Massachusetts Traffic Tickets and Points

If you get a traffic ticket in Massachusetts, such as a ticket for speeding or running a red light, you have 20 days to either pay it or contest it. You generally have a few options:

  • Pay the fine. This could result in points being added to your license and an increase in your car insurance rates at renewal time.
  • Contest the ticket. You can plead not guilty or no contest. The citation should have information on the county court you're assigned to and how to proceed.
  • Ignore the ticket and take no action. If you don't respond within 20 days, you will waive your right to a hearing. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will send you a letter stating you are in default and you may get late fees added to the fine. If you don't pay the fine and fees within 30 days of the date of the letter, your driver's license could be suspended.

How do I pay the ticket?

If you decide to pay the ticket, you can pay:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By Mail.
  • In-person.

Online

If you want to pay online through the Massachusetts RMV, you'll have to wait 10 days for the RMV to receive and process the citation. To pay online, you will need:

  • The traffic ticket citation number.
  • The offense/incident date.
  • Your email address.

By phone

If you want to pay your ticket by phone, you can call:

  • (857) 368-8000 (for area codes 339, 617, 781, 857 or from outside of Massachusetts).
  • (800) 858-3926 (from all other Massachusetts area codes).
  • (877) 768-8833 (if you are deaf or hard of hearing).

To pay your ticket by phone, you will need:

  • The traffic ticket citation number.
  • The offense/incident date.

By mail

If you would like to pay by mail, make a check or money order payable to MassDOT. Write your driver's license number and the traffic ticket citation number on the payment. You cannot send cash. You will need to:

  • Check Box 1 that you "wish to pay this citation."
  • Sign and date the back of the citation. It's a good idea to keep a copy for your records.
  • Mail the ticket in the pre-addressed envelope. You will need to pay postage.

If you lost your pre-addressed envelope, send payment to:

Citation Processing Center

P.O. Box 55890

Boston, MA 02205-5890

In Person

If you want to pay your citation in-person, locate a Registry of Motor Vehicles office. Some locations may accept payment by cash, check or money order. You'll want to make sure you look up what payments your RMV will accept. Bring your traffic ticket with you to the RMV.

What if I lost my ticket?

Contact the district court where your citation was issued.

Traffic tickets and points

The Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) assigns points for certain traffic violations. For example, a driver's record may get points added for a traffic violation such as speeding or driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Points stay on your record for six years. Your auto insurance company can use the SDIP to increase your car insurance rates if you have too many points. If you have more than six years of driving history with no traffic violations or you haven't caused any accidents, your insurance company might offer you a discount for safe driving.

Examples of points for common traffic violations

Minor traffic law violation:
  • Operating without an inspection sticker.
  • Running a red light.
  • Speeding.
2 points
Major traffic law violation:
  • Driving when your license is suspended.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident that caused injury or death.
  • Refusing to stop for an officer.
5 points
Source: Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Visit the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website for more information on the SDIP. Contact your auto insurance company to find out if they use the SDIP to help set rates.

Updated Aug. 23, 2018

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