North Carolina Traffic Ticket Fines, Violations, and Penalties

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Have you recently received a traffic ticket in North Carolina? Don’t worry; it happens to the best of us. Whether you forgot your headlights were still on, got caught going five miles over the speed limit, or have some other minor violation, understanding what comes next is key. Here we’ll discuss common North Carolina traffic ticket fines and penalties that come with being pulled over for driving infractions so you can keep up with changing laws and plan financially if necessary.

Those receiving a North Carolina traffic ticket have options for handling and paying them.

Yet – your options generally come down to the following:

  • Pay it
  • Contest it

You must pay the ticket before the due date to avoid extra penalties. Otherwise, you’ll need to decide if you’ll contest it not long after it was issued, as it may take time to set up the court hearing.

You can typically pay your NC traffic tickets online, in person, by phone, or by mail.

In this guide, you’ll learn about what happens when you get a ticket, why you may have received one, and your options for dealing with them. Let’s get started.

North Carolina’s Point System

North Carolina uses a point system.

The point system tracks your driving activities, and accumulating too many can result in additional penalties. Combine the traffic ticket with the extra penalties, and your total costs can skyrocket depending on your actions!

You’re welcome to check your driving records for information about your license and registration status. Otherwise, we recommend contacting your local DMV or talking with a traffic law professional as you move forward with handling your ticket(s) and points.

North Carolina Traffic Fines & Penalties

Your fines and penalties depend on your actions and vary by the court’s decision. Your actions may cause higher fines and penalties depending on your driving history, too. You may also need to pay late fees if it’s not dealt with quickly.

Examples of incidents causing traffic and safety violations include:

  • Reckless driving or racing
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failing to carry auto insurance
  • Causing property damages

You may also get moving or non-moving violations like:

  • Running a stop sign
  • Distracted driving
  • Faulty vehicle and operations
  • Failing to follow traffic laws

You may also get a license suspension if you fail to appear in court, fail to respond to a traffic citation, and many other instances where you disobey the law.

How to Pay Your North Carolina Traffic Ticket

You should attempt to pay for your traffic ticket as soon as possible. Failing to pay the ticket in time can result in further penalties. This may include a license suspension which, in turn, can cause a slew of charges, from reinstatement fees to insurance renewal fees!

North Carolina provides a few ways to pay your traffic ticket – the easiest being online.

To pay online:

  1. Visit payNCticket
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts
  3. Pay your traffic ticket

…easy, right?

Other ways to pay include:

  • Going to your local county clerk’s office
  • Mailing a payment

Your ticket should provide the contact details to find the appropriate court.

When to Hire a North Carolina Traffic Attorney

Failing to respond to your ticket can lead to a license suspension.

The court may go lenient on you in some situations. In this case, you may be able to do an approved defensive driving school to mitigate some of the fines and penalties. Or dismiss the ticket entirely.


The process varies by infractions, but you’ll typically have options in reducing or dismissing the ticket. You may also appeal and contest the tickets outright to which you’ll request the hearing, go through the discovery, show up in court, and react based on what happens during the hearing.

You’ll need to decide on its due date.

Some drivers may be eligible to take a defensive driving course or get their ticket dismissed depending on their ticketing circumstances and how they act in court. A good driving record will help with your appeal and reduce ticket fines and fees.