Speeding Ticket in North Carolina

If you get a speeding ticket in North Carolina, you can waive your ticket and pay a fine, reduce or dismiss your charges, or fight the ticket in court.
Written by Talullah Blanco
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 11, 2023
If you’re issued a speeding citation in North Carolina, you can waive your ticket by paying the fine in full, reduce or dismiss your charges, or plead not guilty in court. 
Getting a speeding ticket can impact your finances, driving record, and life, especially depending on the severity of the penalties. 
Every state provides drivers with different options to handle traffic violations. That’s why it’s important to understand your state’s rules before you consider fighting your speeding ticket.
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What happens if you get a speeding ticket in North Carolina?

If you’re pulled over for speeding in North Carolina, you may be let off with a warning, but you’ll likely receive a citation for speeding. 
The police officer will write you a ticket for speeding with the amount you must pay and the due date, the county court in charge of your case, a court date if appearance is necessary, and ‘waiving’ instructions. 
Minor speeding violations are considered “waivable” offenses that can be handled without going to court. If you choose to contest your ticket, you’ll have to appear in court and pay all court costs and fees associated with your case.

What are the fines for a speeding ticket in North Carolina? 

The final cost of a speeding ticket in North Carolina includes the fee for speeding and court costs. The base fine for speeding starts at $10 for driving up to 5 mph over the speed limit.
While the fine for speeding in North Carolina is minimal, the starting court costs are $188 alone and can be increased depending on the severity of your infraction. Additional fees apply if you were speeding in a school or construction zone. 
With that in mind, the table below indicates how much you could be fined for speeding in North Carolina.
Base fine
School or construction zone fine
Minimum court fee
0 - 5 mph over speed limit
6 - 10 mph over speed limit
11-15 mph over speed limit
16+ mph over speed limit
These are baseline estimate fines, but they are subject to change depending on your circumstance. 
Your fine could be higher if you face additional penalties, including points added to your driving record or a driver’s license suspension. Contact the county court in charge of your case to find out the full amount owed for your speeding ticket. 
Key takeaway: The final amount you owe for a speeding ticket will include the fine associated with the excess speed and any court fees associated with your case. 

Options for dealing with a speeding ticket in North Carolina

If you receive a speeding ticket in North Carolina, there are three ways you can deal with it.
  • Waive your ticket and pay your fine
  • Request an online reduction or dismissal from the District Attorney’s office
  • Plead not guilty and dispute your ticket in court
Whichever way you handle your speeding ticket, action is required before the date printed on your citation.
The North Carolina DMV will revoke your license if you don’t pay your fine by the deadline or miss your court date. Your license will remain revoked until you either pay the amount in full, including additional fees, or appear in court.

How to pay a speeding ticket in North Carolina

Your speeding ticket will have waiver instructions that tell you when, where, and how to pay the fine associated with your case. 
You can waive your ticket by paying you’re fine online with a debit or credit card, in person at the courthouse in the county you were charged, or by mail.
If you pay your fine and waive it in person, you’ll have to go to the county clerk’s or magistrate’s office. Pay by cash, credit, or debit card, or prepare a certified check, cashier’s check, or money order, made payable to the Clerk of Superior Court.
To waive by mail, you must date and sign the waiver portion of your citation and mail it, along with your payment to the county courthouse address provided on your ticket. You must pay by certified check, cashier’s check, or money order made payable to the Clerk of Superior Court. Do not mail cash or a personal check.
If you choose to waive by paying in full you give up your right to contest the ticket in court and are considered guilty of the speeding violation. A guilty conviction could add penalty points to your driving record and increase your insurance rate. 

Traffic school

In some cases, you can have your charges reduced or dismissed by completing a defensive driving course in person or online. This is a good option if you can afford to pay your ticket, but don’t want the penalties associated with a conviction. 
If you choose to register with a classroom provider, you must attend in person and complete the required hours with a certified driving instructor. The online course can be completed online from the comfort of your home. 
Successful completion of traffic school can remove points from your driving record and even reduce your insurance rate. 
To find out if you are eligible to have your charges reduced or dismissed, contact the District Attorney’s Office in the county in which you received your speeding ticket. If you are not eligible, you may want to fight the charges in court. 
Key takeaway: Completing a defensive driving course will remove points from your record and keep your insurance rates from increasing.

How to fight a speeding ticket in North Carolina

If you can’t afford to earn additional points on your driving record or don’t believe you were guilty of speeding, you can schedule a court hearing and plead not guilty. 
The deadline to enter your plea and the court you need to notify will be printed on your ticket, along with other instructions to fight your case. 
Once you plead not guilty in person with the North Carolina court in charge of your case, you’ll be assigned a court date to return for a pre-trial conference or trial before a judge or jury. 
At the pre-trial conference, you and the state prosecutor will work out a plea agreement to reduce your charges. If you can’t reach a settlement, you’ll have the opportunity to present opening and closing arguments, evidence, and witnesses before a North Carolina state judge to show you weren’t speeding. 
The judge will reach a verdict that either dismisses you of all charges, fines, and penalties or a conviction that will require you to pay in full and add points to your driving record. Whether your charges are dismissed or you are convicted of speeding, you’ll have to pay all court fees associated with your case. 
Key takeaway: Court fees will make fighting a speeding ticket in North Carolina expensive and may not be worth the price. 

Will a speeding ticket increase your insurance? 

A speeding ticket will increase your insurance premium if you are found guilty. North Carolina drivers who received a speeding ticket saw the cost of car insurance increase by 55 percent on average.
Check your insurance rate if you were convicted of speeding and penalty points were added to your driving record–you’re probably overpaying and it’s time to consider changing
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