Ticket Fines and Penalties in Washington

Washington Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

Washington traffic ticket fines vary by court. This means a fine for running a stop light in Walla Walla won't be the same in Port Townsend.

Questions regarding your fine amount should be directed to the court listed on your citation.

Assessment Fees

In addition to the traffic ticket fine, you'll also be charged various assessment fees that usually exceed the fine itself. These fees are used to fund various state projects and programs.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Option to plea bargain penalties.
  • Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
  • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.

Learn more about
Pay Traffic Ticket.

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest traffic ticket via trial.
  • Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney.
  • Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties.
  • No penalties if found not guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.

Learn more about
Fight Traffic Ticket.

Increased Auto Insurance Rates

You may experience a jump in your car insurance rates following being cited. If rates exceed your budget, keep in mind that you always have the option to shop for lower auto insurance.

WA Traffic Ticket Penalties

In addition to fines, you may also have your Washington driver's license suspended or revoked. This will depend on the severity of the infraction and past driving history.

Washington Driver's License Suspension and Revocation

Suspension and revocation are the two terms most associated with loss of driving privileges.

License Suspension: The temporary loss of your driving privileges. You may resume driving again once all license reinstatement requirements have been fulfilled.

License Revocation: The termination of your WA driver's license. Once the revocation period has ended, and all reinstatement requirements have been met, you may re-apply for a new driver's license.

Penalties for Too Many Traffic Tickets

Suspended License

Washington's Department of Licensing (DOL) will suspend your driver's license for 60 days if you get ticketed for 6 moving violations within 12 months.


You'll be placed on probation for one year if:

  • Ticketed for 4 moving violations in 12 months.
  • Ticketed for 5 moving violations in 24 months.

During probation, your license will be suspended for 30 days if you're ticketed with more moving violations.

When it comes to reinstate your license following the suspension, you'll be placed on another year of probation. If you're cited for one traffic violation during this second probation your driver's license will be suspended:

  • 60 days for a 2nd suspension.
  • 120 days for a 3rd suspension.
  • 364 days for a 4th or subsequent suspension.

Single Violations That Could Cause Suspension or Revocation

You will lose driving privileges if convicted of any of the following violations:

  • Attempting to elude a police vehicle.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Racing, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI).
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in which you were involved, without identifying yourself.
  • Being involved in an accident without carrying car insurance.

There are also many non-traffic violations that can lead to the suspension or revocation of your WA driver's license. Read them all in Washington's Driver Guide.

Penalties for Drivers Younger Than 21

If you're younger than 17 years old and are convicted of an alcohol or drug violation, your license will be revoked for 1 year or until you turn 17 years old.

Penalties for Washington Commercial Drivers

As a commercial driver, you must

  • Notify your employer within 30 days of a traffic violation conviction, regardless of vehicle you were operating.
  • Notify the DOL within 30 days of any out-of-state traffic convictions.
  • Notify your employer within by the end of the next business day after your CDL is suspended, revoked or cancelled.

Major Offenses

You will lose your Washington CDL 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 subsequent convictions of any combination of these offenses.

CDL Disqualifications

Your CDL will be disqualified from 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 passengers or more.

For more on traffic violations and penalties, consult the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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