Getting a speeding ticket virtually guarantees points will be added to your driving record. If your insurance company finds out, it will likely raise your insurance rates accordingly. However, you may be able to have your points reduced by participating in a driver education course. Depending on how many credits you receive, this may reduce your speeding ticket points to zero, which means your rates may not go up.
Although speeding tickets come with points, drivers can take steps to reduce or eliminate the points to avoid a hike in insurance rates.
How the Points System Works
Drivers who commit traffic violations such as speeding and other offenses, receive points on their driving record. Although the point value assigned to speeding tickets may vary from state to state, they are relatively similar. For example, drivers in New York speeding up to 10 mph over the speed limit will receive three points on their driving record. In Tennessee, speeding up to 5 mph over the limit results in one point, while speeding between 6 mph and up to 15 mph over the limit lands three points on your record. In Ohio, if the speed limit is over 55 mph, a driver will receive two points for exceeding the speed limit by over 10 mph; if the speed limit is less than 55 mph, the driver will receive two points if he exceeds the limit by over 5 mph.
Reducing Tickets to Zero Points
Often, drivers can reduce the points on their driving record by participating in a driver education course or similar safety program. For example, in New York, drivers can enroll in the state's Point and Insurance Reduction Program. Drivers are provided safe-driver tips and educated on current vehicle and traffic laws. After completing the program, drivers can have up to four points shaved off their driving record. In New Jersey, drivers can have up to two points removed from their record by participating in a defensive driving course. Depending on the points received for a speeding ticket, and total number of points eligible for reduction, a driver could potentially reduce the points he received for a speeding ticket to zero by participating in a driver education program.
Removing Speeding Tickets From Record
Even if a driver successfully reduces the points on his driving record, the speeding ticket he originally received will still appear on his record. Therefore, the only way to remove the offense altogether is to fight the ticket in court. By doing so, the driver may be able to have the ticket dismissed altogether, which means it is removed from his record, or plead down the ticket to a lesser offense and have the points reduced to zero.
How Reduced Points Affect Insurance
If you are successful in either removing the speeding ticket from your record or having the points reduced to zero, it is likely your insurance rates will not increase – in fact, unless it goes looking for it, your insurance company may never learn of the ticket at all. If your rates already went up, though, and you were expecting to see a rate reduction after your points are reduced – but you notice that your rates have not changed – it is possible your insurance company hasn't checked your driving record recently. Contact your insurance company and advise them of the point reduction to ensure you are receiving the maximum savings you are eligible for.
- Cars Direct: Everything You Need to Know About Insurance Points
- New York State: Speeding and Speed Limits, Frequently Asked Questions
- New York State Department of Motor Vehicles: Point Insurance Reduction Program
- NBC News: Why Traffic Tickets Often Don't Hike Your Insurance Rate
- Unger and Kowitt: How Long Does a Speeding Ticket Stay On Your Record
- DMV.org: DMV Point System in Tennessee
- DMV.org: DMV Point System in Ohio
Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.