers may overlook the speed limit and end up with a ticket at some point. If you’ve already received a speeding ticket in another state, there are a few facts you should know.
Computers are always monitoring speeding drivers. The computers we’re referring to are used to help enforce the “Driver’s License Compact” (DLC) and the “Non-Resident Violator Compact” (NRVC). These compacts and the data they gather are part of an agreement between states to share information on drivers who have moving violations. This agreement is called the Driver License Agreement, and only two states (Wisconsin and Michigan) do not participate.
You may wonder how this agreement affects you. As an example, if you receive a speeding ticket in another state and choose not to pay it, the information is forwarded to your home state. When your home state receives the information, they may pursue payment on the fine.
Speeding Ticket Option 1: Pay for the Ticket
Although no one enjoys getting a speeding ticket, the fastest way to deal with it is to just pay the fine. Regardless of whether you receive one in your home state or another state, it’s a lot less hassle to pay for the ticket.
Speeding Ticket Option 2: Ignore the Ticket
Failing to pay for a speeding ticket that you received in another state can affect your license or insurance in a number of negative ways, including the following:
Your license may be temporarily suspended.
Your car insurance premium may increase.
Your car insurance company may drop your coverage.
You may receive significant fines.
You could even face imprisonment.
With serious consequences like these, not paying a speeding ticket is not a safe bet for any driver!
Speeding Ticket Option 3: Fight the Ticket
As we discussed above, fighting a parking ticket is usually not worth the additional effort. Because a speeding ticket is more severe and is usually expensive, fighting it is more common, regardless of the state. People commonly fight tickets for the following reasons:
They want to avoid adding more points to their license, which could put them at risk of having their license suspended and impact their ability to travel to and from work.
Their job requires that they have a license with no moving violations.
They want to avoid potential increases in insurance premiums.
You can hire a traffic attorney to help defend you, which is especially helpful if you hire someone in the jurisdiction where you received the ticket. These attorneys are familiar with local laws, which can help with your defense. There is always a chance that hiring an attorney may not pay off, as you still run the risk of losing in court. Potentially, you may end up having to pay your fine and associated attorney fees, which could cost you more in the long run.
Receiving a ticket while driving in another state can impact your driving history, your credit score and your insurance rates. Every driver makes mistakes, and if you have questions about how your out-of-state ticket may impact your car insurance rates or coverage, reach out to your local NatGen agent. We’re available to answer your questions and help you get the coverage you need to fit your budget and lifestyle.