Ticket Fines and Penalties in Michigan

Michigan Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

Michigan traffic ticket fines vary by district. The total fine amount will be listed on your citation. Any questions regarding your fine amount should be directed to the district court listed on your traffic ticket.


In addition to your traffic ticket fine, you will also be billed a surcharge. Traffic ticket surcharges are used to fund county or state projects.

Auto Insurance Rate Increase

In addition to the traffic ticket fine, you may also face a jump in your car insurance rates. This will depend on the policies of your provider. If you find your rates becoming unaffordable, shop around and compare car insurance rates online from a variety of auto insurance companies.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.


  • Pay the fine with an explanation.
  • Incur points on driving record that could lead to license suspension.
  • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.
  • Possible option to take driver improvement course to reduce points.

Learn more about Paying Your Traffic Ticket »

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest traffic ticket via trial.
  • Choose to represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket attorney.
  • No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.
  • Court finds you guilty, must pay fines, court/attorney fees and incur penalties.

Learn more about Fighting Your Traffic Ticket »

MI Traffic Ticket Penalties

Penalties commonly refer to points being added to your driving record, or your MI driver's license being suspended or revoked. Several factors come into play in determining the extent of these penalties, including license type (learners permit, CDL, etc.), driving record and violation severity.

Point System

Traffic violations come with points that are assigned to your driving record. The more severe the violation, the higher the point total. Points remain on your driving record for 2 years, starting from the date of conviction. Depending on your situation, you may be given the one time chance to have points deleted from your record by completing a Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC).

If you receive 4 points within a span of 2 years, the Secretary of State (SOS) will send you a letter, advising you to amend your driving habits. Accrue 8 points and you'll receive a warning letter. Reach 12 points and you'll be required to appear at a Driver Reexamination office. Driver Reexamination agents will then review your driving record and may suspend or revoke your MI driver's license.

Driver's License Restriction, Suspension and Revocation

So that you understand the ramifications of losing your Michigan driver's license, here are the three most common terms associated with the loss of driving privileges:

  • Restricted License―You may still drive, but only for situations defined by the court or SOS. In most cases this will be to and from school or work, and for tending to the medical needs of dependents living in your household.
  • Suspended License―Your driving privileges are taken away for a specified period of time, ranging from days to years. After the suspension is served you may resume driving again after paying a license reinstatement fee.
  • Revoked License―Your driving privileges are terminated. You generally have to wait 1 year to 5 years before you can request a hearing to restore your driving eligibility.

There are many offenses that can lead to the loss of driving privileges. Some of these include:

  • Operating Under the Influence of Liquor (OUIL).
  • Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUID).
  • Fleeing an accident causing death.
  • Failing to use caution in a construction zone, causing the death of a construction worker.
  • Driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license.
  • Failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, causing death.

The Michigan SOS provides a full list of suspension-causing offenses.

Penalties for Juvenile Drivers

In addition to the violations listed above, you may lose your driving privileges for:

  • Joyriding.
  • Violating the state's Zero Tolerance law.
  • Violating any license restrictions.

Penalties for Commercial Drivers

You must report any traffic violation convictions to your employer within 30 days. All vehicles fall under this law, including your own car or motorcycle.

As a holder of a commercial driver's license you face stiffer consequences, which could jeopardize your income and, ultimately, your career. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides a detailed list of offenses that could disqualify your driving privileges, along with penalties.

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