How Many Points Is a Speeding Ticket In CA?
A speeding ticket in California will result in one or two points on your license, depending on the violation. Too many points in a short period of time could also result in a license suspension wherein you will have to apply for license reinstatement. Keep in mind that a speeding ticket will not only most likely raise your insurance rate but will also stay on your record between three and 10 years depending on the number of points you get. The cost of a ticket can vary from county to county. There is always the option of contesting a speeding ticket in court which could result in reduced points, reduced fines, or the ticket being dismissed. Remember, you can attend traffic school for eligible offenses which will help reduce the number of points on your license. Keep reading to get a comprehensive look at speeding ticket points in California and how they affect you.
How Many Points are Speeding Tickets in CA?
A speeding ticket in California is one point on your license. Under the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS), "negligent operator" points are assigned to driver violations and accumulate on your license. Speeding convictions are assigned 1 point unless the driver is operating a commercial vehicle in which case the offense would be assigned 1 1/2 points. If the speeding violation includes reckless driving or driving over 100 mph, it would be assigned 2 negligent operator points.
How Much is a Speeding Ticket in California?
Someone driving 1-15 miles per hour over the speed limit may get a citation of $35. However, someone driving over 100 miles per hour may end up with a $200 fine with the possibility of getting their license suspended. Keep in mind that there are additional fees that are factored into a citation. These can include:
A surcharge of 20%
A penalty assessment
DNA Identification Fund penalty assessment
Court facility construction penalty assessment
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) penalty assessment
Here's an in-depth look at how these additional penalties and fees inflate your ticket cost:
1-15 MPH Over Speed Limit
16-25 MPH Over Speed Limit
26+ MPH Over Speed Limit
State Penalty - $10 for every $10 of base fine
County Penalty - $7 for every $10 of base fine
DNA Identification Fund - $4 for every $10 base line
State Court Construction - $5 for every $10 base fine
Emergency Medical Services - $2 for every $10 base fine
State Surcharge - 20% of base fine
Emergency Medical Air Transportation Services - $4
Court Operations - $40
Criminal Conviction - $35
Court - $1
Note: Speeding in a construction zone can nearly double your base fine depending on how far over the speed limit you were traveling.
Will My Insurance Increase Because of a Speeding Ticket?
Yes, your insurance will most likely go up if you receive a speeding ticket in California. Any traffic ticket becomes part of your driving record which insurance companies depend on to determine your risk, and consequently the rate at which they are willing to insure you. Speeding tickets are especially important to insurance companies because they have historically been an excellent predictor of accidents. The logic follows that the less compliant you are with following rules and the faster you drive, the more apt you are to crash. Obviously, the more apt you are to crash, the more expensive you are to insure. A speeding ticket will usually increase your cost of insurance for about 3 to 5 years in a range of around 8 to 42 percent depending on a number of factors. These contributing factors can include things such as:
How fast you were going over the speed limit
Your driving record
The type of car you drive
How much you drive
Of course rates and policies will vary from insurance company to insurance company. Remember, there are benefits to being a driver with a clean record. Insurance companies typically offer drivers with good driving records lower rates. And don't forget that too many traffic violations could result in making it difficult to get auto insurance.
How Long Do Speeding Ticket Points Stay on Your License in California?
The California DMV states that traffic violations resulting in two points stay on a license for 10 years whereas all other lesser violations, such as speeding tickets, will last 36 months. The California DMV states:
One-point violations are typically dropped after 36 months, including speeding under 100 mph
DUIs, hit-and-runs, and reckless driving such as driving over 100 mph stay on your record for at least 10 years.
Court is required for those ticketed for driving over 100 mph. Failing to appear in court will show on your record for five years
What Happens if You Have Too Many Points on Your License in CA?
Accumulating too many points can result in a license suspension of up to six months. Whether there is a suspension depends on how many points you've accumulated in a specific amount of time. Specifically:
If you get four points in 12 months
If you get six points in 24 months
If you get eight points in 36 months
Traffic infractions carry more severe penalties for those under 18 years of age. A minor could have their provisional license suspended if they receive three points in 12 months, or they don't pay the fines for a traffic conviction. They also face a restricted license for 30 days if they get two points within 12 months. If a minor with a provisional driver's license receives more points during a suspension period. they could receive an additional driver's license suspension. Suspension periods must be served regardless of if the minor turns 18 before the suspension term ends.
In order to get your license reinstated, you will need to wait until the suspension period has finished. Only after it ends can you submit for your license to be reinstated. Keep in mind that reinstatement isn't automatic. There is a separate reinstatement application that every California driver must fill out and submit to a DMV office. Remember, this process differs from person to person depending on the infraction. However, several common requirements include:
Paying the license reinstatement fee. This can be between $100 to $150
Submitting proof of insurance. You may have to submit a form SR-22
Provide supporting documentation proving completion of a defensive driving course.
Note: An SR-22 is a form your insurance carrier files on your behalf, as a way of letting the government know whether or not you're insured.
Check your license suspension order before proceeding with reinstatement. This helps clarify any additional requirements needed on your part before you can get your license.
Should You Contest a Speeding Ticket in California?
Whether or not you contest a speeding ticket is entirely up to you. Only about 5% of the people who get speeding tickets in the United States end up fighting them in court. While not always, police typically use radar guns to track traffic speeds. This makes fighting them a little difficult as these devices accurately tell how fast you were going. If you are tracked going significantly over the speed limit it would be very hard to argue for a dismissal. However, it is your choice to fight the ticket in court. To do so, you must appear in court and request a trial. The request can also be made in advance. Request a:
Trial by judicial officer
Trial by written declaration
A trial by written declaration means you and the issuing police officer will submit written testimony and any supporting evidence regarding the case. The judicial officer reviews the evidence on both sides and makes a ruling.
Tips To Remove Points From Your Record in CA
The best course of action for removing points from your license is to enroll in traffic school. Completing traffic school should remove any points from being placed on your record from the infraction. Make sure you notify the court of your decision as soon as possible. Remember, you will still be required to pay your traffic fine, any administration fees, and traffic school. It's worth noting that traffic school will not reduce or remove any fines or fees associated with a speeding ticket. Keep in mind there will be a deadline to finish traffic school. If you think you are unable to meet the deadline, you can request an extension from the court. However, it is not a guarantee the court will grant the extension. It is better to finish traffic school before the original deadline. The traffic school will send word of your completion of the course once you're finished.
Note: Some factors affect if you can attend traffic school, such as driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit, speeding in a school zone or speeding in a construction zone.
Be Prepared, Don't Speed
A speeding ticket in California will result in between one and two points on your license,
depending on the violation. If you accumulate four points within a 12-month period your license can be suspended for up to six months. Traffic school can help reduce the number of points placed on your driving record. Points typically fall off within 36 months. It is a good idea to check your driving record report to track your points or verify that there are no errors. You can order this on the California DMV website. If you're paying a higher insurance rate due to points on your license, you may be able to save up to 40% on car insurance by comparing rates. Enter your zip code below and fill out a quick questionnaire to receive free car insurance quotes for the lowest rates in your area.