California has some of the strictest laws in the U.S. when it comes to speeding. And once you’re caught, it’s not just the ticket that you have to pay. There are processing fees and court fees too, and if you don’t know the law, you’ll end up denting your wallet more than you expected.
In this article, we’ll discuss how much a speeding ticket costs in California. Or, you can use our speeding ticket calculator to find out the costs for other states.
Speeding Ticket Costs in California
Speeding in Construction Zones
Usually, a speeding ticket cost goes from a fine of $150 to $200. However, if the fine was cited in a construction zone, the penalty is significantly higher. The greater the speed over the limit, the higher the speeding ticket price. As you can see, the charge for a traffic ticket can be quite costly.
In a construction zone, you will end up paying around $360 for 1 to 15 mph over the limit, $525 for 16 to 25 mph over, and $650 for 26+ mph over. This includes all the other fees, which we’ll get to later.
Safety Enhancement Zones
If you were cited for speeding in a “safety enhancement zone”, you will also pay more than you normally would with a regular ticket. Tickets in these zones cost around $280 for 1 to 15 mph over the limit, $400 for 16 to 25 mph over, and a little over $500 for 26+ mph over.
While you will have to pay a fine for your speeding ticket in California, your insurance would likely increase as well. This is something that doesn’t occur to many people at first, but the company inevitably finds out later on. Your annual insurance cost can go up an additional $200 per year for just one ticket.
To make things easier, you should always call your insurance company when you receive a speeding ticket. This way, you can find out exactly how much extra you can expect to pay for at least the next year. The larger the ticket amount, the more you can expect your insurance premium to rise.
While the cost of your insurance will eventually go back down (provided you don’t get any further tickets), it can take a while. You can talk to an agent from the company to find out when you can expect your rate to drop.
However, you can most likely save some money by enrolling in a DMV approved traffic school. By doing this, your provider will probably keep your rate the same so it doesn’t skyrocket. A traffic school is definitely worth it when you consider all of the money you’ll end up saving. Alternatively, you can also check other ways to avoid speeding tickets here: https://www.ratedradardetector.org/blog/tips-avoiding-speeding-tickets/.
If you opt to attend traffic school, know that there are certain eligibility requirements for you to get in. For example, you must have a valid driver’s license. Also, if you have attended traffic school for a previous violation in the last 18 months, you will be ineligible to register.
It’s easy to find out if you’re eligible or not. Generally, you can find a complete list of these requirements on the official county website. It is a good idea to look through the list before applying, just to make sure you don’t waste any more money.
While the base fee of a ticket for 1 to 15 mph over the speed limit is $35, there are other fees to consider when talking about the total cost of a speeding ticket in California.
The state of California puts a 20% surcharge on all traffic tickets, including ones for speeding. The court operation cost alone is $40, but there is also a conviction assessment fee of $35.
If you do decide that you want to fight your ticket, you should also know what you should say in court. Defending a speeding ticket could be easy as long as you know the right things to say and do.
Depending on the circumstances of your speeding ticket, you might also be required to pay penalty fees. There is a court penalty assessment fee of $7 for every $10 of the ticket’s base fine. The state penalty assessment fee is 100% of the base fine. Also, the DNA identification fund penalty assessment is $4 for every $10 of the base fine.
These fees quickly add up and can cost you a lot of money. Overall, speeding tickets in California cost around $300. It includes costs like the processing fee, the fine, and the court fees. You can expect to pay around $230 traffic ticket for 1 to 15 mph over the limit, $360 for 16 to 25 mph over, and nearly $500 for 26+ mph over.
If you are planning to use a credit card to pay for your ticket, you’ll also most likely be charged extra. A lot of jurisdictions charge these fees, so you should be prepared for further costs. So while paying online can be convenient, it can also increase the actual expense you have to pay. So, paying in person or with a check can definitely save you some money on your ticket. But before you whip out your wallet, check this article for some proven ways to get your ticket dismissed.