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Pennsylvania Traffic Tickets

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How Traffic Tickets Could Suspend Driving Privileges

Pennsylvania has almost 9 million drivers. To manage those drivers, the state uses a point system that works like a demerit system. Accumulating too many demerits could cause you to lose your driving privileges for a period of time or indefinitely. Anyone over 18 who accumulates more than six points will have to pass a special exam or have their license suspended. Those younger than 18 automatically have their license suspended at 6 points. If the same person accumulates six points again, they face additional penalties that could include suspension. Also, some offenses carry a mandatory suspension in addition to demerit points.

How Drivers Get Points Against Them

You will receive 2 points for some minor offenses, but most offenses carry 3-point penalties. These include offenses such as failure to stop for a red light, flashing red light, stop sign, or yield sign, improper passing, and some speeding offenses. Failure to stop at a railroad crossing will net you four demerit points, but failure to comply with a crossing gate nets you four points plus a 30-day suspension of your license. Some speeding offenses will net you four or five demerit points; if they occur in a work zone, they will also carry a 15-day suspension of your license. Those whose driver’s licenses are suspended must pay an additional fee to have them restored at the end of the suspension.

All demerit points are given in addition to the fine. Fines range from $44 to more than $250.

How Long Do Points Remain on Your Record

The Pennsylvania system provides for three points to be removed for every 12-month period you drive without a ticket. When the driving record remains at zero points for 12 months, any points accumulated will be considered the first accumulation of points.

What Happens When You Get Too Many Points

Drivers who receive six points must pass a special written test to keep driving. The test asks about safe driving practices, departmental sanctions, and other related safety issues. Upon passing the test, the driver has two points removed from their record.

If the same driver subsequently climbs to six points again, they must attend a Departmental Hearing or have their license suspended. The hearing can suspend their license for 15-days, order them to take a special road test, or take no action. If the department orders a sanction and the driver completes it, two points are removed from their record.

If the same driver subsequently reaches six points again, they must attend another Departmental Hearing to determine if a 30-day suspension is warranted.

Where to Pay Your Traffic Fines

When you are ticketed you can either plead guilty and pay the fine or contest it. Although you can contest some tickets by mail, most require an appearance in court in the county where you received the ticket. Some offenses require a court appearance. If you choose to pay, you can do so online, by mail, or in person. If you do not pay the fine for your moving violation, you will lose your driving privileges. You will not get them back unto you pay your fine plus a reinstatement fee.

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Last Verified:
Sep 7, 2022