Traffic tickets and auto insurance premiums in Florida

Driving Record:

First thing to do is get a copy of your driving record. It’s a good idea to order a copy of your driving record periodically, or at least when you get a ticket. Checking your driving record for mistakes is important. You might be paying higher premiums for points which were assessed for a violation you did not commit or worse, may be your driver’s license could be even suspended. Driving under a suspended license is not something you want to be caught on.

You can find the ordering form in the following link. https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/forms/90511.pdf

It takes 2 weeks to process your request.

Driving record can also be obtained from these private companies:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/driving-record-history/

You can also order a copy of your driving record from the county clerk.  Here is the county-wise list.  https://www.flhsmv.gov/locations/

Type of Ticket/citation, severity of violation:

A minor parking violation will not have points while a moving violation depending on severity can have anywhere between 3, 4 or 6 points assessed on your driving record.

How to check for points associated with a traffic ticket in Florida:

Here is an exhaustive list of Florida driving violations with points accessed.  You can easily check if your ticket has points using this chart.   http://flhsmv.gov/ddl/utc/ViolationPointAndStatuteReference.pdf

Out of state traffic citations will also be assigned points in Florida. They will be treated the same as in state offence, and the same points will be given as though it happened in state.

Factors influencing your auto insurance premium:

Depending on when the insurance company pulls your driving record, driving history, the number of points on your record and other factors like make of car, gender, age, location where you live and generally drive, miles driven, credit history will determine your insurance premium.

Florida State laws have a few safe guards for non-accident tickets:

Unless you have received two moving violations in an 18 month period, or three or more moving violations within 36 months, as per Florida state laws, an insurance company cannot refuse to renew your license or increase your insurance premiums. Same holds good to a citation for speeding 15 miles or more than the limit. The insurance premiums cannot be raised or renewal of a policy refused when adjudication of a ticket is withheld and points are not assessed in your driving record.

How to remove points so insurance premiums will not increase

A 4 hour Basic Driver Improvement course(BDI)  helps in removing points from your Florida driving record. This will help to mitigate increase in premiums.  You can elect to take this course instead of points if you received a ticket for a moving violation which is non-criminal, and do not hold a Commercial driver’s license.

This course will also help to avoid a license suspension from accumulating points, which in turn checks your insurance premium. 

If you accumulate 12 points within 12 months – Driving privilege suspended for 30 days

If you accumulate 18 points in 18 months – Driving privilege suspended for 3 months

If you accumulate 24 points in 36 months – Driving privilege suspended for 1 year

Important: If you plan on taking the BDI course to remove points from your driving record, check if you qualify for the same. Notify the court within 30 days of receiving the ticket of your election to take the driver improvement course. You have to take the course within 60 days through an approved school by Florida DHSMV. You can find the county-wise approved schools here:

https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/education-courses/commercial-driving-schools/basic-driver-improvement-course-providers/

This course can be taken once a year, and a maximum of 5 times overall.  It is available offline or online, and the duration is only 4 hours either ways. 

Driving schools that offer this course also submit course completed information  electronically  to the courts. Please check for this before you enrol in the course so you will have all the relevant information about course completion and follow up so you will get the points removed from the record.

While attending the BDI course removes points from the record, the violation itself will stay on record. Depending on the severity it will stay on your record ranging from 10(citations) to 75 years (alcohol related violations), serious CDL violations for 55 years.

Hiring an attorney is a good thing if you are contending a ticket. While insurance company can raise rates if you are at-fault in an accident, Florida state laws prohibits increase in premiums if you are not at fault, but merely a victim.

Of course the best thing is be a smart and safe driver and not to get any tickets so we wish that you will stay a lawful driver respecting traffic rules, and speed limits. Contact us if you need more information or quotes.

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