It can be stressful under any circumstances to get pulled over for speeding, but it’s even worse when it happens in a rental car. Georgia has some of the strictest speeding laws and highest fines in the country. Here’s what you should do if you get a speeding ticket in Georgia.
How Much Are Speeding Fines in Georgia?
Georgia is strict about speeding, with fines varying widely depending on the offense and where it took place. The Peach State has two types of speeding laws—one that prohibits driving over the absolute limit, and another one that requires drivers to maintain safe speeds.
Fines for speeding are often higher in work or construction zones. For example, going 21-30 miles over the speed limit in a school or construction zone would set you back a hefty $555 in Atlanta’s Fulton County, whereas driving just six to 10 miles over the speed limit could be $150. In some cases, you may have to contact the court before finding out how much you owe.
In addition, Georgia also has a “super speeder” fine of $200 that kicks in when drivers exceed 75 mph on a two-lane road, or 85 mph anywhere in the state. This fine is on top of the regular speeding fine levied by the local court.
In 2015, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution studied speeding ticket revenues across the state and found some small towns near the coast often have the most “ticket traps.” So, pay attention to your speed if you’re heading down the interstate on your next beach vacation.
How to Handle a Speeding Ticket in a Rental
Unlike parking tickets and toll violations, which are typically tied to the vehicle, a speeding ticket is generally tied to the driver. If a police officer pulls you over, you’ll be able to handle the fine on your own—possibly without the rental company ever finding out. From there, you can pay the fine or fight it. Going to traffic school or taking a defensive driving course online may also be an option for avoiding points on your record.
There is one way the rental company could find out about the issue. Getting caught by a speed camera that takes a photo of the plate would mean that the rental company would be notified of the fine—and pass on to you at a later date with an added fee. If you receive a notice in the mail about a fine triggered by a speed camera, pay it immediately to avoid dealing with collections agencies or you could end up on the Do Not Rent list.
How to Pay a Speeding Ticket in Georgia
You’ll have to pay for the speeding ticket in Georgia, whether or not you live there. Most states agree to tell each other about speeding violations and will put points on your license for out-of-state violations. You can also try to fight the fine, but that would require showing up to court and could lead to additional legal costs.
Send your payment to the county court noted on your traffic ticket at least two weeks before your court date. It may be able to pay online, depending on the court district that issued the ticket.
If your offense qualified you as a super speeder, you can pay the $200 fine separately through the Georgia Department of Driver Services website.
Drivers from Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin should take extra caution with speeds in Georgia. In Macon County, for example, drivers from this list of states cannot just pay the fine and go—they have to pay a cash bond at the jail. This rule also affects drivers from Canada.