Last updated: August 2022

What Happens If You Get a Speeding or Parking Ticket in Another State

For many people, traveling out of state is filled with fun activities like spending time with loved ones and enjoying days off of work. But for some drivers, traveling out-of-state means dealing with new laws, different speed limits, confusing parking situations, and the possibility of speeding or parking tickets!

If you're one of the unlucky drivers dealing with a speeding or parking ticket from a different state than the one you live in, you probably have a lot of questions. What to do, where to go, and most importantly, do you have to pay it? Read on to learn how to respond to out-of-state parking and speeding tickets!

Parking Tickets

Getting a parking ticket in a strange town is pretty common. You're new to the area, so some missteps are bound to happen. And if you're out at night, it may be difficult to read all of the relevant signage.

If you do end up with a parking ticket tucked under your windshield wipers, it's okay to vent for a minute or two. Parking tickets can feel like a hassle and no one likes spending money on fines.

According to How Stuff Works, "A single parking ticket offense can cost $40 on average depending on the rule broken and city."

According to a Public Works & Management Policy 2015 article, parking in a handicapped space incurred the highest fines; approximately $200. Fines for fire hydrant/fire lane parking were approximately $50. The highest fines for prohibited parking, expired meter, and overtime parking violations averaged approximately $35 in larger cities and $25 in smaller cities.

Once the venting is over ($240?!), you've got a couple of options:

Parking Ticket Response #1: Pay It

Promptly paying the fine associated with that parking ticket makes good financial sense.

That's because it's typical for many municipalities to increase the fine the longer the ticket goes unpaid. Pay it quickly, and you'll end up with a smaller dent in your wallet than if you wait a month or more.

Parking Ticket Response #2: Fight It

Do you feel as though there is a compelling reason the fine is wrong? Fighting it in court is an option, with or without an attorney.

Options available to you include:

  • Contesting the ticket by written affidavit
  • Contacting the local prosecutor directly
  • Hiring an attorney who specializes in such matters

Since this is an out-of-state matter for you, the cost in additional time and travel expenses might not be worth it.

Parking Ticket Response #3: Ignore It (Don't!)

A gradual increase in the amount of fine you pay is only one step municipalities could take when dispensing penalties. Unpaid parking tickets may also result in county authorities putting a vehicle-immobilizing "boot" on your car.

If you received the ticket in a state you rarely visit, getting a "boot" might not frighten you. You pay the ticket and the boot comes off. The next step — when the municipality sends your parking ticket(s) to a collection agency — might scare you. Depending on the state you get the infraction in and where you live, you could end up with negative marks on your credit and a blocked license or registration renewal.

Between the damage to your credit score and the annoyance of having to deal with collections letters, you may find that ignoring a parking ticket is simply not worth the stress!

Speeding Tickets

First time getting a speeding ticket? It can be a little scary. Just know that you're not alone and that it happens! Even to the best drivers. Driving faster than the posted speed limit is one of the most common (and dangerous) traffic violations in America.

If you already got a speeding ticket (or your first speeding ticket) in another state, there's some stuff you should know:

The computers are watching you. There's no escape.

The computers in question are those used to help enforce the "Driver's License Compact" (DLC) and the "Non-Resident Violator Compact" (NRVC). Together, these compacts and the data they gather are part of an agreement between states to share information on drivers with moving violations. This agreement is called the Drivers License Agreement, and only Wisconsin and Michigan are not a part of it, notes Ballotpedia.

How does the Drivers License Agreement affect you? Let's say you receive a speeding ticket in another state. For whatever reason, you choose not to pay it. In due time, the state in which you received the ticket forwards the infraction to your home state (assuming both states are members of the agreement). When your home state gets the information, it adopts the responsibility and authority of pursuing payment on the fine — and pursuing you if need be!

Even if you live in Wisconsin or Michigan, don't assume you can afford to skip out on speeding ticket payments. Road safety rules change often, and staying on top of them can be challenging. Just because your state isn't comparing notes with the others now, doesn't mean it won't be soon.

Speeding Ticket Response #1: Pay It

No one enjoys getting a speeding ticket. Whether you receive one in your home state or another state, the fastest way to deal with the issue is by paying it.

Speeding Ticket Response #2: Fight It

Fighting a parking ticket, as discussed above, is likely not worth the effort in all but the rarest circumstances.

However, since a speeding ticket is a more severe (and expensive) infraction, fighting it is a more common response. That's the case regardless of the state. Reasons for fighting a ticket may include:

  • A desire to avoid adding more points to your license, which could you at risk of a suspended license and impact your ability to earn an income.
  • Your job requires a license free of moving violations.
  • You don't want your insurance rates to potentially increase.

Many attorneys are available to help. Hiring a traffic attorney in the jurisdiction in which you received your ticket helps ensure they are familiar with local laws, but even with legal help, you may still lose in court and end up having to pay attorney fees on top of your fine.

Speeding Ticket Response #3: Ignore It (Don't!)

Does a speeding ticket in another state affect your license or insurance? It could. It could also impact much more, though.

The consequences of an unpaid speeding ticket in another state may include:

Given the consequences, not paying a speeding ticket in another state is not advisable under any circumstances!

"State"-ing the Obvious

Out-of-state tickets could impact your insurance rate, your credit score, and your driving history! If you made a mistake handling an out-of-state ticket in the past, head to Direct Auto Insurance for a second chance. We look past your past to help you get the car insurance you need.

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