FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Roads trips are more popular than ever nowadays, and there are few things that can ruin a nice, sunny drive through the beautiful countryside like a speeding ticket. Unfortunately, the local police officer or state trooper probably won’t be too forgiving to your story, even with the kids in tow.

out-of-state speeding ticketWill this out-of-state speeding ticket affect your auto insurance once you get back home?

The short answer to this is yes, an out-of-state speeding ticket can and likely will affect your insurance rates.

But the long answer is a bit more complicated, as is usually the case when dealing with insurance!

There is a common misconception that things like traffic violations, if acquired out-of-state, will not affect your driving record or your insurance rates once you get back home. This might have been true a long time ago, like whenever cars were first invented, but it’s not true today.

If you rob a bank in another state (this is strongly advised against by the way!), will your home state know about it? Of course it will. Your local police will politely show up at your door, along with a not-so-polite SWAT team from the FBI.

So if you receive an out-of-state speeding ticket, will your home state know about it? The answer to this is the same, yes! Well, the vast majority of the time.

Speeding Tickets and License Points

The good ole’ US-of-A is a very advanced country in many regards, so the days of getting a speeding ticket while on vacation in another state and getting away with it (or robbing a bank) are over. Interstate commerce and communication are at a very high level, making illegal cross-state escapades ever more difficult to get away with.

There is a chance, however, that getting just one speeding ticket, whether it’s out-of-state or not, will not cause your auto insurance rates to increase.

But what about my driving record? I thought getting one out-of-state ticket, especially if it’s minor, doesn’t count towards my driver’s license points? And if it doesn’t count as points on my driver’s license, then it surely doesn’t count on my insurance, right?

Wrong. Driver’s license points and insurance points are two completely separate things. Driver’s license points are controlled and issued by each state’s department of motor vehicles. The purpose of the points system is to have a system in place to measure driving activity, especially bad driving activity. Different violations result in a different amount of points, but ultimately the state can suspend your license if you acquire too many points over what’s normally a 1 or 2-year timeframe.

So, the points system is an internal system used by the state. Insurance companies don’t look at or use that points system. They have their own systems in place, and they look at everything that comes up, no matter where it happened.

Insurance companies’ “points” systems are similar to the state systems in that they will assign points for each traffic violation. Some companies will allow you to receive 1-2 minor violations before it negatively impacts your rates.

Different States and Different Rules

There are a handful of states that do not legally allow insurance companies to raise rates solely as a result of one speeding ticket (no matter which state the ticket came from). Other states don’t have this regulation in place, and so it’s possible for the insurance company to raise rates after one speeding ticket, depending on other factors.

Whether they do or not is difficult to determine. There are so many factors that go into insurance companies’ decisions, and almost all of them are based on complex algorithms. Generally speaking, if you have no claims history, no driving activity, and a good credit score, then it’s more likely that this one speeding ticket will not affect your rates.

Also, another important factor is the severity of the violation. If you got ticketed for going 7mph over the speed limit, this is one that might not be factored into your rates (although it will still show up on your driving record). If you get a DUI while going 30mph over the speed limit, you can be certain that your insurance will be affected.

Basically, each state has its own points system for driving violations, and each state has its own regulations for insurance companies. So, it’s important to check your own state’s requirements and regulations on both.

So, the next time you’re planning that family road trip, don’t use the trip as an excuse to put the pedal to the medal, no matter how inviting that open road looks. An out-of-state speeding ticket can and likely will cause your auto insurance rates to increase.