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Traffic Tickets and Violations in Massachusetts

Traffic Tickets and Violations in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Traffic Tickets

Drivers receive traffic tickets if a traffic law or violation was broken. The most common offenses Massachusetts drivers receive a traffic tickets for are:

  • Speeding.
  • Driving through a red light.
  • Passing a bus illegally.
  • Operating under the influence.

Information Related to Traffic Tickets

About Traffic Tickets

If you are caught violating a traffic law, you will be given a traffic ticket. These citations will come with fines that you must pay in order to avoid drivers license suspension. If violations are severe, you may also incur points on your drivers license.
To find out more information about traffic tickets, it is recommended you visit the MA RMV Civil Motor Vehicle Citation page

Penalties for Drivers with a Learning Permit

Getting a ticket while you hold a learners permit can result in the suspension of your driving privileges. This can occur if learning drivers commit any of the following violations:

  • Driving during hours of curfew
  • Speeding
  • Racing
  • Using a cellphone while driving
  • Driving without a licensed supervisor

Penalties for CDL Drivers

CDL drivers are required by law to report any traffic fines to their employers. Based on the violation committed, punishment can involve the temporary suspension of their commercial drivers license. Some of the offenses that could result in this punishment include:

  • DUI
  • Committing a felony while using the commercial vehicle
  • Not taking a chemical test when asked
  • Hitting and running

Note: A first DUI will result in a one-year suspension, while a subsequent conviction of driving under the influence will cause your CDL to be disqualified for life.

How to Pay Traffic Ticket Fees

Whether you have to pay speeding ticket fines or fees from nonmoving violations, you should be aware of your options. Fortunately, the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles gives you the option to pay traffic tickets online through their secure Citation page. Just make sure you have an American Express, Discover, Master Card, VISA or Electronic Check ready for payment.
You can also pay through the mail by sending a check or money order to:

Citation Processing Center
P.O. Box 55890
Boston, MA 02205-5890    

When doing so, it is important to:

  1. Make the check or money order payable to MassDOT.
  2. Write the citation number and your drivers license number on your check or money order.
  3. Put the payment and ticket in the pre-addressed envelope.
  4. Check the payment box in the front of the envelope.
  5. Add your name and address to the upper left-hand side of the envelope.
  6. Apply proper postage.

Your last option is to pay by phone with a credit card or Electronic Check. The phone number you must call varies by area code:

  • 339: call 857-368-8000
  • 351: call 800-858-3926
  • 413: call 800-858-3926
  • 508: call 800-858-3926
  • 617: call 857-368-8000
  • 774: call 800-858-3926
  • 781: call 857-368-8000
  • 857: call 857-368-8000
  • 978: call 800-858-3926

Criminal citations, on the other hand, can only be paid in person or by mail.
Note: Charges for citations will vary on the severity of the offense. In addition, counties can choose to charge more for certain violations if they see fit.

If You Lost Your Traffic Ticket

If you happened to have lost your traffic ticket and need to locate the information on it, you must contact the Massachusetts RMV. Once you get in touch with the department, a representative will be able to help you find out the information if you are able to provide them with the municipality in which you originally got your traffic ticket. Another way that you can find out more about your charge is to contact the county clerk office in the county you committed the offense in.

Massachusetts Point System

The MA RMV uses a surchargeable events system that places points on your MA driving record whenever you commit a serious driving violation or are involved in an accident. The full breakdown of points is as follows:

  • Major accidents: four surcharge points
  • Minor accidents: three surcharge points
  • Major traffic law violation: five surcharge points
  • Minor traffic law violation: two surcharge points

Accumulating too many points results in the suspension of your driving license in Massachusetts. This can happen in a number of ways:

  • If you get three speeding tickets in 12 months.
  • If you are charged with three surchargeable events in 24 months.
  • If you are charged with five surchargeable events in three years.
  • If you are charged with seven surchargeable events in three years.
  • If you accumulate three major moving violations or a combination of any 12 major and minor violations in five years.

Driving Records

A Massachusetts driving record contains all of your driving history. This means that all of the following events will appear on it:

  • Car accidents
  • Drivers license suspensions, revocations and cancelations
  • Traffic fines
  • MA Drivers license issuances.
  • Any major crimes you may have committed:
    • DUI
    • Manslaughter

A drivers record can be used in a number of circumstances, but it is most commonly associated with applying for a job as a commercial drivers license driver. You will be asked to provide your driving recordbefore a potential employer considers your candidacy.

Massachusetts Traffic School

Unfortunately, the state of Massachusetts does not allow you to erase points from your driving record by attending traffic classes. The only way that points can be removed is if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have less than three surchargeable events in the last five years.
  • Your last surchargeable event is three years old or older.
  • You have at least three years of experience driving.
  • All out-of-state violations of the law in the last five years were reported to the Merit Board.

If you do not meet the qualifications, points expire after six years. However, enrolling in a traffic school is an excellent way to improve your driving skills and safety habits in the meantime. Traffic school courses will teach you all of the rules of the road in an easy-to-understand way so that when you get back on the road, you are prepared for any situation. Additionally, enrolling in an online traffic school today may lower your car insurance premiums.

How to Get a Ticket Dismissed

Since traffic school cannot get points off of your driving record, you only have one option for getting your ticket dismissed. The only action available for you is to contact a traffic ticket attorney. By pleading "not guilty" and employing the aid of a seasoned professional, you will be giving yourself the best chance to avoid paying these high fines and having the ticket on your record.

DUI&DWI Charges in Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts is far from lenient when it comes to drivers who commit a DUI. It follows the rest of the nation in enforcing a strict policy with an inflexible blood alcohol concentration limit that should never be exceeded:

  • For drivers under 21: 0.02 percent BAC
  • For drivers 21 or over: 0.08 percent BAC
  • For CDL drivers: 0.04 percent BAC

Massachusetts has also established various punishments for each time this offense is committed, and the penalties increase in harshness with each ensuing violation. Penalties will include:

  • A suspended drivers license
  • Significant fines
  • Reinstatement fees
  • Jail time

In order to avoid these penalties and keep points from appearing on your driving record, it is highly recommended that you contact a trustworthy and experienced DUI attorney.

Suspended Drivers Licenses in Massachusetts

Driving under the influence is just one of the many ways that you can end up with a suspended drivers license in Massachusetts. Some of the other violations associated with this penalty include:

  • The decision to not pay traffic ticket fees.
  • Committing multiple offenses in a certain period of time:
    • Three speeding tickets in one year
    • Seven moving violations in three years
    • Three major violations or 12 violations in five years

It is important to note that suspensions come with different penalties. These punishments will vary in severity based on the offense you have committed. Your third offense, for instance, will bring harsher punishments than a first offense. However, all suspended drivers licenses must be reinstated regardless of the penalties.
The process for reinstatement is as follows:

  1. Complete the suspension period.
  2. Pay the Massachusetts traffic ticket fines to the corresponding county courts.
  3. Serve jail or parole time, if applicable.
  4. Complete an alcohol awareness class.
  5. Pay the reinstatement fee.

Keep in mind that suspensions and their penalties can be avoided. If you believe that the charges brought against you are not justified, you can contact aDUI defense attorney or traffic attorney in order to fight these charges.

Accident Coverage Savings

The moment you incur a violation, you immediately think "How much is traffic ticket cost going to affect me?"You are justified in your concern. The cost of traffic ticket violations can be high and close to unaffordable for severe violations. That's why you need to save money in every single way that you can, including accident coverage.
Collisions happen, and unfortunately, are a possibility at any point behind the wheel. That is why it's recommended you always be prepared. In addition to your standard Massachusetts car insurance policy, which will protect bodily injury and property damage, you can purchase accident insurance that keeps repair costs low, provides roadside assistance and gives you a network of experienced and professional mechanics to work with.

Related Links

Submitted by sirrod66 on 1st Dec 2014

Can they suspend your license

Can they suspend your license for unpaid parking tickets?

Submitted by Kyla on 6th Mar 2013

I got a moving violation in

I got a moving violation in Massachusetts for making an illegal left turn. I do not recall doing it, but cannot prove my innocence. The ticket came in the mail. I was under the impression that in the police officer had to issue tickets in person. Is this true? Should I fight it?