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Traffic Tickets and Violations in North Carolina

Citations or traffic tickets are issued in the State of North Carolina for various violations of traffic law. Citations generally indicate the statute or code number of the violation, and explain how and when to pay the fine or respond to the ticket. You must respond to a citation, usually by paying a fine or appearing in court, or else a warrant may be issued for your arrest and your driving license may be suspended.


Most traffic tickets in North Carolina are issued for what are sometimes called "strict-liability" offenses. In these cases, the only thing required to convict a person of the offense is proof that they committed the act, regardless of any criminal intent. Examples of strict-liability offenses include:

  • Speeding
  • Overdue parking meters
  • Not using turn signals
  • Parking in a handicapped zone without authorization


Violations are also classified by whether or not the vehicle was in motion at the type of the incident, and traffic tickets may therefore be for either moving or non-moving violations. Examples of moving violations include: Non-Moving violations include:
  • Parking in a handicapped zone or other illegal parking
  • Driving with an invalid vehicle registration
  • Having expired or missing license plates
  • Leaving a vehicle unattended and running
The majority of traffic violations in North Carolina are classified as infractions, which require paying a fine up to $500. More serious offenses carry higher fines and/or imprisonment.


Many citations do not require a court appearance, and you may admit guilt by paying the ticket directly. The citation will indicate how and by what date to pay the fine. The courts that deal with citations differ from county to county. Some counties have district courts while others have traffic courts. Details of the court you need to visit to pay the fine will be listed on your ticket. You can also find the court on the North Carolina Court System Web Site. Fines and court expenses are payable to the courts and not to the DMV. In North Carolina, some violations are waivable (which means you can admit guilt by paying the fine and waive your court appearance) while some are non-waivable and require compulsory court appearance whether you are pleading guilty or not guilty. If you wish to dispute the citation, you must appear in court personally on the scheduled date, and enter a "not guilty" plea. While you may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney, a trial will be scheduled if no agreement is reached. A trial gives you an opportunity to fight the traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury, and most people prefer to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to defend them in court.


When you pay a ticket directly, you are essentially pleading guilty to a traffic offense, which carries the same consequences as being found guilty of the violation in court. Motorists who either plead guilty directly or are found guilty of an offense should be aware of the following possible consequences:
  • Certain traffic offenses, including speeding and other moving violations, are automatically reported to the North Carolina [ Division of Motor Vehicles]. North Carolina routinely provides information concerning traffic ticket convictions to other states.
  • The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles follows a point system to track violations and their corresponding penalties. Points are added to your driving record which could result in your license being suspended. For more information, see our Point System section.
  • North Carolina drivers that accumulate points on their driving record are often subject to higher car insurance premiums.


One of the best ways to reduce the negative implications of traffic violations is to drive safely and not commit any additional offenses. Points on your North Carolina license will be reduced, and your driving record may eventually be cleared if you remain free of any additional violations. Smart drivers often choose to take a defensive driving course or traffic school course in order to reduce the points on their license more quickly. Taking a defensive driving course can also help lower the car insurance premiums of drivers whose rates increased following one or more traffic ticket convictions. Some drivers prefer to obtain a new quote for car insurance following a traffic ticket conviction, since often more competitive rates and coverage may be available.


Reviews of Traffic Tickets and Violations in North Carolina

My son received a speeding ticket in Nash county NC, in 2003 or 2004. He paid the ticket (a few yrs later), how do we get proof that the ticket was paid so he can get his license in CT?

How do I find/pay a ticket I had back in 2009?

how do I pull up a copy of my ticket i have the number in winston salem nc

At the beginning of Easter weekend I received a ticket for driving without a seatbelt. I did have my seatbelt buckled but I understand why the officer thought I did not...embarassing as it is to say, I have to keep the shoulder strap portion loose since my height and build combination means the strap literally strangles me while driving and often locks in that strangling position while driving (looking over my shoulder to check my blind spot, etc.). I was taught in my drivers ed many years ago that you should never disagree or be disagreeable to an officer so I did not want to argue with him and honestly I wasn't sure if it was a violation or not that I was keeping the shoulder part loose even while it was buckled; I found myself trying to think and speak at the same time so not sure how coherent I was. But I have a very clean record and I was trying to be polite so I thought I would probably get a warning but I got the ticket. I am also in a position right now that I was layed off and at the very end of my savings so, quite frankly, I don't even have enough money to pay for an attorney or the ticket. Can anyone tell me if it was a violation to have the shoulder strap portion loose even if the buckle is in? I have heard that NC has something called 'prayer for judgement'...would that apply here? Any advice is appreciated.

I am in the same situation ... i need help :( .. pleas email with any responses to this issue...

I received a moving violation in NC 70 in 55 zone with my Fl DL. This was 2 months ago. I have now decided to move to NC and will get my NC DL. Will NC have a record of violation or Fl?

so I was going 84 in a 65 but have had no previous violations on my record at all and i didn't have my license at the time, the cop was really nice though and said my ticket would probably get dismissed in court because I don't have any violations as long as I brought in my license but I don't know how I should plead because honestly I was going 84 but my car is new and it's extremely quiet and my old one rattled when I went over 60 so I knew to slow down basically I don't know how I should plead, I'm guessing guilty and hope they dismiss if I explain? Do they do that? Please help.

Go see the da before your court day, he can help you. He is in his office arount 8 thirty in the morning to help with tickets.

so I was going 84 in a 65 but have had no previous violations on my record at all and i didn't have my license at the time, the cop was really nice though and said my ticket would probably get dismissed in court because I don't have any violations as long as I brought in my license but I don't know how I should plead because honestly I was going 84 but my car is new and it's extremely quiet and my old one rattled when I went over 60 so I knew to slow down basically I don't know how I should plead, I'm guessing guilty and hope they dismiss if I explain? Do they do that? Please help.

I had a DWI and a couple other things from a long long time ago, I finally got the money to get a lawyer to take care of it. He got all charges Voluntary dismissed but when I contacted NC DMV they said I had to pay 50 fee to be able to get a license. If the Lawyer got everything Dismissed how is it I have to pay for them to release my license so I can get one where I live now.

My son has tickets in 4 NC Counties for inspection, registration, and license revoked (because of registration). All are over 1 year with missed court dates. Can these be handled without a lawyer and, if not, can one lawyer handle all or would I need to hire seperate ones for each county.

all misdaminers in nc have a 2 year statute of limitation, iv ran on 2 incidences like that if its already been 1 year might as well try it, statute of limitations only exist in superior court

i was speeding on a 60 mph road doing 91, what is the cost that i have to pay since im going to manatory court, i have a california license and i never got a ticket til today ,also what is the aftermath after i go to court

I was wondering what happened to you with your ticket. I was caught doing 60 in a 35 and don't know how to prepare or what I am facing. Could you shed any light on this? I have an out of state license as well (NJ) and this is a first offence

I was in an accident where I was making a left turn into a private driveway and I was hit in the driver side door by a car who was following from behind. I had given my turn signal in plenty of time and had even turned enough that my front tires were in the driveway when I was hit by the car that was behind me attempted to pass on my left side. The officer issued me a ticket and said I was at fault because I should have allowed the other person to pass before I attempted to turn into the driveway. The other person never gave any signal that they were attempting to pass so how can I be at fault? Is there anyway I can fight this?

My recently licensed daughter ran into the back of a lady going about 10 mph and got a tix for failure to yeild. Other drivers damages were paid and no one was hurt. My daughter has also recently taken a defensive driver course. How do we plea if we are wanting the case to be dismissed.

I apparently had my license suspended because of a failure to appear on a seatbelt ticket. The ticket has now been paid..... what do i need to do to restore my license?

If someone has a citation that reads that whoever:.. "did unlawfully and willfully operate a motor vehicle on a street or highway at a speed of 50 mph in a 45 mph zone."Will this result in insurance or license points being administered?

I got a ticket for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive and underage drinking. I was in NY at the time of my court date because my husband came home from Afghanistan. Now my license is suspended indefinitely in my home state and I think I have a warrant out for my arrest. How do I get rid of it and avoid going to jail?

My daughter received a citation for a moving violation in 2009 and failed to appear in court. She left the country for good but is returning to North Carolina. Would there be any outstanding arrest warrants for her on record? She does not have the citation.

Yes there is a HUGE possibility of having an outstanding warrant out of her. I can assure you that she can call the court house pertaining to this ticket and they will actually tell her if there is a warrant for her, and if so I would tell you the best way to avoid a HUGE problem is to tell her to turn herself in. I dont know what her criminal history looks like or her driving record, but if she turns herself in, that will def. show a sign of responsibility and will most likely let her out the same day if she explains to the magistrate what her situation is.

I was wrongfully cited for failure to wear my seatbelt. I was in fact wearing my seatbelt. How do I fight this?

License was suspended for FTA should I send them in what do I do next?

My dtr just got a ticket for speeding (20 mph over) and will be out of the state on the date she is supposed to appear in District Court. Is there any way to find out the cost of this first ticket since we live in Florida?

want to read the reply

I just got stopped for speed 30mph over the speed limit. And Im gonna go to court next month. How serious is the case? Im 21. It is my first time and I had never got involved in any accident before.

How much would the fine probably cost?

Would my license got suspended?how long?

I got 3 DUI's on my record, I went and got all 3 of my assments and it has been over 10+ yrs that I haven't had a licence or been driving. I would like to know what I have to do now to get my licence back? I have since moved to Alabama and been here for about 2 or so yrs.

Thank You for your time and any help you can give me....

Go to your local DMV and they can tell you what you will need to. The usual protocol for reinstating a N.C. license after a DUI is......

Serve your suspension time.

Provide proof of enrollment in an alcohol safety school, if required.

Pay all court fines.

Visit any DMV office.

Pay $75 reinstatement fee.

Reapply for your license.

I think that you now have to install (and pay a monthly fee for) a Breathalyzer machine in your car if you have been convicted of a DUI. Depending on the number of DUI's you have, you may have to have it for 3 years.


If you go to traffic court on the date on your ticket and show proof that the vehicle has now been inspected, they will dismiss that charge and usually just make you pay court costs. Sometimes they will also waive court costs.

traffic tickets and violations.

Is there any way possible to pay a ticket online if so you can contact me by email at or by phone 2022562059