Traffic Ticket FAQ in Idaho
What do I do if I get a traffic ticket in ID?
Determine whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty.
Pleading guilty means you're admitting you committed the offense, and typically involves paying the traffic ticket fine, incurring driving record points, and experiencing an increase in your auto insurance rates. Depending on the nature of the offense (for example, if it's a criminal charge), you could face steep fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
How can I get a traffic ticket dismissed?
Basically, the only way to get an ID traffic ticket dismissed is to fight the ticket in court and win your case. To increase their chances of winning, some drivers hire traffic ticket lawyers.
Sometimes, drivers can get their tickets dismissed if they present proof that they've corrected the offense. For example, if you're pulled over for having an expired registration―but your up-to-date registration information is at home―your officer might agree to dismiss the ticket if you present this information by a certain date.
What if I have a Idaho CDL and get a traffic ticket?
You'll need to notify your employer within 30 days of receiving the citation. Be sure to notify the DMV, too, if you received the ticket in another state or jurisdiction.
Aside from that, you'll plead guilty or not guilty in much the same way any other driver would. The biggest differences lie in your penalties. For example, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers can lose their CDLs for life if they commit certain offenses more than once. For a CDL holder, that's not just losing driving privileges; that's losing a livelihood.
Refer to Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information.
What if I'm younger than 21 and get an alcohol-related ticket?
First decide whether you want to plead guilty or not guilty; then, understand that if you plead guilty or are found guilty, you face a fine of up to $1,000 and a license suspension for up to 1 year. Subsequent offenses will result in harsher penalties.
Check Chapter Eight of the Idaho Driver’s Manual for more details.
What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket while driving under the GDL program?
If it's a 1st conviction, you'll get a warning letter.
A 2nd conviction carries a license suspension of at least 30 days, and a 3rd conviction carries a license suspension of at least 60 days.
Note that if you have a Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP), it will be canceled and you'll have to purchase a new one once your penalty time is up.
Will taking a motorcycle safety course help me with a traffic ticket I got while riding?
No. Idaho doesn't offer any kind of driving course for ticket dismissal, or to prevent point accumulation related to a current ticket.
Can I take a defensive driving course to reduce the number of driver's license points on my driving record?
Yes. You can enroll in any of Idaho's state-approved defensive driving courses to have 3 points removed from your driving record.
- The course won't dismiss the ticket, or prevent point accumulation related to the ticket.
- You can only take the course once every 3 years.
- You can't “save up" point reductions. In other words, you must have points on your record; taking a course with a clean record won't erase any points you might receive in the future.
Visit our Point Reduction section for more information.
Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?
Ordering a copy of your driving record lets you check with your own eyes that:
- You only accumulated the applicable number of points if you pleaded guilty or were found guilty of a traffic violation).
- You won't receive any points if you were found not guilty.
- The DMV removed up to 3 points from your record after you completed an approved defensive driving course.
Keeping up with this information is important because if you accumulate too many points, the DMV will suspend your driver's license.
Head over to our ID Driving Records section to learn more.
What is the cost of my traffic ticket?
Traffic ticket fines for civil infractions (i.e. simple violations like speeding) are the same throughout the state, as are their associated court costs. Fines and court costs associated with misdemeanor charges can vary.
Keep in mind other related costs. For example, you'll have to pay attorney fees if you hire an attorney, and if you're convicted of a serious offense such as DUI, you'll face severe fines.
Check Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties section for more information related to your offense.
How many points will I get if convicted?
The number of points you incur depends on the violation, but they range from 1 to 4 points.
Note that if you're convicted of multiple violations at once, you'll likely accumulate each violation's applicable points (unless the judge offers you a plea bargain).
Learn more about the ID Point System.
Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state?
Yes and no.
Fines and court costs for civil traffic infractions are the same throughout the state, but fines and court costs associated with misdemeanor charges can vary.
Refer to our Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties section for details.
How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?
You can't. The DMV can't look it up for you, either. You must contact the court that's in charge of handling the ticket.
When is it a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney?
Consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney whenever:
- You've decided to fight a ticket in court but aren't comfortable representing yourself.
- You face serious criminal charges, such as DUI or any violation involving a felony.
- You want help negotiating a plea bargain.
Attorneys also can help you reschedule or postpone hearings, as well as file appeals for guilty verdicts.
How many driving record points can I accumulate before the state suspends my driver's license?
The state will suspend your Idaho driver's license for 30 days if you accumulate 12 to 17 points within 12 months; but, there's more to it than that.
Here's a breakdown:
- 8 to 11 points in any 12 months: Warning letter.
- 12 to 17 points in any 12 months: Suspension for 30 days.
- 18 to 23 points in any 24 months: Suspension for 90 days.
- 24 points or more in any 36 months: Suspension for 6 months.
Learn more about point accumulation at our ID Point System section.