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Washington D.C. Traffic Tickets

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The District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) handles all minor traffic violations, including contested cases, within the district. When ticketed for a moving violation, you can pay the ticket while admitting guilt, admit guilt with an explanation that might reduce the penalty, or contest the ticket outright.

Traffic Violations Overview

When you commit a moving violation in Washington D.C., you could be tickets and pay a fine. When issued a ticket for a moving violation, the DC DMV gives you the opportunity to dispute the ticket or pay it. If you contest a ticket and are found guilty at a hearing, you have up to 60 days to pay the fine or lose your driving privileges.

Washington D.C. Points System

The DC DMV operates a points system that triggers a loss of driving privileges when motorists accrue too many points for moving violations. Points range from 2 for minor violations, such a following too closely or not signaling a lane change that did not result in an accident, to 12 points for DUI and other serious violations. The points apply to any moving violation that a D.C. resident gets – including tickets for moving violations that occur outside of the District of Columbia. A moving violation in nearby Maryland or Virginia will earn just as many points as the respective moving violation in Washington D.C. If you accrue between 10 and 11 points, you lose driving privileges for 90 days. If you get 12 or more points, the DC DMV will revoke your license for at least 6 months before enabling you to regain your driving privileges.

How Long Points Last

Points obtained for moving violations remain in effect for 2 years before the DC DMV will remove them from your driving record. The DC DMV enables drivers to complete an online Defensive Driving Course and negate the points from a newly received moving violation. You also can complete the defensive driving course to negate points obtained from out-of-district violations. The online course is available at all hours of the day and every day of the year, except when site maintenance is underway.

License Suspension and Reinstatement

If the DC DMV suspends your driving privileges, it will notify you by mail and tell you what you must do to regain them. Once you pay any fines and successfully complete any mandated driver training, testing or attend required hearings, the DC DMV enables you to initiate a license reinstatement. You must pay the reinstatement fee online with a credit card or a debit card.

Paying Fines

The DC DMV accepts payment of fines in person at a service center, online or by mail. The DC DMV only accepts payments via credit cards or debit cards and never accepts cash, personal checks. money orders or cashier’s checks. All payments of fines must be made in U.S. dollars.

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Last Verified:
Jun 14, 2022