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  • Ticket Fines and Penalties in Vermont

    VT Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

    Vermont traffic ticket fines can vary per citation and varying degree of the offense committed. You’ll find the full amount owed on your actual Vermont traffic ticket; if you’ve misplaced the citation, refer to our page on lost traffic tickets.

    Unless you are paying the traffic ticket online, you must notify the court on how you will plead within 20 days: Admitted, No Contest or Denied.

    Waiver Penalties

    If you decide to plead “Admitted” and pay the ticket, all you owe is the Waiver Penalty shown on the front to the ticket. This amount varies by the type of traffic violation you commit. For a full list of these charges, refer to the state’s Waiver Penalty Schedule. If you received a speeding ticket, you can also see how the fines breakdown per mile over the posted speed limit on the state’s Speed Chart.

    Surcharges

    Your traffic ticket fine also includes a surcharge. To see a breakdown of additional costs per set fine amount, consult the Vermont Surcharge Schedule. These restitution surcharges come out to 15% of the fine rounded up to the next whole dollar.

    Auto Insurance Rate Increase

    One additional cost you might not have accounted for is the increase in your car insurance rate after getting a traffic ticket. Often times additional points on your driving record mean a higher auto insurance premium. Be sure to look for any increases at renewal time. To get ahead of the curve, compare auto insurance rates online. That way you know you’re getting the best deal.

    Pay Ticket
    (Plead Guilty)

    • Pay the fine online or by mail
    • Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
    • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
    • No option to take defensive driving course to reduce points

    Learn more about
    Paying your Traffic Ticket »

    Fight Ticket
    (Plead Not Guilty)

    • Contest traffic ticket in court
    • Choose to represent yourself during trial or hire an attorney
    • Possible option to plea bargain for lesser penalties
    • No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees

    Learn more about
    Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

    Vermont Traffic Ticket Penalties

    Traffic ticket penalties come in the form of driving record points, driving privilege restrictions and sometimes jail time. They are consistent throughout the state, but vary by traffic offense. For example, running a red light in Burlington or Rutland will render the same amount of points on your driving record.

    Vermont Point System

    Every time the state finds you guilty of breaking a motor vehicle law, you’ll get points added to your driving record. Parking and defective equipment violations don’t count as part of this tally. If you accumulate 10 points, the state will suspend your driver’s license. You’ll receive a notification letter from the Vermont DMV. A hearing may be requested to verify your convictions and the number of points accrued.

    The length of your driving privilege suspension is based on the number or points you’ve received within 2 years. The higher the points, the longer your suspension.

    Common infractions include:

    • Speeding (depending on how far you go over the speed limit}
    • Texting while driving
    • Driving without a license
    • Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light
    • Failure to obey a police officer
    • Failure to yield right of way to an ambulance, fire truck or police officer
    • Failure to yield right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
    • Failure to stop for a school bus that has stopped with its warning lights flashing

    Any points for moving traffic violations and suspensions will stay on your driving record for a number of years. For more on moving violations and the points that come with them, refer to the Vermont Driver Handbook or our page on the Vermont Point System.

    VT Driver’s License Suspension and Revocation

    Not all convictions result in a suspended or revoked driver’s license, but it’s worth getting the facts so you know where you and your driving privileges stand. The difference between the two is:

    License Suspension―The temporary withdrawal of a driver license or driving privilege for a definite period of time.
    License Revocation―The termination of a driver license or driving privilege for an indefinite period of time. May be restored when all requirements for the revocation have been satisfied.

    The following result in license suspension that could last as long as two years:

    • Conviction of sufficient traffic violations to be subject to the Division Point System.
    • As a VT driver, failing to appear in court for a traffic violation when it occurred within the state or in a Non-Resident Violator Compact member state, or that you failed to satisfy fees, fines, or restitution to the court on any criminal charge.
    • Conviction for a violation related to approaching an emergency vehicle, and have failed to complete a live classroom course on driving safety offered by an approved entity.
    • Causing or contributing to a crash in which someone was injured or killed or which resulted in serious property damage by reckless or unlawful conduct.
    • Being arrested for DUI or having been found guilty of any drug offense.
    • Operating a vehicle or allowing a vehicle registered to you to be operated without required insurance or proof of financial responsibility.

    The following result in license revocation:

    • Failure to stop and give aid if you are involved in a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death of, or personal injury to another.
    • Reckless driving or impaired driving.
    • Attempting to flee or refusing to stop after receiving a visual or audible signal from a police officer.
    • By reckless or unlawful conduct, you have caused
      or contributed to a crash in which someone was injured or killed or which resulted in serious property damage.
    • Driving with a measurable or detectable amount of alcohol in your system when you have an alcohol-restricted status.

    If caught driving with a denied, suspended or revoked driver’s license you might be sentenced to jail and get slapped with a fine. Plus, the state will extend the duration your license denial, suspension or revocation by the original amount of time. For example, a three-month suspension will get an additional three months tacked on.

    For more on the specifics surrounding driver’s license suspension and revocation and a full list of applicable offenses, consult the Vermont Driver Handbook and our page titled Vermont Suspended License

    Penalties for Drivers Younger than 18

    Vermont penalties for drivers younger than 18 years old are less lenient. In fact, if you have a VT Learner Permit you must maintain a clean driving record for 6 months before you can obtain a Junior Operator License. The same goes for those with a Junior Operator License looking to upgrade to a full Operator License. That means no recalls, suspensions or revocations.

    The state considers your Learner Permit or Junior Operator License a “provisional license.” Below are just a few infractions that will cause the state to recall your driving privileges:

    • Carrying Passengers For Hire, Junior Operator Violation (CPH)―90 day recall
    • Junior Operator Points Accumulation Recall (JRP)―90 day recall (for a single 3 point speeding violation or a 6 point total)

    Penalties for Vermont Commercial Drivers

    Holding a VT CDL also comes with stricter penalties when driving your personal vehicle. For example, if the state revokes, recalls or suspends your driving privileges due to traffic control law violations, you’ll also lose your privileges to operate a commercial motor vehicle. You must also notify your employer within 30 days of a traffic violation conviction, regardless of the type of vehicle you were driving.

    For a full list of penalties―while operating your own car or a CMV―consult the VT Commercial Vehicle Driver Handbook. The following lists of violations are just a sampling of the many ways you could to lose your CDL:

    Major Offenses

    You will lose your VT CDL for one year if convicted of any of the following offenses:

    • Driving any vehicle with a blood alcohol count (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
    • Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a BAC of 0.04%
    • Refusing to submit to a sobriety test
    • Leaving the scene of an accident
    • Using the vehicle to commit a felony
    • Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a suspended, revoked or canceled CDL
    • Causing a fatality through negligent driving

    Serious Offenses

    These violations include:

    • Speeding 15 mph over the posted speed limit
    • Reckless driving
    • Improper lane changes
    • Following a vehicle too closely
    • Driving a CMV without holding a CDL
    • Driving a CMV without having your CDL in your possession
    • Driving a CMV without the proper CDL endorsement
    • Violating a state law of texting while driving

    A 2nd conviction of any combination of these violations will lead to the loss of your driving privileges for 60 days, or 120 days for a subsequent conviction of any combination of these offenses.

    CDL Disqualifications

    You CDL will be disqualified for at least 180 days for the following convictions:

    • Violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting nonhazardous materials
    • Violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded, or while driving a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers

    For more on CDL penalties, consult the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

    Instant Vermont Driving Record

    Check for tickets, violations, and confirm your drivers license status with a instant self-check driving record. Each record may include suspensions, points, classifications, vital data, endorsements, expiration and driving status.

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