Is there a statute of limitations for traffic tickets?

From the moment you get a traffic ticket you are responsible for paying the fine it contains. Whether or not you agree with the ticket, you will be held liable for the contents of the ticket until it is either dismissed in court by a judge or you have settled it. Never assume that your ticket has become lost in the mail. It will arrive and if it does not, find out what happened to it because one day it will show up on your driving record and you will have to settle it if you do not want problems to arise due to it. Never for one minute think that it will get dismissed if you merely ignore it because – there is NO STATUTE OF LIMIATATIONS on traffic tickets.

In order to better understand this fact, instead of thinking of your infraction like a legal issue, think of it as a bill that you have to settle. Bills will never go away unless they are paid and neither will traffic tickets. Unlike other legal issues, just because you manage to get your case postponed does not mean that after a few years the courts will automatically make it go away. As well, just because you fail to pay for your tickets for several years, that does not mean you are automatically off-the-hook for the fine – if that were the case, then no one would ever pay traffic tickets again.

If you do not pay for your traffic ticket it will accrue penalties and you can easily find yourself with a suspended or a revoked license in the future. Traffic citations are best paid quickly – unless by doing so you will put yourself in a position where points will then be added to your driving record. In such a case, you might be better off contesting the ticket instead of paying it right away.

If you are planning on contesting a ticket then you should file the proper paperwork and make sure to arrive at the court prepared to state your case. Even if you are unable to get the court to dismiss your case, you can always try to plead to a lesser charge thereby eliminating the points that would otherwise be added to your record. When points are added to your record, you can expect an insurance rate hike to follow – unless you can prevent the points from being given to you in the first place.

No one likes getting a traffic ticket. Most of us would love to just ignore them and hope that they go away. However, in reality ticket fines just increase with the passage of time until they result in a suspended or revoked license. Do not let yourself be fooled by anyone who tells you otherwise – there is no statute of limitations on traffic tickets and if you do not deal with them in a timely manner, you will have to pay the consequences eventually.

Traffic Tickets   |  August 11th, 2010    | 

3 Responses to “Is there a statute of limitations for traffic tickets?”

  1. If that is so, then why after 12 years, did the State of California wipe several traffic fines from my record? For some reason I think your facts need to be check again.

  2. Montana Statutes of Limitation (MCA Title 27, Chapter 2)
    Written contract, obligation or liability: 8 years.
    Contract, account or promise that is not based on a written instrument: 5 years.
    Montana obligation on to provide a certain level of support for a spouse, child or indigent parent: 2 years.
    Obligation or liability, other than a contract, account or promise not based on a written instrument: 3 years.
    Relief on the grounds of fraud or mistake: 2 years.
    NOTE: A written acknowledgement signed by the debtor or any payment on a debt is sufficient evidence to cause the relevant statute of limitations to begin running anew.
    Judgment or decree of any U.S. court: 10 years. NOTE: Judgments rendered in a court not of record: 6 years.

  3. I went to renew my license yesterday, and was told that PA has a block on my license for a traffic violation, I contacted then and was told I have a ticket dated 5/2/1987 from Albany NY I have never been in Albany NY. I moved from PA in 1984 and had lived in Ohio ever since, I have renew my license 6 times (every 4 yrs) since that supposedly ticket and now It shows in my record, I have an clean record my only ticket ever was in Pa in 1984 and that was payed. My question is isn’t this ticket to old, shouldn’t this had been erased.

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