How much does a speeding ticket cost?

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It is expensive to speed. The average cost of full coverage car insurance in the U.S. with a speeding ticket is $2,029 per year, compared to $1674 with a clean driving record.

It is difficult to decipher the average cost of a speeding ticket because many states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wyoming all assess penalties based on the number of miles that exceed the speed limit. However, most states average around $150 for penalties. Court fees and additional costs can also be added to that figure.

There are other penalties that can apply, too, but it all depends on where you live. This is how speeding affects your wallet as a driver in the U.S. in 2021.

Key speeding ticket statistics

  • 42 million speeding tickets are written each year in the U.S. (CreditDonkey)
  • More than 20% of U.S. drivers receive a speeding ticket each year. (CreditDonkey)
  • The average penalty for speeding is $150, plus court costs and fees. (LawFirms)
  • 1 in 6 Americans, or 112,000 drivers, get a speeding ticket each day.(Modern Attorney)

How much does a speeding ticket cost?

The terms citation and ticket are used interchangeably, but they are the same thing — a written record detailing an error you made on the road.

Based on the latest 2021 data for state speeding penalties, the average cost of a speeding ticket is $150, and the average increase for full coverage car insurance is $355. However, the cost of a speeding ticket can vary significantly based on several factors:

  • Speed: Your actual speed will significantly impact the cost of your speeding ticket, with higher speeds sometimes leading to criminal charges, license suspensions and even jail time.
  • State: Where you live also matters. States like Nevada have much stricter penalties for speeding than other states. Louisiana drivers, who already contend with the highest average annual full coverage car insurance rates at $2,724, will see an average increase of $793 on their car insurance after just one speeding ticket.
  • Type of area: If you are caught speeding in a high-risk area, such as a school, work or construction zone, you could face much steeper penalties than you would on a regular roadway.
  • Severity: If a police officer observes you committing other infractions while speeding, such as reckless or drunk driving, the consequences of your speeding ticket are likely to be much more severe.
  • Driver record: If you have a history of speeding or multiple moving violations on your record, you could face much harsher penalties than a first-time offender.

Other costs of speeding tickets

The consequences of speeding can also vary. Ultimately, the penalties you face will depend upon the officer who pulled you over and your local court system. Other consequences of speeding can include:

  • License suspensions: If your offense is severe enough or your driver record shows a pattern of speeding, you could have your license suspended for anywhere from one month to over a year.
  • Bodily injury: If you hit someone and injure or kill them while speeding, your penalties will be much more severe.
  • Points: Speeding is an easy way to rack up points on your driver record, leading to expensive fines, license suspensions and even having your car confiscated. Points will also raise your car insurance premiums.

How does a speeding ticket impact your insurance?

There is no doubt that speeding can impact your car insurance rates. The average cost of car insurance is $1,674 per year. However, it could cost you $355 more each year for a total average annual premium of $2,029 per month if you receive a speeding ticket.

Speeding ticket costs by state

Costs for speeding, including penalties and car insurance hikes, vary greatly. Here is a quick look at the most and least expensive states for increased car insurance rates after one speeding ticket.

Most expensive states for car insurance after a speeding ticket

To determine the most expensive states for a speeding ticket in terms of your car insurance costs, we look at the total average full coverage premium when you have a speeding ticket on your record. The three most expensive states are Louisiana, Florida and Michigan.

State Average annual full coverage premium with a speeding ticket
Louisiana $3,517
Florida $3,352
Michigan $3,164

Least expensive states for car insurance after a speeding ticket

Car insurance companies in some states are more forgiving than others. If you receive a speeding ticket in Maine, Idaho or Ohio, you should still be able to find cheap car insurance. Other states like Hawaii, Washington, Vermont, and Wisconsin all tend to have lower car insurance hikes after speeding as well.

State Average annual full coverage premium with a speeding ticket
Maine $1,135
Idaho $1,213
Ohio $1,219

Speeding ticket costs by state

The penalties for speeding vary significantly by state, with some states imposing much stricter penalties than others.

State Maximum Speeding Ticket Fine Average full coverage insurance increase post-speeding Average annual full coverage premium with speeding ticket
Alabama $500 $337 $1,960
Alaska $300 $305 $1,864
Arizona $500+ $459 $2,006
Arkansas $500 $403 $2,317
California $250 $842 $2,907
Colorado $100 $425 $2,441
Connecticut $90 $253 $2,098
Delaware $95 $313 $2,088
District of Columbia $300 $338 $1,997
Florida $250 $330 $2,694
Georgia $500 $465 $2,447
Hawaii $500 $149 $1,276
Idaho $300 $168 $1,213
Illinois $1,500 $368 $1,853
Indiana $1,000 $268 $1,522
Iowa $625 $210 $1,470
Kansas $500 $330 $2,028
Kentucky $100 $467 $2,595
Louisiana $500 $616 $3,340
Maine $500 $170 $1,135
Maryland $500 $316 $2,193
Massachusetts $50+ $471 $1,694
Michigan Varies $572 $2,881
Minnesota $1,000 $419 $2,062
Mississippi $500 $340 $2,122
Missouri $1,000 $297 $1,958
Montana $200 $325 $2,062
Nebraska $30 $236 $1,767
Nevada $1,000 $510 $2,755
New Hampshire $350 $254 $1,529
New Jersey $200 $244 $2,001
New Mexico $200 $262 $1,681
New York $600 $227 $2,548
North Carolina $100 $720 $2,045
North Dakota Varies $247 $1,511
Ohio $500 $185 $1,219
Oklahoma $205 $373 $2,246
Oregon $2,000 $309 $1,655
Pennsylvania Varies $186 $1,662
Rhode Island $250+ $408 $2,426
South Carolina $200 $294 $1,806
South Dakota $500 $279 $1,921
Tennessee $50 $260 $1,598
Texas $200 $235 $2,058
Utah $870 $303 $1,609
Vermont $1,000 $197 $1,404
Virginia Varies $330 $1,634
Washington $250 $200 $1,376
West Virginia $500 $258 $1,757
Wisconsin $300 $221 $1,407
Wyoming Varies $537 $2,032

Court fees and fines are additional.

Is a speeding ticket a misdemeanor or a felony?

How a speeding ticket is classified depends on several factors. Based on your jurisdiction, your speeding offense may be considered an infraction, misdemeanor or felony. Most speeding tickets are treated as a simple infraction or violation and have no associated criminal penalty. This can include speeding and other minor offenses such as failing to stop, yield, signal, use proper lighting, or use your seat belt.

Your driving history and the severity of the event may also impact how your speeding ticket is classified. When there is property damage, injuries or death, you are likely to face harsher penalties than an incident with no associated losses. Additionally, some states classify a certain number of miles per hour above the posted limit as reckless driving, which could be a misdemeanor or felony. If you speed in a school zone, you will almost always face more severe consequences. Drivers with a record that includes multiple speeding violations or other infractions are also likely to face harsher consequences than drivers with a clean driving record.

There is a difference in how violations are tried in court. Generally, less severe offenses are heard in traffic court, while more severe offenses are tried in criminal court. However, this varies based on state and local jurisdiction law.

Typical Differences Between Traffic Court and Criminal Court

Traffic court Criminal court
Minor speeding
Failing to stop at a stop sign
Running a red light
Texting while driving
Following too closely
Changing lanes unsafely
Extreme speeding
Property damage
Driving under the influence (DUI)
Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
Reckless driving
Vehicular homicide or manslaughter\

Most speeding cases are handled in traffic court unless it is a more severe case involving a repeat offender or one resulting in an accident that incurs damages and losses of some kind. If you are unsure about how your jurisdiction treats various speeding offenses, check your local laws or speak with a local attorney.

Do I need a speeding ticket lawyer?

The decision to hire a traffic lawyer for your speeding ticket is a personal one that has both pros and cons.

Pros Cons
Knowledge and relationships: Lawyers have greater knowledge and experience and relationships with the court that can lessen the penalty of your speeding violation.
Less severe penalties: Lawyers may be able to keep points off your record that could affect your car insurance.
More cost-effective: Hiring a lawyer may be cheaper than the penalties you would otherwise face.
Legal fees: For less serious offenses, it may be cheaper just to pay the fine.
More time-intensive: Fighting your ticket may require time off for lawyer meetings and court.

“Even in something as simple as a traffic ticket, you have a lot at stake,” says North Carolina attorneys Kurtz & Blum. “Having a good traffic lawyer from the beginning will likely save you time and money. If handled improperly, your insurance could go up by leaps and bounds for a full three years. And, unless you handle traffic tickets every day, it is extremely unlikely that you will know how to handle a particular ticket under a particular set of circumstances.”

“A lawyer will know how to find the things that the average person can’t find,” Virginia’s Weiland Firm explains. “They can find errors that not many people will notice, and if there is an error or mistake on your ticket, then it will almost certainly be dismissed. These errors will likely be missed by most people fighting by themselves to have their traffic ticket dismissed, so you can benefit greatly from having a lawyer that knows what technicalities they can use to help you get out of your ticket.”

Ultimately, the consequences of your speeding ticket will depend on you and your driving record, but a lawyer could help ensure you do not continue paying for your mistake for years to come.

Written by
Lena Borrelli
Insurance Contributor
Lena Muhtadi Borrelli has several years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as allconnect, Healthline and Reviews.com. She previously worked for Morgan Stanley.
Edited by
Insurance Editor