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  • Evan M. Howard

The Side Effects of Pleading Guilty to Traffic Violations

The Side Effects of Pleading Guilty to Traffic Violations

You just got pulled over for a traffic violation. You’re thinking it might be easier to just pay the ticket and move on, but your decision could have a future effect on your wallet that you might not realize. While not all traffic violations require an appearance in court, pleading guilty and mailing in or paying your fine online will save you the time and hassle of showing up to court. Depending on the nature of the violation, this route could cause a conviction on your driving record and an increase in your insurance premium. Too many points on your driving record could also result in fines and/or suspension of your driver’s license from the Illinois Secretary of State.

How “Points” are Determined for Your Driving Record

The Court’s in Illinois are required by law to forward all driving convictions to the Secretary of State in accordance to 92 Ill. Adm. Code 1040.10[1]. This allows the Secretary of State to determine whether your driving privileges should be suspended or revoked. This is determined by a “point system” as well as the severity of the offense, total number of prior offenses/convictions, penalties and recommendations from the court, and prior suspensions and revocations.

The complete list of “point system” can be found at 92 Ill. Adm. Code 1040.20 Illinois Offense Table[2]. Breaking it down to some of the common traffic violations and the points assigned to them:

How Many “Points” Before Suspension or Revocation

Three or more traffic offenses committed within a 12 month period could lead to a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. After your conviction has been sent to the Secretary of State, the Department of Motor Vehicles will then look at your past driving history to determine whether your new conviction warrants suspension or even revocation of your driving privileges.

Three or more traffic offenses within a 12 month period without prior suspensions or revocations in the last seven years:

Three or more traffic offenses within a 12 month period with one previous suspension or one previous revocation within a seven-year period:

Effect of Convictions on Your Insurance Premium

Age, sex, marital status, address, make and model of car, and your driving record are all factors that companies use to determine your insurance premiums. Each company makes their own rules about when or when not to increase the premium and how much the increase will be. That said, not all violations necessarily result in an automatic increase.

Increases are most likely to occur with major violations such as DUI, Reckless Driving, Failure to Stop after an Accident, and Driving While License Suspended. Minor violations such as Speeding, Texting, and Improper Passing/Lane Usage might not bring an increase in your rate for your first offense. However, multiple minor traffic violations could lead to an increase in your premium rate.

While no two companies determine insurance premiums the same way, analyzed 490,000 auto insurance quotes and determined how some common violations affect premium rates on average[3]: has created a calculator they have creatively named The “Uh-Oh!” Calculator. This calculator allows you to enter the traffic violation you have just been accused of, and determine how much it will likely affect your monthly premium.

Another survey by showed only 31% of people surveyed that received violations for speeding, running a red light, or passing illegally saw an increase in their insurance rates. This is probably because running your motor vehicle record can become costly to your insurance company. While this might be true, most companies will pull your driving record and make a determination from your previous five years of driving, when changing insurance companies.

[1] 92 Ill. Adm. Code 1040.10 -

[2] 92 Ill. Adm. Code 1040.20 -

[3] -

[4] -

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