Traffic violations are big business for cities and parishes in Louisiana. Fines account for up to 10% of local revenue and with 3.5 million licensed drivers on the road across the state, there are big incentives for them to write more tickets.
Getting pulled over and issued a ticket costs time, money, and possibly a loss of job opportunities down the road. If you’ve been pulled over recently or a few years back, one thing you should do is request a copy of your Louisiana driving record.
Why is your driving record important? You can look into what old infractions are still haunting you or figure out how to reduce damage from recent tickets. The good news is that you can fix your record! At least in less severe cases.
Keep reading below for information on how to request your driving record, how tickets affect your record, how to get your charges reduced, and when to call a traffic lawyer.
How Do I Look Up My Louisiana Driving Record?
Requesting your driving record from the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles isn’t a complex process. You’ll need to provide your name, address, driver’s license number, date of birth, and your class of license.
Requests cost $16 plus a $2 electronic commerce fee. Once requested you’ll be able to view the following information:
- Any accidents you were involved in, even if you weren’t at fault
- The status of your driving privileges
- Whether you have commercial driving privileges (CDL)
- All online data involving offenses (tickets or accidents)
If this is your first time requesting a driving record, here are two important tips for navigating Louisiana’s system.
First, have a printer nearby when you pay so you don’t miss the chance to get your copy, and second, do everything you need to do in 30 days or less. After that timeframe, your record is no longer accurate.
Remember that every state has different traffic laws. Louisiana doesn’t use the point system like many other states. Instead, they record every infraction on your driving record and after a certain number of issues, your license can be suspended or revoked.
But, as we mentioned above, in some cases you can avoid this by taking a court-approved defensive driving course.
How Do Tickets Affect My Lousiana Drivers License?
There are many ways to get a driving ticket in Louisiana. Speeding tickets are the most common and fines range from $25 to $15,000.
One thing you should know is that ticket fines for speeding aren’t set by the state. Local judges will decide how much you need to pay and the amount increases based on how fast you were going.
Not only will you have to pay fines and court fees, but getting a ticket can result in higher insurance rates. According to a 2020 study by Insurance.com, speeding tickets increase your car insurance by 20-30%.
For a first time DUI/DWI or reckless driving charge, expect your rates to go up over 70%. Lesser infractions, like using a cellphone in a vehicle or driving without insurance, increase it by 10-20%.
Once you start collecting too many infractions on your driving record, a judge may decide to suspend or revoke your license. If this happens, paying the fine will be the least of your worries.
Consider your daily routine — driving to work, grocery shopping, picking up children from school, visiting family or friends — and then try to figure out how you’ll do all of that without driving. The fees for reinstating your license also add up quickly.
Are you a professional truck driver or does your employer depend on you to make deliveries? Having too many infractions on your driving record or getting your licensed suspended/revoked could affect your livelihood.
Most employers order driving history reports for applicants and employees, meaning you could lose your job or not get hired for a new opportunity with a bad record.
There is some good news here. In Louisiana, you can get your tickets reduced or dismissed by taking a defensive driving course.
How to Get a Speeding Ticket Reduced in Louisiana?
No one wants a ticket stuck on their driving record, but in Louisiana, you can request a defensive driving ticket dismissal. First, you need to get permission from a judge to take the course.
Most defensive driving courses are between four to eight hours long, and more are now being offered online. The content may seem basic or irrelevant to you, but make sure you pay attention because these courses have final exams that need to be passed.
Course prices range from $10 to $150 and can put you in a position to clear your record unless you are responsible for a serious infraction or a repeat offender. In fact, a defensive driving course can only be taken once every 18-24 months for this exact reason.
There are many in-person and online defensive driving courses available in Louisiana. Search for schools near you online. One affordable, court-approved, and 100% online course is I Drive Safely Louisiana.
Once you complete the course you can submit it for an appeal. You can also send it to your insurance company to get your skyrocketing rates under control. If they don’t budge, you can always shop around for other insurance providers to get the best rate.
Should I Fight My Traffic Ticket?
For many cities or parishes, traffic citations are a revenue-generating business. Tickets allow them to collect more money for their budgets and insurance companies can charge you higher rates every month.
Some laws make it easy for you to get pulled over for anything and the alleged infractions are tough to fight in court. In some cases, we recommend contacting a traffic lawyer to help you decide whether you should fight the ticket.
A lawyer can be helpful if you feel the circumstances behind your ticket were exaggerated or if you were set up in some type of “speed trap.” Ordering your Louisiana driving record also ensures there are no surprises in court.
If you recently got a ticket and don’t know what to do next, read more of our informative articles at louisianaspeedingticket.com.