Maryland Reckless Driving

Reckless driving in Maryland carries a fine of $510, possible additional fines, and six demerit points.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A reckless driving charge in
carries a minimum fine of $510. This “schedule fine” must be paid to avoid a court appearance. Additional fines may be added or removed if the ticket is taken to court. Six demerit points will be added to your
driving record
after a reckless driving citation.
Whenever you get behind the wheel, you have a responsibility to drive in a way that doesn’t put others at risk. Reckless driving occurs when a motorist chooses to operate their vehicle in a dangerous way. If you’re charged with reckless driving in Maryland, you may face hefty fines and six points on your driving record.
This article will walk you through the ins and outs of reckless driving in Maryland.
Make safe driving pay
Get rewarded for safe driving. Earn points and unlock benefits. Totally free.
Start earning now

How does Maryland define reckless driving?

Under Maryland’s Transportation Code 21-901.1, reckless driving is when a motorist operates a vehicle with “wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property” or in a way that indicates the intent to do so.
This means that a reckless driver knowingly breaks the law in a way that puts other people and property in harm’s way. This is more serious than negligent driving, which punishes drivers for careless driving.
Some examples of reckless driving are:
  • Driving too fast for the road conditions
  • Going more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit
  • Failing to yield the right-of-way
  • Following too closely
  • Passing on the right
Key Takeaway: Always drive safely and follow traffic laws to avoid being charged with reckless driving.

What are the penalties for being charged with reckless driving in Maryland?

In Maryland, a reckless driving charge is classified as a misdemeanor. You have the choice of paying the “schedule” fine or going to court to try to reduce the penalties.
The penalties for reckless driving in Maryland are:
  • A “schedule” fine of $510
  • Additional fines up to $1,000 if you take the ticket to court
  • Six demerit points on your driving record
If you can reduce your charge to negligent driving, you may only have to pay a maximum of $500 and will have one to three demerits added to your record.
Aggressive driving is another related charge, which occurs if you break three or more traffic laws in the course of one driving period. This results in fines of up to $500, five demerit points, and possible mandatory driver training courses.
Reckless driving is a serious charge that results in fines and demerit points. By avoiding a reckless driving charge or one of the related charges above, you can avoid the equally serious consequences of dangerous driving.
Key Takeaway: Reckless, negligent, and aggressive driving all carry hefty fines and add demerit points to your driving record.

How can I remove a reckless driving charge from my record?

If you are charged with reckless driving in Maryland, you have the choice of paying the “schedule” fine of $510 or appearing in court to try and reduce your charge. Either way, demerit points from a reckless driving charge will stay on your driving record for two years.
Since reckless driving covers many kinds of traffic violations, there isn’t just one way to get your charges reduced. Some of the following arguments may convince the court to reduce the penalties for your reckless driving charge: 
  • An otherwise spotless driving record
  • If you can prove that your speedometer was broken
  • You were unaware of a malfunction in your car that led to the reckless driving charge
  • You were speeding because of an emergency
If you’ve already been convicted of a reckless driving charge, it’s still possible to remove it from your record. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Department will automatically expunge a traffic violation from your record after three years if you meet the following criteria:
If you don’t meet the DMV’s requirements, you have the option of submitting a manual expungement request. A lawyer can help you through this process. Depending on the circumstances, submitting a manual expungement request may result in the charge being removed from your record.
MORE: How to get car insurance with a bad driving record

Will reckless driving make my insurance go up?

Reckless driving not only affects your driving record, but it also significantly increases your insurance rates. On average, Maryland insurers will increase your rates by $557 each year after a reckless driving citation. That’s 45% more than what you’d usually have to pay in Maryland.
You can lower your insurance rates by taking
defensive driving courses
. If you avoid future traffic citations, the DMV will usually remove a reckless driving charge from your record after three years. You can also compare insurance companies to make sure you’re getting the best rates available.
MORE: How these 6 types of car accidents affect your car insurance rates

How to find affordable insurance in Maryland

Comparing insurance companies can seem overwhelming. If you’re hesitant to switch plans or insurance providers because you’re worried about the work involved, don’t be.
does all the paperwork for you!
trustworthy licensed broker app
can collect quotes from more than 55 top insurance companies, like Travelers,
, and
, in seconds! They even help cancel your old policy once you’ve made your pick. And if you have any questions along the way, just text one of our agents through the app. They will always be there to assist you.
This Jerry user was thrilled with their experience, giving the app five stars:
“Amazing! I’ll admit, I’m young with 2 accidents. This spiked my insurance rates and every quote I found.
, though, helped me find affordable insurance. It truly helped me!” —Marcus F.
rating reverse-full
"I’m earning
awesome rewards
every week, just for driving safe!”


A “wet reckless” is when a driver charged with driving under the influence plea bargains it down to a reckless driving charge.
In Maryland, a driver who knowingly breaks a traffic law and puts other people and property at risk is guilty of reckless driving. Negligent driving is when a motorist acts carelessly, but doesn’t intend to drive dangerously.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings