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North Carolina Traffic Ticket Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find links and helpful information about traffic violations in North Carolina. If you have questions about your particular case, give us a call at 919-244-2019.

Are Parking Tickets Traffic Violations?

Yes. Parking tickets are traffic offenses that you don’t have to appear in court for (waivable) unless you wish to contest them and have them dismissed. These offenses include:

  • Illegal parking in handicapped space
  • Parking and towing violations 
  • Any parking violation other than a violation of the handicapped parking laws 
  • Violation of local ordinance regulating operation or parking of vehicles
Where can I get a copy of my driving record or a crash report?

You can order your NC Driving Record at NC DMV.

You may obtain copies of crash reports from the Division of Motor Vehicles by calling (919) 861-3098, visiting in person the DMV Headquarters at 1100 New Bern Ave. Or you can mail your TR-67A form to:  

NCDOT-DMV Traffic Records Section

3106 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27697-3106

How do I look up a ticket online in NC?

To look up a ticket, have your citation and go to the NC Judicial Branch Citation Lookup.  You can also pay the ticket or possibly request reduction, compliance, or dismissal.

Can I lose my license for too many speeding tickets?

Yes. The following scenarios will cause you to have your driver’s license suspended unless you can get the charges dismissed or reduced. 

Driving privilege revoked for at least 30 days if convicted of:

  • Driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit while at a speed greater than 55 mph
  • Driving at a speed greater than 80 mph

Driver’s license will be revoked for 60 days if an individual is convicted of:

  • Two speeding charges within one year
  • Speeding plus reckless driving on the same occasion
  • One conviction for speeding faster than 75 mph

If you have a provisional license and are convicted of more than one moving violation, you can also have your license suspended. There are other offenses that can cause you to lose your license such as a DWI or prearranged racing.

How do you get a traffic ticket dismissed in NC? Can you do it online?

For certain speeding offenses, the District Attorney’s office may agree to process an online reduction of the charge to a less serious offense. For certain “correctable” traffic offenses (for example, an expired inspection), the District Attorney’s office may agree to process an online dismissal of the charge upon receiving proof that you have corrected the problem. See “How to Get a Ticket Dismissed in NC” for more in-depth information.

What if you are speeding in a construction zone?

Orange work zone signs mean that motorists must slow down to the posted speed limit. The minimum fine for speeding in a work zone is $250. If you pay a ticket online, you are admitting guilt. If you admit to speeding more than 15mph over the posted speed limit, you could have your driver’s license revoked.

What is a Prayer for Judgement?

After a defendant has been found guilty or entered a guilty plea, the judge can choose to enter a prayer for judgment continued which means that a judgment is never entered in the case by the court. You have only assessed the court costs in the matter. However, if you commit another offense within 3 years, you may have to face charges for both offenses.

What happens if you fail to appear in court for a ticket in NC?

According to the NC Judicial Branch

If you do not appear in court, your case will be marked “called and failed.” After 20 days, a Failure to Appear will be issued against you, which may result in an additional failure to appear fee (often called the “FTA fee”) if you are found guilty or responsible for the offense.

After 20 days have passed from your failure to appear, if you still have not appeared in court to answer the charge or disposed of the case, the court will notify the NC DMV of your failure to appear, and the DMV will suspend your driver’s license indefinitely until you resolve the case. You will receive a notice of revocation from the NC DMV. 

If you resolve the case before the revocation goes into effect, you can avoid the revocation. In some cases, a failure to appear can result in an order for your arrest. If you were arrested for the offense and released on bond, failing to appear can cause you to “forfeit,” or lose, the bond.

What if I’m going 15 over the limit?

You can lose your driving privilege for at least 30 days if you are convicted of driving any vehicle more than 15 mph over the speed limit while driving at a speed greater than 55 mph or driving at a speed greater than 80 mph. If you are found guilty of 15 mph over the speed limit, you will have to pay the citation and your insurance will go up by 45%.

What kinds of traffic tickets make my insurance go up?

Insurance rates go up by 30% for:

  • All other moving violations
  • Speeding 10 mph or less over a speed limit under 55 mph.
  • An at-fault accident resulting in bodily injury of $1,800 or less; OR resulting in property damage (including damage to insured’s own property) of $2,300 or less
  • No Insurance Points for bodily injury if expenses were solely for diagnostic purposes

Insurance rates go up by 45% for:

  • Illegal passing
  • Following too closely
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • At-fault accidents resulting in total property damage over $2,300 but less than $3,850
  • Speeding more than 10 mph over the speed limit at more than 55 mph and less than 76 mph
  • Speeding 10 mph or less over the speed limit in a speed zone of 55 mph or higher

Insurance rates go up by 60% for:

  • An at-fault accident resulting in death or total bodily injury more than $1,800; OR resulting in total property damage of $3,850 or more
  • No Insurance Points for bodily injury if expenses were solely for diagnostic purposes

Insurance rates go up by 80% for:

  • Reckless driving.
  • Hit-and-run resulting in property damage only. 
  • Passing a stopped school bus.
  • Speeding in excess of 75 mph when the speed limit is less than 70 mph.
  • Speeding in excess of 80 mph when the speed limit is 70 mph or higher.
  • Driving by a person less than age 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs

Insurance rates go up by 195% for:

  • Driving during revocation or suspension of license or registration.
  • Aggressive driving

Insurance rates go up by 260% for:

  • Highway racing or knowingly lending a motor vehicle for highway racing
  • Speeding to elude arrest

Insurance rates go up by 340% for:

  • Manslaughter or negligent homicide
  • Prearranged highway racing or knowingly lending a motor vehicle for prearranged highway racing
  • Hit-and-run resulting in bodily injury or death
  • Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or more
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of .04 or more
  • Driving while impaired
  • Transporting illegal intoxicating liquor for sale
What if I’m from another state? Will my insurance rate still go up?

If you pay a ticket, you are pleading guilty to the offense. Once you have pled guilty by paying a ticket or by appearing in traffic court, the DMV in the state you live in will be notified. When your insurance does their next check on driving records to consider your new premium, they will take into account your offense. Each state has different laws and regulations surrounding whether and how much insurance will go up for each type of offense.

Can I lose my license for a DWI?

Yes. Certain violations come with an automatic driver’s license revocation. The normal revocation period is 1 year of suspension. Refusal to perform a chemical breath or blood test will result in the immediate revocation of a driver’s license and an additional, minimum one-year revocation by N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.  Habitual offenders can face a mandatory 1 year of jail time. 

There are many consequences to driving while impaired. Here are the levels of DWI and how they can affect you, by NCDPS.gov

Level V

Punishable by a fine up to $200 and a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours and a maximum of 60 days. A judge can suspend the sentence but upon completion that the driver spends 24 hours in jail, perform 24 hours of community service, or not operate a vehicle for 30 days.

Level IV

Punishable by a fine up to $500 and a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours and a maximum of 120 days. A judge can suspend the sentence but upon completion that the driver spends 48 hours in jail, perform 48 hours of community service, or not operate a vehicle for 60 days.

Level III

Punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours and a maximum of six months. A judge can suspend the sentence only upon completion that the driver spends at least 72 hours in jail, perform 72 hours of community service, or not operate a vehicle for 90 days.

Level II

Punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and a minimum jail sentence of seven days and a maximum of one year. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.

Level I

Punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of two years. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.

Level I and II drivers are repeat offenders, people driving with a revoked license, impaired drivers, impaired drivers who are transporting young children, and impaired drivers who hurt someone in a crash. Impaired drivers must complete a substance abuse assessment and comply with any recommended treatment as a condition for having their driver’s license restored at the end of the revocation period.

Can I lose my license for not having enough car insurance?

If you’re caught driving without car insurance in North Carolina, the state may choose to suspend your driver’s license, charge fines ranging from $50–$150, or require jail time. The penalties are more severe for frequent offenders.  The NCDOT explains, “Insurance companies are required to notify N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles if liability insurance on a vehicle is canceled or coverage lapses for any reason.”

When insurance is canceled, NCDMV sends you a liability insurance termination and you have 10 days to respond. If you don’t respond, the NCDMV can revoke your vehicle’s license plate as well as charge you civil penalties, late fees, interest, and collections.