Traffic Tickets and Insurance Rate Hikes

What’s that ticket going to cost you?

That’s a good question, and the answer isn’t as simple as you think.

Some people think that the cost of the ticket is just what they pay to the court, but many times that is not the total cost.  Once you pay the cost of court/fine, you’ve plead guilty to whatever that charge was.  At that point, DMV is notified of your conviction, and eventually your automobile insurance carrier finds out about it.  Each moving violation in NC carries certain insurance points under the SDIP or Safe Driver Insurance Plain (or does SDIP stand for Steal De Income of the Poor?).  Check it out:

How does a traffic conviction affect my insurance costs?
Traffic Violation Conviction License Points Insurance Points Rate Increase
Speeding 76 mph in a 65 mph zone 3 4 80%
Speeding 82 mph in a 70 mph zone 3 4 80%
Passing a stopped school bus 5 4 90%
Reckless driving 4 4 90%
Illegal passing 4 2 45%
Running stop sign/red light 3 1 30%
Driving While License Revoked 3 8 195%

*Credit to Dan Hatley for this awesome chart (  There are other versions of it, but this one does a great job of pointing out the ones that really get ya. 

Yep. And that rate increase is for 3 years!

So you might think that paying that $213 or whatever to just pay off the ticket is a good idea.  It’s certainly the path of least resistance.  But when you end up with doubled insurance rates for three years (or maybe a revoked license?) then it’s not going to seem like such a good idea.

Do yourself a favor.  Call an attorney who practices traffic ticket law in the area in which you got your ticket.  Get some good advice and quality representation.  It will probably pay off in the end.

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Jeffrey Allen Howard, Attorney at Law, PLLC
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