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Traffic Tickets in Massachusetts

SUMMARY: Massachusetts Traffic Tickets

Depending on the type of MA traffic ticket you received ( civil or criminal), you may be able to pay your ticket fines online, by mail, or by phone. In some cases, a court appearance is mandatory. If you want to fight your charge, you must request a court hearing. Be sure to respond to your civil traffic ticket within 20 days and a criminal traffic ticket within 4 days.

Continue reading this page to learn more about MA traffic tickets and associated fines and penalties.

Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties

Your Massachusetts traffic ticket fine and penalties associated will depend on the severity of the ticket (civil versus criminal) and your driving history. This information will be listed on your traffic ticket.

If you have any specific questions about ticket fees in Massachusetts, contact the traffic court listed on your citation.

In some cases, in addition to the base traffic ticket fine, you will need to pay additional charges.

For example, speeding tickets consist of

  • $50 base fine.
  • $50 surcharge.
  • $10 for each mile per hour over 10 mph more than the speed limit.

Traffic Ticket Surcharges

If you receive a MA traffic ticket, you'll receive points, or surcharges, which appear on your driving record. If you accumulate too many surcharges, you will be penalized in the following ways:

  • 3 speeding tickets within 12 months: Driver's license suspension for 30 days.
  • 3 events (moving violations, surcharged violations or combination) within 2 years: Mandatory completion of a Driver Retraining course within 90 days.
    • Failure to complete the course will result in a driver's license suspension.
  • 7 events (moving violations, surcharged violations or combination) within 3 years: Driver's license suspension for 60 days.

Once you have a surcharge, you can only reduce 1 point from each violation every 3 years. Visit our Point System page to find out more about surcharges in Massachusetts.

Auto Insurance Rate Increase

In some cases, a traffic violation may also cause an increase in your car insurance rates. Shop around online to compare car insurance rates from different auto insurance providers and make sure you're getting the best rate possible.

Pay a Traffic Ticket in Massachusetts

The process to respond to your MA traffic ticket depends on whether you received a civil or criminal ticket.

Pay a Civil Traffic Ticket

If you have a civil traffic ticket, there is no mandatory court hearing (unless you plan to dispute the charge). Within 20 days of the date on your citation, you can submit the full payment to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV):

For more information, view our page about Paying Traffic Tickets in Massachusetts.

NOTE: After paying your traffic ticket, the violation will appear on your MA RMV driving record. The RMV will also notify your car insurance company.

Respond to a Criminal Traffic Ticket

If you have a criminal traffic ticket in Massachusetts, you must return your citation to the court within 4 days. You CANNOT simply pay or appeal the ticket; you must appear in court before a judge or court magistrate.

See Paying Traffic Tickets for more information.

Fight a MA Traffic Ticket

If you plan to fight your traffic violation in court, follow the instructions on your MA traffic ticket. The process will differ depending on what type of ticket you received:

  • Criminal traffic ticket: Request a show cause hearing within 4 days.
  • Civil traffic ticket: Request a civil hearing within 20 days.

For more information, please visit our page about Fighting Traffic Tickets.

You may wish to hire a traffic ticket attorney to help your case in court.

Lost Your Traffic Ticket?

If you've lost a civil citation, you'll need to contact the traffic court in the county where you were ticketed or the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Be prepared to provide your full name and driver's license number.

If you lost a criminal citation, contact the appropriate MA district court. Remember, you only have 4 days to respond before a bench warrant for your arrest is issued.

Fines & Penalties for Commercial Drivers

If you hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) and are convicted of a traffic violation in Massachusetts or out of state , you are required by law to notify your employer. Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website for more information.

Be aware that as a commercial driver, some violations may result in harsher penalties, including a CDL suspension.

Massachusetts Traffic Tickets: FAQs

View our Traffic Ticket FAQ page to learn more about the following topics:

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