What To Do After a Virginia Speeding Ticket

A speeding ticket can raise your insurance rates by an average of 31% in Virginia. Shopping for new rates should be your first step after paying your fine.
Written by Brenna Swanston
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A speeding ticket in
Virginia
carries fines starting at $6 for every mile per hour over the speed limit, along with 3 to 6 demerit points on your Virginia driving record. You can pay the fine—and take on a potential 31%
car insurance
increase—or fight it in court.

How to deal with a speeding ticket in Virginia

If you see the letters “RD” on your traffic ticket, it’s not a speeding ticket—it’s a
reckless driving
ticket, which is a more serious criminal offense. You can also look for the prepayment option; reckless driving tickets do not offer the option to prepay for your ticket.
By prepaying your ticket, you effectively plead guilty to speeding, and any applicable demerit points will be deducted from your Virginia driving record. 
Your insurance company won’t find out about your speeding ticket until your policy is up for renewal—but your rates will go up by an average of 31% when your policy renews.

How to pay your ticket

If you have the option, paying for your ticket before your court date is the easiest way to deal with a speeding ticket if you know you were going above the speed limit. 
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Select the court named on your ticket summons
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Search for your case using your full name as it appears on the summons
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Select “Mark For Payment,” then “Process Payment”
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Enter your credit card or debit card and contact information
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Only enter your email address if you would like a receipt
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Click the “Submit Payment” button at the bottom of the screen
If you pay your ticket online using a credit or debit card, the court will charge a 4% convenience fee on top of your fine and court costs. Be sure to factor this in when preparing to make a speeding ticket payment. 
You can also pay your fine by mail. You’ll find exact instructions on the
General District Court website
.
Make sure your payment is completed by 3:30 p.m. on the business day before your trial date listed on your summons. If you fail to make your payment within 40 days of the court date, you will be subject to a $35 fee—and after a total of 90 days, your payment will go to collections.

How to get a speeding ticket dismissed

If you feel you received your speeding ticket in error, you have the option to appear in court to dispute the ticket. The most effective arguments for getting a speeding ticket dismissed include: 
  • Defective radar or officer error: Law enforcement uses radar, LiDAR, and other technology to measure speeding in Virginia. If you can prove that your ticket was issued due to malfunctioning technology or improper use of these tools, it could be dismissed. 
  • Defective speedometer: If you were unaware that you were speeding because your vehicle’s speedometer was broken, you may be able to get your ticket dismissed. 
  • Medical emergencies: If you were speeding due to a medical emergency, the court may grant you a dismissal.  
You’ll have a better chance of getting your speeding ticket dismissed if you have a
clean driving record
with no previous traffic violations.
Not knowing Virginia’s speeding laws is not a good speeding ticket defense. Whether you’re an out-of-state driver or a citizen of the commonwealth, don’t try to fight your ticket by claiming ignorance.

Calculate your Virginia speeding ticket penalties

When you get a speeding ticket in Virginia, you’ll face two main types of penalties:
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Fines & fees: Virginia assigns a $6 fine per mile over the posted speed limit, with additional fines in work, school, and residential zones. You’ll also pay between $60 and $86 in court processing fees.
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Demerit points: You’ll have three to six points deducted from your driving record, depending on how fast you were speeding. These demerits stay on your record for five to 11 years.
If your speeding ticket is actually a reckless driving charge, you’ll face possible jail time in addition to much steeper fines. Finally, if you receive 18+ demerit points in a 12-month period, your Virginia driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days. 
Below is a breakdown of the Department of Motor Vehicles fee schedule and points system for speeding tickets in the Commonwealth of Virginia, according to the
Code of Virginia, Chapter 8, Article 8
.

The Virginia speeding ticket fines schedule

Speeding offense
Base fine
Additional fines
Additional penalties
General speeding (no reckless driving charge)
$6 per mile over posted limit
N/A
Demerit points
Speeding in a work zone/school zone
$7 per mile over posted limit
N/A
Demerit points
Speeding in a residential area
$8 per mile over posted limit
$200
Demerit points
Reckless driving
$250 to $2,500 (first offense)
N/A
Demerit points
Up to 12 months in jail 
Criminal misdemeanor conviction (first offense) 
Felony conviction (subsequent offenses)

The Virginia speeding ticket point system

Speeding offense
# of demerit points
# of years on driving record
1 - 9 mph over posted limit
3
5 years
10 - 19 mph over posted limit
4
5 years
20+ miles over posted limit
6
11 years
80+ mph anywhere
6
11 years

Your insurance will go up after a speeding ticket—here’s how to lower it

Speeding tickets carry long-term costs beyond your initial fines and processing fees. Car insurance is the most important: in Virginia, drivers see their auto insurance premiums go up by an average of 31% after a single speeding ticket. 
Once you’ve paid your fine, it’s time to take action to keep your insurance rates affordable. Here’s how. 

1. Check your renewal date and comparison shop

Your car insurance won’t go up until your policy renews so start by checking your policy details for your next renewal date. If it’s months away, good news—you’ll keep paying your current rate for the time being. 
When you receive a renewal notice from your insurance company, take note of your renewal rate. It should include a surcharge for your speeding ticket, which your insurer will have learned of from your most recent
motor vehicle report (MVR)
app screenshot
With your renewal rate in hand, start comparing car insurance quotes from other providers to see if any of them offer a lower rate for drivers with speeding tickets. To do this quickly, you can use the
Jerry
app and review personalized offers from dozens of insurers at once. 
Don’t forget to reshop often once you have the best rate. As your Virginia driving record changes following a speeding ticket, you should gradually become eligible for lower rates. If you purchase car insurance through the Jerry app, you’ll be able to keep up to date with those rate decreases by turning on automatic reshops—so your insurance premium always reflects the best version of your driving record.

2. Take a driver improvement course

Virginia allows drivers to take a
driver improvement course
every two years for a chance to add five positive safe driving points to their driving record. 
You can also earn safe points simply by driving safely. Every year you go without any accidents or moving violations, one safe point will be added to your driving record.
If you complete a driver improvement clinic voluntarily, you’re eligible to earn safe points on your Virginia driving record. However, some insurance companies will allow you to take a course in exchange for an insurance discount—in which case you won’t be eligible for safe points. 

If you were ordered by a court to take a driver improvement court, you may not be eligible to earn safe points and reverse your driving record. Check the terms of your court order and present any necessary documents to the DMV before taking your course.

3. Take advantage of discounts

In addition to adding surcharges to your policy, a speeding ticket can break your clean driving streak and remove any good driver discounts you may have had on your policy. But there are other
car insurance discounts
that could help you save, including: 
  • Telematics discounts (i.e., tracking your driving)
  • Good student discounts 
  • Paid-in-full discounts
  • Responsible payer discounts
  • Low-mileage discounts

When are insurance companies notified of speeding tickets?

Your insurance company won’t learn about your speeding ticket until your policy is up for renewal. That’s when insurers review your motor vehicle report for any new traffic infractions. 
If your renewal date is a week away, expect your rate to increase then. If it’s in six months, you can keep paying your current rate until after your policy renews.

The best car insurance companies after a speeding ticket in Virginia

Here’s how major insurance companies tend to handle rate renewals after a speeding ticket.
Insurance company
Average rate increase after a speeding ticket
Allstate
15%
USAA
17%
American Family
22%
Nationwide
26%
State Farm
26%
Farmers
31%
Auto-Owners
36%
Travelers
37%
GEICO
38%
Progressive
43%
Remember: Every insurance company deals with traffic offenses differently. Depending on your existing record, the number of years you’ve been with your insurer, and whether or not you plead guilty to your speeding ticket, your insurance premium could go up by less—or more!—than this table shows.
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Where'd we get these numbers?
Jerry’s editorial team researched the average rate increase after a speeding ticket for these 10 insurance companies using expert sources from Forbes, NerdWallet, ValuePenguin, WalletHub, Liberty Mutual, The Zebra, and CarInsurance.com. Our data shows the average of the data shared by these sources.
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FAQs

What is the fine for a speeding ticket in Virginia? 

The fine for a speeding ticket in Virginia is $6 per mile over the speed limit, with an additional $1 per mile in work and school zones and an additional $2 per mile plus a $200 fine in residential areas. 

How much is a 20-over speeding ticket in Virginia? 

A ticket for speeding 20 mph or more over the speed limit in Virginia is at least $120. You’ll also be subject to additional fines if you were speeding in a work or school zone, if you were in a residential area, or if you received a reckless driving charge. 

Can I just pay my ticket and not go to court in Virginia? 

If your speeding ticket summons includes an option for prepayment, you can pay your fine either online or by mail without going to court. 

What is the speed limit in Virginia? 

According to the Virginia Code, the maximum speed limit in Virginia is 55 mph unless otherwise posted. On some highways, the maximum speed limit may be 70 mph or 65 mph. 

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