It’s never a good feeling to get pulled over. When you see the flashing red and blue lights in your rearview, your mind goes into overdrive. You’re probably wondering what’s next.
The answer is: it depends. Virginia speeding ticket costs vary based on how fast you were going. Reckless driving fines are even more expensive. Penalties aren’t too bad with your first speeding ticket in Virginia, but they get steeper on repeat offenses. Obviously, there’s a lot to consider.
That’s why we built this guide to Virginia traffic ticket fines and penalties, including tips on how to reduce them. Let’s get to it.
First up, you should know that the Virginia DMV keeps track of your driving record using points. They issue two types of points:
For every year that you have a valid VA driver’s license and don’t get any violations, you get a point (up to five points). You’ll see last year’s safe point hit your license in April each year.
You can also add points to your license by completing a driver improvement course in some situations. If the court ordered you to take this course after a violation, you’ll generally have to submit certain documentation. At that point, the court will decide if you’ll get safe driving points for it.
And if you committed a minor violation and a course wasn’t required for you, completing the course can give you a way to knock some points off your driving record.
Pay attention here. The DMV keeps a running tally of your demerit points and the more you get, the worse off you’ll be. That’s why your first speeding ticket in Virginia will probably be no big deal, while repeat offenses get more and more grave.
The VA DMV assigns different point values to different driving offenses. Each violation puts either three, four, or six points on your license. Let’s take a look at some sample violations and their point values:
Clearly, the reckless driving fine gets more severe based on your level of recklessness.
You can log in to see how many points you currently have on your record here.
Why should you care about demerit points, though? Because they’re directly tied to certain penalties.
Beyond speeding ticket fines (more on that next) or other payments due for traffic violations, you could risk one specific penalty for too many demerit points: license suspension.
If you’re over 18 and you get 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months, your license will get suspended for 90 days. You’ll need to take a driver improvement clinic to restore your license — and you’ll be placed on a six-month probation once you get your license back.
If you have a commercial license, most penalties involve you losing your commercial driving privileges. Minor ones like texting while driving or improper lane changes can mean losing your CDL for a few months. But serious violations like driving under the influence disqualify you from driving commercially for a year or more.
Let’s talk Virginia speeding ticket costs. The state charges speeding ticket fines of $6-$7 per mile you were going over the posted limit. That means a reckless driving fine of 20 mph over is going to cost you quite a bit. Add about $50 for the processing fee, too.
That’s not the full picture of Virginia speeding ticket costs, though. Where they really hurt you is on your auto insurance costs. You’ll pay about $200 more a year for full coverage after even your first speeding ticket in Virginia.
The good news? In many cases, completing a driver improvement course can take points off your license and lower your auto insurance costs. Plus, because you can take this course online and at your own pace, the class can be an ultra-convenient way to mitigate the fallout from your Virginia traffic ticket.