Traffic Violations Overview
Massachusetts has specific traffic laws that all drivers must follow. Failing to do so could lead to a citation.
If you receive a traffic ticket, you have two options. You can pay for the ticket, which is the same as admitting guilt, or you can go to court to fight it.
If you lose your case in court, then you will be asked to pay the civil assessment. Points will also be added to your license.
Massachusetts Points System
Massachusetts uses the Safe Driver Insurance Program. The SDIP influences insurance costs as well as the ability to retain your license. Points are given for:
- Major traffic violations (5 points)
- Minor traffic violations (2 points)
- Major at-fault collisions (4 points)
- Minor at-fault collisions (3 points)
Each of these is penalized differently with up to five total points.
How Long Points Last
SDIP points usually stay on your record for up to six years. Drivers have the ability to reduce the points on their licenses before that six-year mark if they have three or fewer surchargeable offenses, have no offense within the last three years, and they have at least three years of driving experience. For each year that these requirements are met, you can remove one point from your license.
License Suspension and Reinstatement
The RMV will suspend your license if you commit a series of major or minor civil or criminal traffic offenses. These include:
- Three speeding tickets
- Three no transparent window tickets
- Seven surchargeable events
- Three surchargeable events
- Habitual traffic offender
In most cases, you cannot apply for a hardship license if your lose your license due to traffic offenses. However, if you are a habitual offender, then you may be able to receive a hardship license under some circumstances.
Each of these series of events can lead to losing your license for a length of time. For example, you’ll lose your license for 60 days if you commit seven offenses. For fewer than this, you need to complete a mandatory National Safety Council course for driving retraining. You may also need to take a Massachusetts Driver Retraining Program.
In Massachusetts, you should expect to lose your license for four years if you accumulate three major moving violations and 12 minor/major violations within five years.
If you have no transparent windows on your vehicle, you’ll lose your license for 90 days upon your third warning and ticket.
If you are going to pay your fines without attending court, you need to pay it within 20 days of receipt. If you do not pay your fees, you’ll receive a notice from the RMV. At that point, you have 30 days to pay. If you do not, you will lose your license with a suspension until the bill is paid.
You can pay the fines online, by mail, or by phone.
To pay online, wait ten days before logging on to the RMV website. Then:
- Fill out the ticket number
- Include the date of the offense
- Fill out your email address
- Pay the fee
Pay by Mail
To pay by mail, send a check or money order to:
P.O. Box 55890
Boston, MA 02205-5890
Pay by Phone
To pay by phone, call:
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