Ticket Fines and Penalties in Montana
Ticket fines are relatively uniform across the state. All law enforcement agencies adhere to the Montana Supreme Court Bond Schedule, which sets recommended fines for each traffic violation, along with minimum and maximum amounts. The total fine amount should be listed on your citation. Direct any fine amount questions to the court listed on your MT traffic ticket.
Most traffic violations have an automatic surcharge factored into the total fine amount. Surcharges are used to pay for designated state and county programs.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.
Learn more about Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket via trial.
- Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney.
- Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties.
- No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.
Auto Insurance Increase
In addition to paying the traffic ticket fines, you may also have to pay higher car insurance rates. You can counter an increase by comparing car insurance rates online, shopping for a coverage package that best meets your budget.
Penalties are uniform throughout the state. This means a first time DUI offense in Bozeman, comes with the same amount of points and the same suspension length, as it would in Whitefish. Variables do come into play when license types (Permit, CDL, etc.) and driving records are considered.
Montana Point System
Every traffic violation conviction comes with points. The move severe the violation, the higher the point total. If you total 30 points or more within 3 years, you'll be classified as a Habitual Traffic Offender and the Driver Control Bureau will revoke your MT driver's license for three years.
Montana Driver's License Suspension, Revocation and Cancellation
Depending on the circumstances, your driver's license will either be suspended, revoked or cancelled. These are defined as:
Suspended License―Your driving privileges are temporarily withdrawn for a specified period of time. Suspendible traffic violations include:
- ―3 convictions for reckless driving within a 12 months
- ―Refusing an alcohol test
Revoked License―Your Montana driver's license has been terminated. It cannot be renewed or restored. After the revocation period ends, you must reapply for new driver's license, provided you meet all requirements. Revokable traffic offenses include:
- ―Fleeing the scene of an accident involving injury or death
- ―Negligent vehicle assault involving a vehicle
- ―Accumulating 30 points or more on your driving record within 3 years
Cancelled License―Your MT driver's license is annulled and terminated due to the state's belief that you're not entitled to own a license. Reasons for a cancelled license may include:
- ―Providing false information on a driver's license application
- ―Removal of parental consent
- ―Having a cancelled or revoked driver's license in another state
For a longer list of violations and penalties, consult Montana's Driver's License Manual.