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Most Expensive States To Get a Speeding Ticket

Joel Anderson

The United States is a vast nation connected by the automobile. But while our car culture helps connect the far reaches of the country to each other, it also comes with some clear limitations. Like how fast you can travel whilst zipping from the Grand Canyon to the Great Smoky Mountains on your cross-country road trip. And few things can ruin a vacation quite like getting slapped with a speeding ticket.

However, depending on where you get it, a speeding ticket can range from a minor annoyance to a significant financial burden. A $20 fine isn’t always a huge burden to bear, but relatively few Americans can afford to fit an unexpected fee of $300 into their normal budget. So, before you set out on your great American road trip, it might be worth learning how much a ticket would cost you in the states along your route.

To determine this, GOBankingRates delved into the cost of a speeding ticket in each state using data from GoCompare.com’s Harsher Penalties 2018 study. The GOBankingRates study then compared the cost of a ticket for traveling 13 mph over the posted speed limit for a first-time offender and —  assuming no additional fees — established a ranking of the expected cost by state.

50. Oklahoma

  • Fine for speeding ticket: $20

While going more than 35 mph over the limit can result in a fine of over $200 in the Sooner State, fines for going 20 mph or less over the limit are all under $35.

49. Alabama


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $20

Fines for speeding are $20 for violations 25 mph or less over the posted limit and $40 for violations over 25 mph.

48. New Mexico


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $30

The most you’ll pay for a speeding ticket in New Mexico is $200, but it’s much lower for smaller violations.

47. Delaware


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $33

First-time speeders in Delaware will owe between $25 and $200, depending on their speed, rising to a range of $50 to $400 for a second offense.

46. Idaho


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $33.50

While the fixed cost of a speeding ticket in Idaho — 15 mph or less over the posted limit— is just $33.50, you’re also hit with a variety of additional fees and court costs that drive the total price to $90 when it’s all said and done.

45. California


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $35

While residents of Los Angeles might dream of the day when traffic clears up enough to make speeding even remotely possible, they should know that they’re looking at fines of $35 to $100, depending on how fast they end up going.

44. North Dakota


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $43

North Dakota has one of the most graduated systems for fines in the country. After a base cost of $43, there’s a fine of $10 plus $1 for every mph over 10.

43. Wisconsin


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $50

Driving at or under the speed limit is the best way to make sure Wisconsin’s police don’t badger you. And while $50 is reasonable, the worst speeding ticket in the state can run you $600.

42. Kentucky


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $55

The worst speeding tickets in Kentucky can result in a fine of $100 and a suspension of your driver’s license.

41. Washington


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $58

The base fine for going between 11-15 mph over the limit in a zone 40 mph or over is $58. That base penalty increases to $63, however, if the posted speed limit is under 40 mph.

40. Pennsylvania


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $58.50

Speeding tickets in Pennsylvania offer a sliding scale for fees that increase by $2 for every mph over the limit you go.

39. Connecticut


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $62

While the base fine in Connecticut comes to $62 for going 13 mph over the limit, the total cost works out to $176 after the additional fees are factored in.

38. Kansas


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $63

The wide-open spaces of Kansas might make it tempting to open things up, but you’ll get hit with at least $45 in fees if you get caught, plus $6 for every mph you go over 10 mph over the limit.

37. Montana


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $70

Montana took pride in having no speed limit until the courts shot it down, so the fact that they’re on the lower end for speeding fines shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

36. Nebraska


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $75

The largest base fine for speeding in Nebraska is $300 for going more than 35 mph over the limit. Speeding fines can be doubled, though, if the infraction occurs in a school or construction zone.

35. Massachusetts


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $80

Massachusetts charges an additional $50 “head injury surcharge” for speeding tickets to help raise money for a trust fund to help those with head injuries. It also has a system that really punishes people with a lead foot: after a base fine of $50, it increases by $10 for each mph in excess of 10 over. So, a ticket for going 13 mph over the speed limit will cost you $80.

34. Iowa


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $80

Going 11-15 mph over the speed limit will net you a fine of $80. But the costs don’t stop there. The state tacks on a 35% surcharge as well.

33. Vermont


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $89.70

Every speeding ticket in Vermont includes a $47 surcharge and then increases from there based on your speed and the zone the violation was committed in.

32. Maryland


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $90

Maryland is another state where going a little over the limit isn’t too expensive, but excessive, dangerous speeding draws a harsher penalty. The maximum penalty for speeding — $530 — is over 6 1/2 times the minimum fine of $80.

31. New Jersey


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $95

While you’ll only pay another $10 if your speeding ticket is for 15 mph over instead of 13, you’ll also get four points on your license at that speed instead of just two.

30. West Virginia


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $100

West Virginia has a flat rate for your first and second violations in a single year of $100 and $200, respectively, regardless of how much you’re violating the limit by.

29. Georgia


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $100

The Peach State gives its residents a mulligan on speeding if it’s minor enough. There’s no fine for violating the speed limit by less than 5 mph in the state of Georgia if it’s your first violation.

28. Arkansas


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $100

Arkansas hits you with a flat $100 fine, regardless of speed, for your first violation in a given year. But this could also potentially come with a maximum of 10 days in jail.

27. Illinois


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $120

Every first-time speeding violation of less than 20 mph over the limit has a base fine of $120 in the state of Illinois.

26. Missouri


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $124

Speeding fines in Missouri more than double if they’re in a work zone while workers are present. The same 13 mph over the limit would yield a $374 fine in those circumstances.

25. South Dakota


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $125

South Dakota has an unusually small spread in its fines. The ticket for 5 mph over the limit or less is a steep $85, while it’s a mere $200 for everything that’s more than 25 mph over.

24. Virginia


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $129

Virginia’s ticketing system involves a base $51 processing fee and tacks on another $6 or $7 for each mph over the posted speed limit.

23. Maine


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $129

Maine also has a violation for “imprudent speed,” so you should keep in mind the conditions where you’re driving as well as the posted speed limit to avoid a ticket.

 

22. Minnesota


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $130

Speeding tickets start at $120 and increase in $10 increments up to 20 mph over the limit. However, if you go more than 20 mph over the limit, they rise much faster, reaching as high as $380 for exceeding the limit by more than 30 mph.

21. Michigan


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $130

So much for being the home of the Motor City. Despite being a bastion for the auto industry, the Mitten State is still among the top half of states for a basic speeding citation.

20. Colorado


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $135

Colorado isn’t working very hard to discourage excessive speeding over minor speeding, at least not with the fines. You’ll only pay an additional $65 for a violation of more than 20 mph, but, luckily, there’s no jail time included.

19. Utah


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $150

The gorgeous landscape might make Utah seem ideal for a road trip, but you’ll also be chancing a pretty hefty ticket if you don’t watch the speedometer closely enough.

18. Tennessee


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $150

Tennessee doesn’t clearly indicate how the severity and location of the violation will affect the fine on the ticket. Speeding violations cost somewhere between $40 and $150, depending on the context.

17. Ohio


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $150

Another state that doesn’t have a simple system for determining the size of a speeding ticket, the maximum fine for a first or second violation is $150.

16. Oregon


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $165

Driving 13 mph over the posted limit is a Class C violation in Oregon and carries a fine of $165, but it’ll cost $325 if you speed in a school or construction zone.

15. Louisiana


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $175

While a speeding violation is likely to charge less, Louisiana only posts their maximum penalties which are a fine of $175, up to 30 days in jail and a suspension of your license for up to a year.

14. Wyoming


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $200

Not only is the maximum fine for a first-time speeding violation in Wyoming $200, but that can include up to 20 days in jail.

13. South Carolina


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $200

Drivers in the Palmetto State should be careful about speeding, but it’s not clear just how careful. A first offense comes with fines that can be as low as $15, but they can reach a maximum of $200.

12. North Carolina


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $200

In much of North Carolina, you can expect a speeding violation to cause your insurance premiums to jump for an average of three years.

11. Indiana


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $200

A first-time speeding ticket is between $100 and $200 including fees and court costs, but in the worst-case scenario, it’s a lot worse. Reckless driving that includes excessive speed can run you $500 and up to 60 days in jail, while reckless homicide can mean up to six years in prison and as much as $10,000 in fines.

10. Hawaii


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $200

In addition to a maximum penalty of $200, first-time speeders in Hawaii can face a suspension of their license for up to a year.

9. Rhode Island


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $225

It might make sense that the nation’s smallest state would have hefty charges for a speeding ticket. After all, when everything’s so close together, there shouldn’t be nearly as much reason to rush.

8. Florida


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $226

Florida’s fines for speeding vary based on county. Miami-Dade, for example, charges $226 for going 13 mph over the speed limit, but that same violation is just $204 in Orange or Duval county.

7. Texas


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $229

Texas speeding tickets will actually vary in cost depending on the municipality where it’s issued. Houston charges $229 for a first-time offender going 13 mph over the limit, but Dallas only asks for $122 for the same violation.

6. New Hampshire


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $248

The fine for speeding on freeways is much higher in the Granite State. A 13 mph violation in zones with a 70 mph limit will cost you $248, but it’s just $93 when you’re in zones with a posted speed limit of 55 mph or less.

5. Arizona


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $250

Arizona hits speeders very hard. Tickets start at $250 for violations 10 mph over the speed limit. An additional $50 is tacked on for every 5 mph increment over that 10 mph limit you go.

4. New York


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $300

The Empire State has a range of potential fees for first-time speeding offenders, from $90 to $600. For the 11 to 30 mph over bracket, the maximum fine is $300.

3. Mississippi


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $300

Mississippi is among the U.S. states with the lowest cost of living in the U.S., but that clearly doesn’t extend to their speeding tickets. First-time offenses range in cost from $150 to $300.

2. Alaska


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $300

Alaska’s remote locations might tempt you to really hit the gas when traveling between towns, but you could end up getting slapped with a hefty ticket. First-time speeding offenses carry a maximum penalty of $300.

1. Nevada


  • Fine for speeding ticket: $1,000

When it comes to punishing first-time speeders, Nevada is in a class of its own. The maximum fine can run into four digits, making it more than triple any other state in the country.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates found the most expensive states to get a speeding ticket by analyzing GoCompare.com’s Harsher Penalties 2018 study that looked at the cost of committing common traffic violations in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries to discover which nation’s drivers incur the largest penalties. GOBankingRates set the violation at 13 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, assumed it was the driver’s first speeding offense and included only the base fine for the speeding violation and no additional fees. For states where information for the base fine was not publicly available, the maximum fine was used. The actual total cost of a speeding ticket may vary after including various compounded fees and county costs. Other factors that could affect the final cost include if a driver were to travel faster than 13 miles per hour over the speed limit and if the driver has any prior speeding or traffic violations.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Most Expensive States To Get a Speeding Ticket