New Hampshire Traffic Violations
If you get caught speeding or committing some other traffic violation in New Hampshire, a law enforcement officer will issue you a citation on behalf of the New Hampshire court overseeing the jurisdiction where you committed the infraction. From here, you have several options.
You may simply want to pay the traffic violation fine and be done with it. In that case, review the front and back of the traffic citation to find contact information for the local New Hampshire court handling your traffic ticket. While you may be able to pay online or over the phone, your citation will at least contain a mailing address for you to send in a check or money order along with your traffic violation receipt. If you pay the ticket, you are in effect admitting guilt and can expect to have the traffic violation show up on your New Hampshire driving record. Also, if you plan on paying your traffic violation without dispute, make sure you pay the fine within the allotted time disclosed on the citation-most likely 30 days from when the traffic violation is processed by the DMV.
You may also want to dispute the ticket. If this is the case, again your citation will have information on how to plead not guilty. In doing so, you will be contacted by the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles ("DMV") in the next week to ten days, providing you with a date to appear in court and contest the charges.
Finally, you may wish to appear in court and plead guilty. If you do so, you may also have an opportunity to seek permission from the court to participate in a New Hampshire traditional or online driver improvement program in order to have the traffic violation reduced or dismissed, as well as prevent detrimental points from showing up on your New Hampshire driving record.
New Hampshire Points System
New Hampshire employs a Demerit Point System for New Hampshire drivers in an effort to keep unskilled or unsafe drivers off the road. For each traffic violation you are found to have committed by the local New Hampshire court overseeing the ticket, the new Hampshire DMV will be notified and add points against your New Hampshire driving record. Examples of points assigned against you for various infractions include, but are not limited to:
- Failing to obtain a New Hampshire License: 1 point
- Disobeying Medical License Restrictions: 2 points
- Driving an Unregistered Vehicle: 2 points
- Failure to Yield: 3 points
- Ignoring a Stop Sign or Red Light: 3 points
- Tailgating: 3 points
- Speeding by less than 25 mph: 3 points
- Speeding by over 25 mph: 4 points
- Reckless Driving: 6 points
- Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License: 6 points
- Driving Under the Influence: 6 points
If you aren't careful and end up with too many traffic violations on your New Hampshire driving record, you may find your New Hampshire driving privileges under suspension.
Suspension of Your New Hampshire Driving Privileges
Though there are other ways in which your New Hampshire driving privileges can be suspended, the most common way to lose your privileges is by committing too many traffic offenses in a given time span.
If you are at least 21 years old and you amass 12 points in a year against your New Hampshire driving record, the New Hampshire DMV will suspend your privileges for up to three months. 18 points on your New Hampshire driving record in two years will earn you a 6 month suspension. If you accumulate 24 points in a three-year timeframe, your New Hampshire driving privileges will be lost for an entire year.
Drivers under 21 have more severe penalties based on their relative inexperience behind the wheel compared with older New Hampshire drivers. New Hampshire drivers between the ages of 18-21 have similar suspensions based on their year, two-year and three-year New Hampshire driving history, but only need 9, 15, or 21 points to trigger those suspensions, rather than 12, 18 and 24 points.
New Hampshire drivers under 18 have even greater restrictions. If you incur just six points-just a single reckless driving charge, for example-your license will be suspended for 3 months. If you hit 12 points in two years, you will receive a six month suspension by the New Hampshire DMV and, after 18 points in three years, your New Hampshire driving privileges will be suspended for one full year.
Attending Traffic School in New Hampshire
There are several ways in which you can help yourself avoid these drastic penalties. First, at any point when your license may be suspended, you can request an administrative review by the New Hampshire Bureau of Hearings to discuss your situation. Depending on the circumstances of your recent traffic violations and your previous New Hampshire driving history, you may be able to avoid having your driving privileges revoked.
In addition, you have an opportunity in New Hampshire to attend traffic school or a driver improvement program in exchange for a reduction in points on your New Hampshire driving record. In some cases, you may be ordered by the court to participate in a New Hampshire traffic school or driver improvement program and receive a points reduction in exchange. However, you are also entitled by the State of New Hampshire to enroll in a New Hampshire traffic school or driver improvement program at any time to reduce the total amount of points against your New Hampshire driving record.
If you are ordered by the New Hampshire DMV to attend a New Hampshire driver improvement program, you will likely have to participate in one of the pre-approved New Hampshire traffic schools. These are all traditional classroom courses and can last anywhere from 6 to 8 hours.
If you have decided to contest your traffic violation or appear in New Hampshire court to plead guilty and see if the court will give you an opportunity to have the traffic violation reduced or dismissed, you may be also able to ask the court if an online New Hampshire traffic school or driver improvement program will qualify.
In addition, you can likely enroll in a New Hampshire online traffic school or driver improvement program to reduce the cost of your insurance. While this may seem like a lot of work for lower insurance premiums, those savings can total hundreds to thousands of dollars each year depending on your age, driving history and the severity of the traffic violations onyour new Hampshire driving record.
The Benefits of a Clean New Hampshire Driving Record
Online New Hampshire traffic school, defensive driving and driver improvement programs are an excellent method of keeping your New Hampshire driving record clear. In addition to the reduction or dismissal of traffic violations and New Hampshire driving record points that the New Hampshire DMV and New Hampshire courts may grant you, online traffic school teaches you valuable defensive driving skills that will help you avoid getting involved with a traffic violation altogether in the future. Further, online traffic school can be a great investment to help lower your long-term auto insurance expenses. Most insurance carriers heavily consider your driving record when setting your auto insurance premiums. The clearer your New Hampshire driving record is, the less likely you are to see those premiums increase.
New Hampshire Mature Drivers
New Hampshire Mature Drivers over the age of 50 are eligible in most circumstances to participate in a New Hampshire online traffic school or driver improvement program that can not only keep insurance costs low, but even qualify you for an additional Mature Driver discount. If you would like to learn more about these benefits associated with New Hampshire online traffic school, you should contact your New Hampshire auto insurance carrier, or get in touch with your local AARP office to see if you qualify you for a discount.
New Hampshire Juvenile Drivers
Similar insurance discount opportunities sometimes exist for Juvenile Drivers under the age of 18, as well. If you are under 18 or are a parent of an under-18 driver, your auto insurance carrier will be able to fill you in on the opportunities you have to lower your insurance premiums by enrolling in a New Hampshire online traffic school or driver improvement program.
New Hampshire Classroom Traffic Schools
The New Hampshire Department of Safety, in accordance with the New Hampshire DMV, provides New Hampshire drivers with a list of pre-approved, brick-and-mortar classroom settings for New Hampshire traffic school and driver improvement courses, should you be required or inclined to experience traffic school in a more traditional environment:
AAA (American Automobile Assoc.)
AARP Driver Safety Program
Accredited Defensive Driver Training of NH (Safety and Health Council)
American School of Defensive Driving
Driver Attitude 8-hour
Concord Community Education
D.D. O'Toole The Driving Experience
Derry Auto School
Drive Ability at Exeter Healthcare
Hampshire Driving School
Ingersoll Driving School
NH Driver Education Safety Center
NH Traffic Safety Institute