Traffic Tickets Fines & Penalties

As a California driver, it’s not only important to know the rules of the road – you also should know what could happen if those rules are broken! California employs a point system for its traffic violations, and if you accumulate too many points, you put yourself at risk for license suspension. So exactly what is this point system, and what are the traffic ticket fines in California that could get you in trouble? Read on to find out!

The California Point System

For nearly all California traffic violations, there are an associated number of points that will be assessed to your DMV driving record. Parking tickets don’t carry points, just a small fine, so if you left your car at the meter too long, don’t worry. But moving violations – such as speeding tickets, reckless driving, DUIs, and failure to yield violations – will not only cost you a good deal of money for the ticket, but will also add those pesky points. And the traffic ticket fines in California are no joke, either – some could run you as much as $500 for your first violation!

Below is a list of some of the most expensive California traffic ticket penalties and points that are assessed each year to drivers throughout the state

  • Speeding – 1 point, $146-380
  • Red light violation – 1 point, $380
  • Highway racing – 2 points, $760
  • DUI or DWI – 2 points, $1400-1800
Drivers Under 21

The penalties for drivers who are under 21 years of age are much more severe. If you receive a traffic ticket and you either fail to pay or appear in court, you automatically lose your driver’s license for an indefinite amount of time. You will also lose your license immediately, regardless of points, if you are convicted of a DUI, or you have a third at-fault accident within a year.

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In addition to these fines, the state of California also imposes a 20% surcharge on all traffic tickets. So you will need to pay an additional cost on top of the amount of the original fine. So as you can see, speeding ticket fines in California can end up costing more than you bargained for!

Traffic Ticket Penalties

If you incur a certain amount of points within a designated period of time, you become vulnerable to license suspension or revocation. The point amounts are as follows:

  • 4+ points within 12 months
  • 6+ points in 24 months
  • 8+ points in 36 months

Traffic ticket points in California stay on your driving record for 3 years. So even if you had a minor speeding ticket a couple years ago, it could affect your driving privileges today! Keep track of your driving record, and be sure that you know exactly what is on it so that you don’t suddenly find yourself without a driver’s license.

Keeping Tickets & Points Private

The best way to avoid higher insurance premiums from points on your record is to always exercise responsible judgment when driving, and to follow the posted signs and speed limits at all times. But mistakes can happen, and there are ways for you to make amends before they end up costing you your driving privileges. California allows its drivers to take a state-licensed traffic school course to keep a minor moving violation off their public driving record, thereby preventing insurance companies from seeing it. And by taking a California online traffic school, motorists can work around their schedules and keep their public record clear much more easily than when classrooms were the standard.

So don’t worry. Even if you’ve made a mistake, you don’t have to live with it forever. But just be sure that you don’t receive another violation, because the state only allows you to take traffic school once every 18 months for masking a traffic ticket! So exercise caution, use your new skills from your California traffic school course, and you’ll be the safest driver on the road.

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