Ignoring a Traffic Ticket? Be Prepared to Pay the Consequences

By: Kat Saks July 10, 2012
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When you receive a traffic ticket, you probably wish you could just forget about it. Nobody gets excited about them, after all, right? Not in a good way, anyway.

But, before you brush your ticket under your foot mat and drive on, you should know the penalties for not paying a traffic ticket.

Increased Fines for Ignoring a Speeding Ticket

If you don't pay your traffic ticket on time, your fines will likely increase. In some instances, fines double after you miss a payment deadline. Read your citation carefully and follow payment instructions to avoid this costly mistake.

License Suspension for Ignoring a Speeding Ticket

In many states, ignoring a traffic ticket can result in license suspension. If you fail to appear in court or pay your ticket, your state might issue a notice explaining that you were found guilty and that your license will be suspended on a given date.

Typically, states provide you a period of time to rectify the situation by appearing in court or submitting payment for your moving violation. If you act before the listed deadline, you can avoid license suspension and close your case. If you don't pay on time, you face license suspension and the possibility of arrest.

Warrants for Ignoring a Speeding Ticket

In the most extreme cases, failure to address a traffic ticket can result in a warrant for your arrest.


The court can issue misdemeanor charges for ignoring a ticket, then issue an arrest warrant. If arrested, you might be sentenced to jail time or, more likely, community service hours.

Find other ways to give back to your community besides fulfilling a court sentence.

Added Points on Your Driving Record

When you receive a traffic ticket, you sometimes accumulate driving record points. When you fail to address your speeding ticket, you add even more points. Added points on your record can impact your life behind the wheel in numerous ways, such as:

  • Increased car insurance costs.
  • Increased likelihood of license suspension or revocation.
  • Fines and fees associated with license reinstatement.

The Bottom Line: When you ignore a speeding ticket or other traffic violation, you pay the price. Don't make this mistake! Address your citation promptly so you can truly leave it behind you.

Have you ever forgotten about a traffic ticket? What happened? Tell us in the comments section below.

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