Ticket Fines and Penalties in Tennessee
Traffic ticket fines vary throughout Tennessee. This means a fine for running a stop sign in Knoxville will not be the same in Jackson.
In most cases the fine will be listed on the citation. Direct fine amount questions to the court listed on the traffic ticket.
If you've lost your citation, our Lost Traffic Ticket page details the steps to take.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Pay the Driver Responsibility Program (if applicable).
- Incur points on your driving record (which could lead to license suspension or revocation).
- Experience an increase in auto insurance rates.
- Get ticket dismissed by completing a defensive driving class.
Learn more about
Paying Your Traffic Ticket.
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest the ticket during a hearing.
- Represent yourself or, depending on the nature of the ticket, hire an attorney to represent you.
- Possibly lose the option for a plea bargain involving lesser penalties.
- Experience no penalties if found not guilty (except any applicable court/attorney fees).
- Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).
Learn more about
Fighting Your Traffic Ticket.
Increased Auto Insurance Rates
Increased car insurance premiums usually follow traffic ticket convictions, compounding the citation's financial hit. If rates exceed your personal budget shop online for a new provider.
In addition to fines, you'll also be tagged with penalties, usually in the form of points and the loss of driving privileges.
TN Driver's License or Suspension
Suspended and revoked are the most common terms associated with loss of driving privileges.
Suspended License: The temporary loss of your TN driver's license. All driving privileges will be restored once all reinstatement requirements have been met.
Revoked License: The termination of your Tennessee driver's license. After the revocation period passes and all reinstatement requirements have been met, you must reapply for a new license.
Your TN driver's license may be suspended or revoked for:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI).
- Drag racing.
- Repeat traffic violation convictions.
- Committing a motor vehicle-related felony.
- Fleeing an officer/avoiding arrest.
- Failing to provide assistance/aid in the event of an accident.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
Tennessee Point System
With traffic ticket convictions come points. The Department of Safety (DOS) adds points to driving records based on the severity of the infraction, ranging from 1 to 8. Points will remain on your driving record for 24 months.
Accumulate 12 or more points within a 12 month period and the DOS will send you a proposed suspension letter, giving you the opportunity to attend an administrative hearing. Refuse and your TN driver's license will be suspended from 6 to 12 months. Accept and you'll be given the chance to complete a court-approved defensive driving class. The court will then either waive off suspension or reduce the suspension time.
Read more in our Point Reduction page.
Penalties for Drivers Younger Than 21 Years Old
In addition to the violations described above, you'll lose your TN driving privileges for one year if convicted of purchasing, attempting to purchase, or possessing any alcoholic beverage. Whether or not you were driving has no bearing on this law.
For more information about CDL suspensions please refer to ourSuspended License page.Other Topics in This Section