Montana Speeding Ticket

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If you get caught speeding in Montana, you will need to choose between paying the fine, fighting your speeding ticket in court, or asking a judge for an alternate payment plan before the deadline on your ticket.
A speeding ticket is the last thing you want while you’re coasting down the scenic roads of Big Sky Country. But alas, this may be your reality if you’re zipping down the highway above the speed limit.
Unfortunately, the consequences of a ticket extend beyond the mandatory fine. If you were driving well above the speed limit, you could also get hit with added points on your driving record and increased car insurance rates.
Below, the car insurance comparison app Jerry has put together a guide to the laws, mandatory fines, and protocols associated with a Montana speeding ticket. 

What happens if you get a speeding ticket in Montana?

If you get stopped for speeding in Montana, a law enforcement officer will review your license, registration, and proof of insurance. The officer will then issue you a ticket that includes a court location and a date. You will need to either appear at the court or pay your fine before that deadline.
If you plead guilty and pay your fine, you will have three points added to your Montana driving record, but only if you were driving more than 10 mph above the speed limit during the day or more than 5 mph above the speed limit at night.

What are the fines for a speeding ticket in Montana?

Speeding fines in Montana vary depending on the speed of the driver, the location of the incident, and the number of prior violations on the driver’s record.
The base fine is $20 for vehicles speeding on public highways or in special speed zones and $40 for vehicles speeding on interstate highways. The base speeding fine is also $20 for trucks, truck tractors, and motorcycles.
You can get arrested for speeding in a school zone, which is considered a misdemeanor in Montana. If convicted, your standard speeding fines will be doubled.
Speeding in a construction zone is also considered a misdemeanor. However, your fines will only be doubled if a construction worker was in the construction zone during the violation.
Here are the fines that are typically charged for a driver with no prior violations:
SpeedBase fineSchool zone fineConstruction zone fine
1 to 10 mph above speed limit$20 to $40$40 to $80$20 to $80
11 to 20 mph above speed limit$70$140$70 to $140
21 to 30 mph above speed limit$120$240$120 to $140
31+ mph above speed limit$200$400$200 to $400
Depending on the circumstances, you may also have to also pay an online processing fee, court fees, or other administrative fees.

Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in Montana

If you get a speeding ticket, here are your options:
  • Plead guilty and pay your ticket before the deadline without going to court
  • Appear in court to plead guilty and ask for an alternate payment plan
  • Appear in court to plead not guilty and ask for a hearing
If you fail to pay the fine or appear in court by the date indicated on your ticket, your driver’s license will be suspended, and the court can put a warrant out for your arrest. Don’t risk it!

How to pay a speeding ticket in Montana

You can pay the fine for your speeding ticket in one of three ways:
  • Pay online using CitePayUSA
    • Select “Pay a citation, fine or court fee”
    • Select your court from the dropdown menu
    • Enter your citation number (or case number) and your date of birth
    • Select the payment you would like to make and confirm your information
    • Select the payment method (debit/credit card or eCheck)
    • Make the payment and print out your receipt
  • Mail or drop off your payment, along with a copy of your ticket, to the municipal or county court listed on your ticket
    • The mail and drop-off instructions differ depending on the city and county where you were stopped. 
  • Pay in person at the court listed on your ticket
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How to fight a speeding ticket

If you believe your speeding ticket was issued unfairly, you have the option of presenting your case in front of a judge. You must appear at the designated municipal or county court anytime before or on the date indicated on your ticket for your arraignment. At this time, you have the option of pleading guilty or not guilty.
If you plead not guilty, you will be assigned a date for a pretrial hearing and a formal trial hearing. During those subsequent hearings, you can present evidence, bring witnesses, and plead your case. You also have the right to be represented by an attorney.

What if you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket?

If you can’t afford to pay your speeding ticket, you will need to appear before a judge to request a payment plan or a community service deal. If you opt for the community service route, you can work your fine off for $8 per hour.

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance?

In Montana, insurance companies are not allowed to increase your premium after a speeding ticket unless you were driving more than 10 mph above the speed limit during the day or more than 5 mph above the speed limit at night. Anything above those parameters will result in increased insurance rates.
On average, Montana drivers speeding above those limits see their insurance go up by about 20%, although this depends on the insurance company and the individual driver.
If this happens to you, shop for a lower rate using the Jerry app. A licensed broker, Jerry will provide you with personalized quotes from over 50 top insurance companies. If you find a lower rate, Jerry will buy the new policy for you and even help you cancel your old policy!
“I recently started looking for insurance. With my past ticket, I got rejected from several companies while others charged me extreme prices. My friend referred me to Jerry and their amazing customer service helped me get the lowest insurance rate.” —Christina H.

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You could lose your license if you fail to pay your fine or appear in court by the deadline on your speeding ticket. 
You can also lose your license after a speeding ticket if you already have a lot of points on your driving record. A speeding violation is usually worth three points, and you will lose your license if you accumulate 30 points within a three-year period.
If you know for sure that you weren’t speeding and you have evidence to back it up, it would be worthwhile to fight the ticket. Otherwise, you could request a payment plan or community service if you fear that you will be unable to pay the fine.

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