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Last updated: August 4, 2023

How a Speeding Ticket Impacts Insurance in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the few states that will tell you exactly how much a speeding ticket will impact your car insurance rate.

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Depending on how much over the speed limit you drive in North Carolina, a speeding ticket can increase your car insurance rates by up to 80 percent. On top of those higher premiums, you’ll also have to pay city and state fees, and you may even face a license suspension. So the next time you’re thinking about speeding in North Carolina? Don’t.

Impact of a Speeding Ticket on Car Insurance

North Carolina car insurance premiums can increase anywhere from 30 to 80 percent following a speeding ticket. However, if you were speeding to elude an arrest, the increase is even higher — a whopping 260 percent, according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan.1

Speed limit in miles per hour Miles per hour over the speed limit Auto insurance rate increase
Under 55 10 or less 30%
55-76 More than 10 45%
55 and higher One or less 45%
Less than 70 More than 5 80%
70 and higher More than 10 80%

The average policyholder in North Carolina paid only $753 for car insurance in 2020, the seventh-lowest rate in the nation.2 But even just driving one mile per hour over the speed limit could raise that rate to $979, a 30 percent increase. To avoid insurance hikes in North Carolina, practice safe driving, follow speed limits, and keep your driving record pristine.

How to Get Affordable Rates After a Speeding Ticket

To get affordable rates after a speeding ticket or any other moving violation, look for insurance companies that cater to high-risk drivers. Once you’ve compared quotes from multiple insurers and asked for any applicable discounts, the cheapest option would be to get the minimum coverage required by the state. That said, we recommend full coverage car insurance to protect yourself from future losses.


The minimum car insurance that North Carolina requires is liability coverage plus uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This will not cover your and your passengers’ medical costs in at-fault accidents, property damages in at-fault collisions with other motor vehicles or objects, or damages from noncollision events like vandalism.

You might also consider usage-based insurance, which takes your mileage and driving behaviors into account to determine your premiums. This is a good option for someone with a bad driving record, as it’s based on your current behaviors, not your past ones. Just make sure to stop speeding, or you could see higher rates than you would have with a standard auto insurance policy.

How Much Do Speeding Tickets Cost in North Carolina?

The true cost of speeding tickets in North Carolina depends on which city the violation occurred in, as well as what you decide to do after the ticket. If you decide to waive the ticket to avoid going to court, you’ll incur additional fees.

Miles per hour over the speed limit Speed in miles per hour Fine for waiving ticket (does not include other costs)
0-5 Over 55, but under 80 $10
6-10 Over 55, but under 80 $15
11-15 Over 55, but under 80 $30
0-5 55 and under $10
6-10 55 and under $15
11-15 55 and under $30
16 and over 55 and under $50
Over posted speed Not specified $25
Not specified, but in a school zone or on school property Not specified $250
Not specified, but in a work zone Not specified $250
Not specified, but failed to reduce speed to avoid an accident Not specified $50

On the other hand, if you decide to go to court, you’ll pay court costs, which are higher in some cases. Furthermore, the court costs are dependent upon when you accrued them.

Date of court assessment Before February 1, 2022 On or after February 1 2022, but before July 1, 2022 On or after July 1, 2022
General Court of Justice fee (district court) $147.50 $147.50 $147.50
Courthouse telecommunications and data fee $4 $4 $4
Law enforcement training and certification fee $3 $0 $0
Process issuance fee $0 $0 $1.50
Sheriffs’ pension fee $0 $0 $1.50
Total district court costs $154.50 $151.50 $154.50

On top of financial penalties, you’ll also face a license suspension or revocation.3

Offense number Length of suspension/revocation
First 30 days
Second within one year 60 days
Reckless driving on the same occasion 60 days
Two speeding convictions over 55 mph in one year Six months maximum

The best way to avoid driver’s license points, fines, and license suspensions is to follow all North Carolina traffic laws and avoid getting tickets in the first place.

What to Do if You’re Ticketed for Speeding

Once you receive a speeding ticket in North Carolina, you have two major options: Waive the offense or don’t waive the offense.

Waive the Offense

If you pay the fine and court costs before the court date, you won’t have to appear in court. However, this means you’ll be found guilty or responsible as charged, meaning you’ll see higher insurance costs with this offense on your driving record.

Most speeding violations in North Carolina are waivable as long as you weren’t going more than 15 miles per hour over the limit in a 55-mph zone, including work zones.4

To waive your fine, read the instructions on your ticket and choose one of these payment methods.

  • Online: (Must pay with credit/debit card)
  • In person at your county courthouse: (Must pay with a certified check, cashier’s check or money order made payable to the Clerk of Superior Court, cash, or a credit/debit card)
  • By mail: Address listed on the ticket (Must pay with a certified check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the Clerk of Superior Court)

Do Not Waive the Offense

If your offense isn’t waivable, you’ll need to either appear in court or have an attorney appear for you. You can look up your court date here:

Depending on how large your county is, you may appear in either a dedicated traffic court (in larger counties) or in a criminal court (in smaller counties). Most cases are resolved without the need for a full trial.


If you miss your court date, you’ll have an additional charge for failure to appear in court, and the judge could issue a warrant for your arrest.

Other Traffic Violations That Could Affect Insurance

In addition to speeding tickets, these violations could also impact your car insurance rates:

  • A driver under 18 using a cell phone
  • Driving while texting, a form of distracted driving
  • Driving without a license
  • Failure to dim lights, use seatbelts in the front or rear seat, or use an appropriate child restraint system
  • Following too closely
  • Parking in a handicapped space illegally
  • Transporting alcohol in a commercial vehicle
  • Turning improperly


Aside from the fines, license suspensions, and other penalties, you could face something else due to speeding: a car crash. Speeding makes accidents more likely. In 2021, speeding was a factor in 28 percent of fatal crashes in North Carolina, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. That rate rises to 37 percent for drivers ages 15 to 20, which shows that teen speeding is even more dangerous. Learn more about how speeding in North Carolina can cost you in our frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record in North Carolina?

According to the Pinehurst-based law firm Van Camp, Meacham & Newman, a speeding ticket will stay on your record for three years, provided you don’t get any more tickets during that time. After three years, the points on your driving record will go away.

Is it worth fighting a speeding ticket in North Carolina?

If you have evidence that you were not guilty of speeding, it is worth fighting a speeding ticket in North Carolina. Waiving the ticket can raise your insurance rates by 30 to 80 percent.

How do I get a speeding ticket dismissed in North Carolina?

To have a speeding ticket dismissed in North Carolina, you can plead not guilty or no contest and appear in court.

What speed is considered reckless in North Carolina?

North Carolina Statutes § 20-140 defines reckless driving as driving “at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property.” According to Jon Welborn, a trial attorney based in Mocksville, reckless driving would be speeding more than 15 miles per hour over the limit in speed limit zones of 55 or more, or driving over 80 miles per hour.


  1. A CONSUMER’S GUIDE TO AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE. North Carolina Department of Insurance. (2023).

  2. 2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023, Jan).

  3. Speeding. North Carolina DMV Website. (2023).