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Last updated: September 27, 2023

How a Speeding Ticket Impacts Your Insurance in Tennessee

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In 2021, 1,327 people in Tennessee died in car crashes. Of those fatal accidents, 231 involved speeding, or 17 percent. Looking closer at these speeding-related deaths, 34 percent of them involved a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, meaning they were driving under the influence.

Speeding is risky on its own, but with alcohol in your system, it’s even more dangerous, based on our analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. Not to mention, aside from these physical dangers, speeding can result in fines and higher car insurance premiums. Let’s dive deeper into all the ramifications.

In Tennessee, you can expect your auto insurance costs to rise 18 percent after getting a speeding ticket. Given that, as of 2020, the average annual cost of car insurance in Tennessee was $854, that would mean an increased rate of $1,008 — which is notably still cheaper than the national average of $1,047.1

Whenever you’re shopping for car insurance, compare rates from multiple providers, and keep in mind that driving history isn’t the only factor companies consider when determining prices. ZIP code, credit score, sex, marital status, and a slew of other factors affect rates.

How to Lower Your Premium After a Speeding Ticket

Having a speeding ticket on your record makes you a high-risk driver, so insurance companies will charge you more for the exact same coverage as someone with a clean driving record. That said, there are still ways to keep rates as low as possible.

Take a Traffic School Course

By taking a four-hour traffic school course within 90 days of your speeding conviction, you can get five points removed from your driving record once every four years. Find a course at

Once you’ve completed the course, send the certificate of completion to the state.

  • Mail:
    • Financial Responsibility Section
    • P.O. Box 945
    • Nashville, TN 37202-0945
  • Fax: 615-242-3480
  • Phone: 866-903-7357

Get Minimum Coverage

Tennessee requires liability coverage in the following amounts:

  • Bodily injury liability per person: $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability per accident: $50,000
  • Property damage liability per accident: $25,000

Getting minimum coverage will result in the lowest premium. But keep in mind this coverage applies only to parties outside of your car. You’d still be responsible for your and your passengers’ injuries and property damage out of pocket.

Improve Your Credit Score

Insurance companies in Tennessee charge higher premiums to those with bad credit, so improving your credit score will lower your rates. Try to pay bills on time, limit the number of credit cards you apply for, and pay off any existing debt.

Ask for Discounts

Insurance discounts vary by company, so ask your agent which ones you qualify for. We’ve seen discounts for the following:

  • Bundling home and auto insurance policies
  • Having multiple vehicles on a single policy
  • Having a student away from home
  • Installing an anti-theft device in your car
  • Taking a driver training course

Raise Your Deductible

If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, one way to save money is to raise your insurance deductible, the amount you pay before your coverage kicks in.


Make sure you can afford your deductible in the event you get into an accident or have property damage from non-collisions. If you can’t pay your deductible, your insurer will not cover the damages.

Penalties for Speeding in Tennessee

If your speeding offense occurred on a state road, you’ll be at the mercy of the state, while the municipality will handle violations that occurred on local roads.

State Charges

For violations on state roads, mainly highways, the offense is either a Class B or a Class C misdemeanor.2

Violation Charge Fine License suspension Driver education course required Cost of driver education course (can still attend if you can’t afford it)
Speed of more than 15 mph in work or school zones Class B misdemeanor $250 minimum No No $50-$75
Speed of 55-75 on an interstate/defense highway system, four-lane controlled-access highway Class C misdemeanor $250-$500 No No, unless it’s reckless driving $50-$75
Speed of 55-65 mph on a highway/road with a speed limit of 45 mph Class C misdemeanor $250-$500 No No, unless it’s reckless driving $50-$75
Speeding in business, urban, or residential districts, or in any congested area or dangerous intersection where employees of the department or construction workers are present (highway work zone) Class B misdemeanor $250 minimum No No $50-$75


The state of Tennessee defines “reckless driving” as “driving with willful and wanton disregard for the safety of people and/or property.” The law also specifies that someone cannot drive a motorcycle with the front tire raised from the ground unless it’s for a parade and at less than 30 mph.


Tennessee assigns points based on how many miles per hour (mph) over the speed limit you were going.

Offense Points for non-commercial vehicle Points for non-commercial vehicle Points for commercial vehicle Points for commercial vehicle
Violation occurred in a construction zone? No Yes No Yes
Speeding 1-5 mph over limit 1 4 2 3
Speeding 6-15 mph over limit 3 2 4 5
Speeding 16-25 mph over limit 4 4 5 5
Speeding 26-35 mph over limit 5 5 6 6
Speeding 36-45 mph over limit 6 8 7 7
Speeding 46 or more mph over limit 8 8 7 7
Driving too fast for conditions, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident 3 N/A N/A N/A
Operating erratically or suddenly changing speed 3 N/A N/A N/A
Speed not indicated N/A 4 4 7

If you receive 12 or more points within a 12-month period, the Department of Safety & Homeland Security will send you a notice of proposed hearing. By attending the hearing and taking a defensive driving class, you can either avoid a license suspension altogether or get a reduced suspension. If you don’t attend, however, you’ll face a six- to 12-month revocation of your driving privileges. Find a state-approved defensive driving class near you via the resources below:

  • By school:
  • By region:
  • By city:

Fines by Municipality

You’ll have to look at the website for the municipality in which you were ticketed to find its schedule of fines for speeding violations. Below, we’ve compiled the amounts for Goodlettsville,4 Memphis, and Knoxville.5

Amount over speed limit in miles per hour (mph) Fine in Goodlettsville Fine in Memphis Fine in Knoxville
1 $108.75 $42.75 $111.50
2 $108.75 $42.75 $111.50
3 $108.75 $42.75 $111.50
4 $108.75 $42.75 $111.50
5 $108.75 $42.75 $111.50
6 $108.75 $52.75 $111.50
7 $108.75 $52.75 $111.50
8 $108.75 $52.75 $111.50
9 $108.75 $52.75 $111.50
10 $108.75 $52.75 $111.50
11 $108.75 $67.75 $111.50
12 $108.75 $67.75 $111.50
13 $108.75 $67.75 $111.50
14 $108.75 $67.75 $111.50
15 $108.75 $67.75 $121.50
16 $108.75 $77.75 $121.50
17 $108.75 $77.75 $121.50
18 $108.75 $77.75 $121.50
19 $108.75 $77.75 $121.50
20 $113.75 $77.75 $121.50
21 $113.75 $77.75 $121.50
22 $113.75 $77.75 $121.50
23 $113.75 $77.75 $121.50
24 $113.75 $77.75 $121.50
25 $113.75 $77.75 $146.50
26 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
27 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
28 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
29 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
30 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
31 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
32 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
33 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
34 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
35 $113.75 Court decides $146.50
School zone N/A Court decides $146.50

Your Options After a Speeding Ticket

Once you receive a speeding ticket, you can either plead guilty and pay it or plead not guilty.


If you believe you were guilty of the violation, pay the fine. The ticket should have information on exactly how to pay it, whether online, in person, or through the mail.

Not Guilty

If you plead not guilty, you’ll be given a court date, on which a judge will review the documentation and ask the issuing officer to testify against you. From there, the judge will make a ruling. If you’re found guilty, you’ll have to pay all fines and costs, plus a litigation tax.6

More Traffic Violations That Could Raise Your Rates

Of course, speeding isn’t the only violation that can affect auto insurance in Tennessee. Avoid these violations every time you’re behind the wheel:

  • Careless or negligent driving
  • Failing to obey traffic instructions
  • Failure to report a crash
  • Following improperly
  • Improper backing, starting, etc.
  • Improper lane or location
  • Improper passing
  • Reckless driving
  • Texting while driving (i.e., distracted driving)
  • Driving wrong way, side, or direction


While speeding itself doesn’t result in a license suspension unless you amass 12 or more points on your record within a year, it’s still best to follow posted speed limits to avoid financial penalties and higher car insurance costs — and, of course, to prevent damages, injuries, and deaths. If you’re looking for insurance after getting a speeding ticket, a great place to start is with our roundup of the best auto insurance companies in Tennessee. Comparing quotes from different providers will make sure you get the lowest auto insurance rates, even as speeding tickets bump up your costs.


  1. 2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023, Jan).

  2. 2021 Tennessee Code Title 55 – Motor and Other Vehicles Chapter 8 – Operation of Vehicles — Rules of the Road. JUSTIA US Law. (2021).

  3. Schedule of Points Values. Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security. (2023).

  4. Traffic Fine Schedule. Goodlettsville Tennessee. (2023).

  5. Citation Fine Amounts. City of Knoxville Indya Kincannon, Mayor. (2023).

  6. Traffic Ticket – Frequently Asked Questions. Circuit Court Clerk. (2023).