District of Columbia Speeding Ticket

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In the District of Columbia, you can respond to a speeding ticket by paying the fine, admit your guilt with an explanation, or contest the ticket.
When you get a speeding ticket, your mind might be racing with questions: What happens next? How much will this cost? Will my insurance go up?
In this article, the car insurance comparison app, Jerry, will explain what to do after you get a ticket—how to respond and options to lower your premiums if they increase.
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What are the fines for a speeding ticket in D.C.?

In the District of Columbia, the fines vary depending on how fast you were driving. The breakdown of fines is pretty straightforward:
  • $50 if 10 mph or less over the legal limit
  • $100 if 11-15 mph over the legal limit
  • $150 if 16-20 mph over the legal limit
  • $200 if 21-25 mph over the legal limit
  • $400 or $500 if over 25 mph over the legal limit, depending on if there is also a citation for reckless driving

How do I respond if I get a ticket?

You have three ways you can respond when you’ve been issued a speeding ticket in D.C. You can pay the fine, admit guilt with an explanation, or contest the ticket. 

Pay the fine

If you pay the fine and any court fees within 30 days of getting the ticket, you’ll avoid any extra costs. After 30 days, the fines automatically double.
After 120 days, any unpaid ticket will be sent to collections. At this point, you will have no legal way to contest the ticket.
You can pay the fine in one of five ways:
  • Online
  • With the DC DMV Moblie App
  • By phone
  • By mail
  • In-person
Keep in mind that once the ticket is paid, you can no longer contest it or admit guilt with an explanation. A paid fine is the end of the matter, even if you believe you’re not guilty.

Admit with explanation

The second option in D.C. is to admit guilt with an explanation. This means you tell the court why you should not be fined despite the violation. 
You are responsible for providing all the evidence and documentation necessary to support your claim. This typically would include items like photos, witness statements, police reports, documentation about your car, etc. 
The court won’t look at anything other than the pictures and papers you give them, so it’s up to you to present your case as comprehensively as possible.
The fine will automatically double after 30 days of being unpaid. If you file your response 31-60 days after getting the ticket, ask for both the original and the additional fines to be considered. If the court decides against you, you’ll be liable for the initial and late fees.

Contest the ticket

If you believe you’ve wrongly been fined, you can contest the ticket. As with the process to admit guilt with an explanation, it’s up to you to provide the court with all the evidence and documentation.
Since the authorities will only look at what you give them, be sure to include everything they need to overturn the ticket. Pictures, car documents, witness testimony, and police reports are pieces of evidence you may want to include.
Also, when the fine doubles after 30 days, you’ll be liable to pay the entire amount due if you contest the ticket and are found guilty. So, if you contest the ticket 31-60 days following its issuance, address both the initial fine and the late fee. 
Key Takeaway: Paying the ticket finalizes the matter, and you’ll no longer have an option to contest.

Points after a speeding ticket

Points are another penalty you receive when you get a ticket. For a speeding ticket in D.C., you will get four to five points.
If you acquire 10-11 points, your license is automatically suspended for 90 days. Your license will be revoked if you get 12 points on your driving record.

How much will my insurance increase?

After a ticket, insurance rates increase on average for males by 19% and for females 13% in the District of Columbia.
With that statistic in mind, it’s a good idea to consider how you might lower your premiums.
If you don’t want the hassle of getting quotes on your own, use Jerry. The Jerry app collects quotes from over 50 name-brand auto insurance companies in seconds! Once you find the policy and price you want, Jerry will help do the paperwork and cancel your old policy.
This Jerry user happily gave the app five stars:
“My speeding ticket raised my insurance to $310/month. Jerry got me full comprehensive coverage on two vehicles for $144/month through Progressive. I definitely recommend giving them a try.” —Brandon D.
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You can probably get lower auto insurance by shopping around for a different policy. Let Jerry help you find cheaper coverage after a ticket!
You cannot contest your ticket once it is paid! If you are thinking about contesting or admitting with an explanation, do not pay the ticket.
If you’re found liable, you’ll need to pay the original fine and any late fees and court costs.

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