Ticket Fines and Penalties in Vermont
In Vermont, fines and penalties associated with traffic tickets vary depending on a number of factors, including your driving record, traffic violation, and type of driver's license you hold.
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.
If you decide to plead “Admitted" and pay the ticket, all you owe is the waiver penalty fine amount shown on the front of the traffic 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 Speeding Penalty Chart.
Your traffic ticket fine also includes a surcharge. To see a breakdown of additional costs per set fine amount, consult the Vermont Judiciary 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 VT 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 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.
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Traffic ticket penalties come in the form of driving record points, driving privilege restrictions, and sometimes jail time. They are consistent throughout VT, 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, points will be added to your Vermont 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 VT 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 (penalty will vary depending on how fast you go over the speed limit).
- Texting while driving.
- Driving without a valid driver's license.
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light.
- Failing to obey a police officer.
- Failing to yield right of way to an ambulance, fire truck or police officer.
- Failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
- Failing 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's license or driving privilege for an indefinite period of time. May be restored when all requirements for the revocation have been satisfied.
The following violations result in a driver's license suspension:
- 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.
- Failure to satisfy fees, fines, or restitution to the court on any criminal charge.
- Conviction for a violation related to approaching an emergency vehicle, and failure 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 violations result in a driver's license revocation in Vermont:
- 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.
- Causing or contributing to a crash in which someone was injured or killed or which resulted in serious property damage, as a result of reckless or unlawful conduct.
- 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 Vermont 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 3-month suspension will get you an additional 3 months tacked on. The more offenses you have on your Vermont driving record, the heavier your fines and penalties.
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.
Vermont penalties for drivers younger than 18 years old are less lenient. In fact, if you have a VT Learner's 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.
Holding a VT commercial driver's license (CDL) also comes with stricter fines and 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 commercial vehicle―consult the VT Commercial Vehicle Driver Handbook.
Penalties for Major Offenses
You will lose your Vermont CDL for 1 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.
Penalties for 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 Vermont 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.
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 non-hazardous 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 passengers or more.
For more on CDL penalties, consult the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.