How Much Is A Speeding Ticket In California?

How Much Is A Speeding Ticket In California

How Much Is A Speeding Ticket In California Getting a speeding ticket in California can be quite expensive. The cost of the citation ranges from $238 to $490, depending on how much you exceeded the speed limit. Although the base fine amount for a California speeding ticket is only between $35 and $100, additional fees and penalties are added on top of it, which makes it much more costly. Moreover, your car insurance rates in California are likely to go up by 40% after receiving a speeding ticket. This increase can have a significant impact on your overall expenses. To avoid these costs, it is important to follow traffic rules and maintain safe driving habits.

How Much Is a Speeding Ticket in California?

The cost of a speeding ticket in California typically ranges from $238 to $490, as stated by the Judicial Council of California’s penalty schedule. The total amount you will pay is determined by the speed at which you were driving over the limit and the county where you received the ticket. For speeding up to 15 miles per hour over the limit, California has established a base fine of $35. However, additional fees exceeding $200 are added on top of that. Based on state guidelines, here is the average cost of a speeding ticket in California.

Speeding ticket in California Cost

Miles per hour over the limit Base fine Assessments, fees and surcharges Total ticket amount
1 to 15 $35 $203 $238
16 to 25 $70 $297 $367
26 to 99 $100 $390 $490

How to figure out how much your ticket will cost

The majority of the cost of your speeding ticket consists of surcharges, penalties, and assessments, which support the courts and specific programs like DNA identification. The specific fees can differ slightly depending on the county. Here’s a breakdown of the cost of a speeding ticket.

Fine 1 to 15 mph over the limit 16 to 25 mph over the limit 26 mph and over
Base fine $35 $70 $100
Assessments, fees and surcharges
$10 state penalty assessment for every $10 or part thereof of base fine $40 $70 $100
$7 county penalty assessment for every $10 or part thereof of base fine $28 $49 $70
$5 state DNA Identification fund for every $10 or part thereof of base fine $20 $35 $50
$5 state courthouse facilities construction fund for every $10 or part thereof of base fine $20 $35 $50
$2 county emergency medical services (EMS) fund for every $10 or part thereof of base fine $8 $14 $20
Surcharge fee equal to 20% of your base fine $7 $14 $20
$4 emergency medical air transportation (EMAT) fee $4 $4 $4
$40 court operations fee $40 $40 $40
$35 conviction assessment fee $35 $35 $35
$1 night court fee $1 $1 $1
Total $238 $367 $490

Under certain circumstances, your base fine amount may increase. For instance, if you have a prior traffic conviction with points assessed within the last 36 months, your base fee will increase by $10. Speeding in a construction zone incurs an enhanced penalty, resulting in a $35 increase for infractions or a doubling of the base fine for misdemeanors. When the base fee increases, the associated fees also increase. For example, a speeding ticket for exceeding the limit by 16-25 mph in a construction zone typically amounts to $525. The specific cost of your speeding ticket may differ from our chart based on the fees in the county where you received the ticket. To determine the exact cost of your California speeding ticket, check online or contact the county courthouse if you have not received a notice in the mail.

How Are Car Insurance Costs Affected After a Ticket?

For California drivers, having a speeding ticket leads to a 40% increase in annual car insurance costs compared to those with a clean driving record, as per Forbes Advisor’s evaluation. Insurance providers raise premiums upon detecting a speeding ticket on a driver’s California record due to the increased risk associated with speeding, which could lead to more severe accidents and higher insurance claims. To identify the most suitable car insurance companies for drivers with speeding tickets, it is advisable to compare offerings from multiple companies, as each evaluates minor traffic violations differently when determining premiums.

Average Car Insurance Rate Increases After a Speeding Ticket in California

After receiving a speeding ticket in California, the average annual cost of car insurance increases to $3,790, which is $1,104 higher. Our research, based on quotes from more than 20 car insurance firms, indicates that having one speeding ticket on your driving record leads to an average yearly increase of over $1,100 in California car insurance expenses.

Car insurance costs in California after a speeding ticket

Driver with clean record Driver with one speeding ticket $ increase for speeding ticket % increase for speeding ticket
$2,685 a year $3,790 a year $1,105 41%

Source: Quadrant Information Services. Based on a 30-year-old female with full coverage policy (including liability of 100/300/100 and collision and comprehensive with $500 deductible).

If you get a second speeding ticket in California, your car insurance expenses will significantly increase. The average annual cost of auto insurance for individuals with two speeding tickets in California is $5,431, which is more than 100% higher than the cost for drivers with a clean driving record.

In California, the rise in auto insurance due to speeding tickets is above the national average of 24% because the state mandates that car insurance providers prioritize a driver’s safety record in their pricing calculations.

What To Do After Getting a Speeding Ticket in California

After you get a speeding ticket in California, you should receive a notice to appear in court for the citation. The notice should inform you of the following:

  • The fine amount (called bail)
  • How to pay the fine or contest the ticket
  • Your due date

Can you fight a California speeding ticket?

You have the option to either pay the California speeding ticket or contest it in court. If you opt to challenge your speeding ticket, you can either represent yourself or seek assistance from a traffic ticket attorney.

Options to take care of your ticket:

Pay the fine

You have admitted guilt and are required to settle the fine by the specified date. The California DMV will add one point to your driving record for speeding convictions, and this will be retained for three years.

Request traffic school

You must be informed in your notice whether you qualify for traffic school. If you do and decide to attend, you will still be required to pay a fine and a court fee for participating in traffic school (in addition to the cost of the school itself). The offense will not be recorded on your California driving record upon completion of traffic school.

Contest the ticket

If you plead not guilty to a charge, you have the right to a trial where you can present your case to the court. The judge will listen to both sides and make a ruling based on the evidence presented. If you are found guilty, the judge will set a fine or other penalty depending on the severity of the offense. It is important to seek legal counsel and prepare a strong defense if you plan to plead not guilty and go to trial.

Completing traffic school keeps your conviction confidential, so it doesn’t appear on your driving record and points won’t be applied. To keep points off your record and the speeding ticket from impacting your auto insurance costs, traffic school can be a smart choice—if you’re eligible. To request traffic school:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license.
  • You must not have gone to traffic school in the last 18 months.
  • The ticket must not be associated with a commercial vehicle.

How can you reduce the cost of a California speeding ticket?

If you challenge the ticket and are convicted, you might want to discuss with the court to lower the fine for the speeding ticket. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford to pay the entire fine, you can request the court to take your circumstances into account. You will need to present the court with details about your financial status. In certain jurisdictions, this can be done online, while in others, a phone call is required.

If you are unable to pay, it is important to contact the court to handle your ticket. Ignoring it could lead to being charged with failure to appear, facing an extra $100 fine (referred to as a civil assessment), and having your driver’s license suspended. The court has the authority to extend the payment deadline, lower the fine, or approve a request for community service instead. A judge will assess your case and make a decision.

What’s the Cheapest Car Insurance After Getting a Ticket?

According to a cost analysis conducted by Forbes Advisor, USAA provides the most affordable car insurance in California for individuals with a speeding ticket on their driving record. However, USAA has specific eligibility criteria, and if you do not meet the requirements as a military member, veteran, or their family member, the next best options are Mercury and Wawanesa. Additionally, there are other car insurance companies that offer coverage for less than the average cost of $3,790 per year in California after receiving a speeding ticket.

Cheapest annual car insurance cost after a speeding ticket

Company Annual cost after a speeding ticket $ increase compare to driver with clean driving record % increase compare to driver with clean driving record
USAA $1,980 $174 10%
Mercury $2,431 $587 32%
Wawanesa $2,464 $731 42%
CIG $2,599 $799 44%
National General $2,616 $118 5%
CSAA Insurance Group $2,932 $615 27%
Grange $2,981 $530 22%
Geico $3,064 $1,099 56%
Infinity $3,211 $686 27%
State National $3,346 $1,059 46%
Auto Club $3,452 $787 30%
CSE Insurance Group $3,610 $857 31%
Travelers $3,732 $1,241 50%
Allstate $3,778 $1,189 46%

Source: Quadrant Information Services. Based on a 30-year-old female with a full coverage policy (including liability of 100/300/100 and collision and comprehensive with $500 deductible). USAA is open only to members of the military, veterans and their families.

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Summary

Getting a speeding ticket in California can be a costly affair. The fines for speeding violations vary depending on the speed at which you were caught and the location of the violation. Additionally, there may be additional fees and penalties that can significantly increase the total cost of your ticket. It’s important to remember that paying a speeding ticket is not just about the financial implications, but also about the potential impact on your driving record and insurance rates. To avoid these consequences, it’s always best to drive within the speed limits and obey traffic laws. Stay safe on the road and avoid unnecessary expenses by being mindful of your speed.

Faqs: How Much Is A Speeding Ticket In California?

How long do points stay on your license in California?

Minor traffic violations, such as speeding, will be recorded on your California driver’s license for three years. However, serious two-point violations like hit and run or DUI will remain on your driving record for 10 years. These violations can affect the cost of your car insurance, so it’s advisable to explore options from different insurance companies to find the most affordable coverage, even if you have received a speeding ticket. Keep in mind that insurance providers have varying pricing policies, so comparing quotes is essential for finding the best deal despite having a violation on your record.

How much is a first-time speeding ticket in California?

A first-time speeding ticket in California can typically cost anywhere from $238 to $490. Your exact speeding ticket fine amount will depend on how many mph over the speed limit you were going and the county in which you received your ticket. Your car insurance rates will likely rise after a speeding ticket, so consider comparison shopping with multiple companies to find the best car insurance company for your needs.

What happens if you are going 20 mph over the speed limit in California?

Exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph in California can result in a speeding ticket with a typical fine of approximately $367 and one point added to your driving record upon conviction. However, if caught driving more than 100 mph over the speed limit, the penalties become much more severe, with a fine of around $900 and two points added to your license for a speeding ticket.

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