Iowa Traffic Tickets
Drivers may incur traffic tickets in Iowa for a variety of traffic misdemeanors. Motorists are generally required to resolve their traffic citations by either fighting or arranging payment for the amount due. Failure to do so will result in harsh penalties, such as license suspensions. Find out more about how to settle your IA traffic fine in the following sections.
Fighting an Iowa Ticket
If you choose to initiate the procedure of contesting a traffic citation in IA, you decide to plead “not guilty” to your offense. Consult your ticket document or the corresponding court about the specific steps to appeal your case.
When starting the process, drivers generally need to notify the court they intend to contest their citation. Once they do so, the appropriate court may set a trial date. Since fighting traffic citations is more complex than settling your case by payment, you may need to hire an Iowa traffic attorney who can assist you in assembling the necessary information and building a successful defense.
Be sure to gather all evidence beforehand. Motorists must be prepared to pay the base fine, as well as additional court costs if found guilty of their offense. When convicted of a certain IA traffic violation, drivers will also receive demerit points on their Iowa driving record.
Paying an Iowa Ticket
Motorists may have several Iowa traffic tickets payment methods available, depending on the county where the violation occurred. Paying traffic citations online in IA is the fastest and most convenient way to resolve your issue. If your ticket indicates a mandatory court appearance, then you will need to appear in person.
In addition, other ticket violation payment options may apply. For information specific to your individual situation, particularly those not covered in this article, you should consult the court listed on your ticket.
Lost Tickets in Iowa
Whether you decide to dispute traffic tickets in Iowa or submit payment to the court handling your case, you must use the information displayed on your ticket. In cases of a lost citation, drivers have several options to obtain the necessary details.
First, your traffic ticket may be listed on the official Iowa Courts Online Search website. If this is not the case, you will need to contact the corresponding traffic violation court in Iowa and inquire about your citation number, due date, fines and more.
Finally, you can obtain a copy of your fine by mailing a written request to the state Department of Transportation. Note that a fee of 50 cents will apply in such case.
Iowa Fines and Penalties
If you are unable to challenge speeding tickets in Iowa or other types of citations, you will need to pay driving fines timely and properly. Fines may differ based on the county of residence and the type of infraction committed. Some of the most common violations and their scheduled fines are as follows:
- Registration violation – $20
- Careless driving – $35
- Driving with an expired license – $50
- Failure to provide a valid driving license or permit – $200
- Misuse of driving license/ID card to purchase alcohol or tobacco – $200
In addition to the base IA traffic citation fees, local courts may also assess penalties in the form of a surcharge
Points in Iowa
If you are convicted of a certain traffic violation in IA, a specific number of points may be assessed against your IA driving record. In the case of six or more traffic violations within a two-year time frame, you may be recognized as a habitual offender, thus incurring harsh penalties. Points for different traffic citations in Iowa are outlined in the list below:
- Driving while under license suspension, revocation or denial – 2 points
- Operating while under a DUI revocation – 3 points
- Driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more – 4 points
- Vehicular manslaughter – 6 points
Note: Convictions of Iowa traffic violations will remain on your record, even if you provide a certificate proving the successful completion of an Iowa driver improvement school.
How Tickets Affect an Iowa Drivers License
Motorists who fail to pay traffic citations or other court-imposed traffic fines in Iowa are at risk of incurring serious penalties. In case of a court fee which is more than 60 days past due, drivers may be handed down a suspended license.
Violations, which result in the accumulation of demerit points on driving transcripts may also lead to suspension of driving privileges. For instance, habitual offenders of state motor vehicle laws may lose their credential for a period of one year. Note that offenses will not be cleared from your report after you have successfully completed a traffic school course (if required).
Iowa Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Iowa traffic tickets may also lead to increased auto insurance rates. Insurance companies generally run background checks on applicants and review their behind-the-wheel status. If you are considered an unsafe driver due to several traffic tickets, you may reduce your chance to earn a discount. Note that you may be able to avoid insurance premium increases by graduating from traffic school.