Even the most prepared travelers can make mistakes from time to time. You may have packed perfectly, purchased your travel insurance ahead of time, and booked the perfect hotel, but now you find yourself speaking to a police officer, and they’re writing you a ticket.
If you have received a speeding ticket while driving abroad, you may be wondering when or how you should pay the fine. What if you never pay the fine? Will your country extradite you?
In the next five minutes, learn everything about speeding tickets received abroad, so that you never have another question about the scenario.
Please note that this information is true at the time of writing.
How do you receive the speeding ticket?
There are two ways that you can receive the actual speeding ticket.
One way is that the police stop your car, they issue a speeding ticket, and you pay on the spot.
Scenario two would be if a speeding camera captures your car. Then, the police will send you the speeding ticket through mail.
How much time do you have to pay the fine?
The time you get to pay the fine varies between countries and states.
The French government allows you 45 days to pay the fine. If you have received a speeding ticket in Spain, you must pay the fine within 60 days. The UK government allows you to pay the fine within 28 days.
What if you returned home without paying the fine?
The speeding ticket still remains valid if you have returned home without paying the fine.
The reciprocal agreement allows participating countries to share information about traffic violations. Furthermore, points and endorsements you receive in one country carry over to the other.
You may be back home, but the consequences of your offense will follow you.
What if you received a speeding ticket while driving a rental car?
When you sign the car rental agreement, you agree to pay any fine you receive. Furthermore, you share your credit card details with the car rental agency.
The police send the speeding ticket to the car rental agency, and the agency forwards the ticket to you. If you ignore the ticket, the police send another notice to the agency. The agency then charges the fine on your credit card, as well as late fees and administration charges.
What if you never pay the fine?
In countries with reciprocal agreements, the government will suspend your driver’s license. If the police stop you while you’re driving with a suspended license, you’ll serve jail time. You would also not be able to renew your driver’s license or vehicle registration.
If you fail to appear in court to fight the speeding ticket, the judge will issue a bench warrant to arrest you. The police can hold you in jail until the court offers a hearing date. You’ll pay late fees and administration charges as well.
However, the arrest warrant applies if you return to the country in question. Speeding and nonpayment of fines falls under civil offenses. Extradition applies to criminal offenses. So, your country won’t extradite you.
If you return to the country where you have an unpaid speeding ticket and the court issued an arrest warrant, airport security or local law enforcement will take you to court and then jail.
If the police stop you again for another traffic violation, they can check for unpaid fines. You’ll have to pay the fine on the spot. If you cannot, the police can take you to jail.
Can you appeal to the court to cancel the ticket?
The time limit to appeal to the court varies between countries and states.
You can attend the hearings online. If you find the process confusing, you can hire a defense attorney who handles traffic tickets.
However, if the court finds you guilty, you’ll have to pay the fine, late fees, and administration charges.
Pay the fine within the time limit
When you receive a speeding ticket in any country, pay the fine within the time limit.
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