Washington DC Traffic Tickets
Drivers are issued traffic tickets in Washington DC for a wide range of traffic violations. The DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the agency responsible for handling minor moving traffic citations within the state. Drivers can either pay the fines associated with the ticket or they can choose to fight the tickets in order to avoid any consequences against their driving record and their vehicle insurance rates
You also have the option of admitting to the charges with an explanation for purposes of receiving lesser fines and/or penalties. Learn how to fight traffic tickets and where to pay your tickets by reading the following sections.
Fighting a Washington DC Ticket
The process of fighting traffic tickets in Washington DC can be initiated by requesting a hearing date through the DC DMV via several methods. Regardless of whether you submit your traffic ticket defense request in person, online, by phone or by mail, you must do within 30 days in order to avoid any late traffic fines.
After the DC DMV Adjudication Services office schedules your hearing date, you can start preparing for your trial before a1 hearing examiner. After the defendant and the agency that issued the traffic citation in DC present their cases, the examiner will render his or her decision.
Motorists whose tickets were dismissed will not be required to pay the fine and their DC driver’s records will not be affected. If you were found liable for the violation, on the other hand, you will have to pay any applicable fines and submit to the penalties specific to your case.
Note: You may find that hiring a traffic attorney may help you reduce the penalties or completely dismiss certain violations from your records.
Paying a Washington DC Ticket
Paying driving fines in Washington DC is a procedure that can be completed online, by mail, by phone or in person. Regardless of whether you choose to pay traffic fines online or via other alternative methods, you must complete the process within the first 30 days of receiving them in order to avoid paying a double fine.
Note that, if you choose to provide your DC traffic tickets payments by mail, you must initiate the procedure at least a week prior to the deadline date in order to ensure that the fine payment arrives on time.
Note: Drivers who decide to dispute traffic tickets in DC after paying the fine lose their eligibility to do so at a later date.
Lost Tickets in Washington DC
Drivers who have lost their Washington DC traffic citations may encounter certain difficulties when settling their ticket issues due to the importance of the information contained within. Since the DC DMV issues traffic tickets, motorists who lose their citations can easily recover the necessary information by contacting the department. You can either call the DMV or visit the Adjudication Services office in person.
Motorists are also able to retrieve the data from a lost traffic citation in DC if they have already signed up for the DMV Ticket Alert Service (TAS). If you enroll in the department’s TAS services, you will promptly receive ticket-related notifications by email each time you receive a citation.
Washington DC Fines and Penalties
If you are unable to beat a traffic ticket in Washington DC, you will be required to provide the traffic violation payments associated with the citation. Traffic fines in DC vary based on the nature of the offense and the circumstances surrounding your case. The following list outlines several types of violations in DC and the resulting fines:
- Failure to stop at a stop sign: $50
- Failure to yield right of way: $75
- Passing a red light: $150
- Speeding 21 to 25 mph over the posted limit: $200
- Overtaking a vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian: $250
Driving under the influence (DUI) violations usually incur greater penalties and may be difficult to contest.
Note: When settling traffic tickets through the DC DMV, drivers are not generally required to pay any administrative costs. Late fees may apply, based on your circumstances.
Points in Washington DC
Convictions of Washington DC traffic violations also result in a specific number of demerit points, which are reported on the record of the driver who has committed the offense. The severity of the violation determines the resulting traffic fines and the number of accumulated points.
More serious offenses incur a higher number of points. The following list outlines several infractions penalized with traffic citations in DC and their corresponding point penalties:
- Following another vehicle too closely: 2 points
- Driving without a seatbelt: 3 points
- Failure to stop for a parked school bus: 4 points
- Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle: 6 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident which did not result in injuries: 8 points
Note: Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to avoid the accumulation of demerit points for certain traffic violations in DC if you successfully complete a defensive driving course.
How Tickets Affect a Washington DC Drivers License
Drivers who fail to dismiss traffic tickets in Washington DC through the state court system, and those who pay their tickets, are also at risk of loss of their driving privileges due to the accumulation of points on their records. Drivers who receive traffic tickets in DC that result in 10 to 11 points within a two-year period, for instance, will be penalized with a 90-day driving license suspension.
Accumulating 12 or more points, on the other hand, leads to a credential revocation for at least six months. Note that certain types of traffic violations result in immediate driving license revocations. Drivers who commit a felony crime by using a motor vehicle, for example, will incur 12 points and a license revocation that will last until they meet the conditions of their penalty.
Washington DC Car Insurance Fines and Violations
You may also receive traffic fines in Washington DC by driving without valid car insurance coverage. To avoid committing a no-insurance DC traffic violation, you must maintain a liability insurance policy of at least $10,000 for property damages and $50,000 for bodily injuries and death per accident.
Note that the traffic fine amount for no-insurance offenses increases for each subsequent violation. Drivers may also be penalized with driving license suspensions in such circumstances.
Note: Committing several traffic offenses within a specific time period will also affect your DC vehicle insurance premiums, since insurers determine whether or not you are a risky investment based on the convictions reported on your driving record.