Can a Maine Speeding Ticket Affect My Massachusetts Insurance?

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A traffic stop in another state can spell higher insurance premiums.
A traffic stop in another state can spell higher insurance premiums. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

It used to be the case that if you have a car registered in Massachusetts and you incurred a speeding ticket in Maine, it would not affect your insurance. This was because there was little cross-state reporting of traffic infractions. But that has all changed, and you should expect consequences from a ticket anywhere in the country.

Database

Nearly all states now participate in a database that shares information about drivers' records. Only Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin are not part of this reciprocity agreement. Maine and Massachusetts do share information with each other about moving violations committed in each state.

Merit Rating Board

The Merit Rating Board, or MRB, is the body that keeps a record relating to all Massachusetts drivers who commit traffic law violations. Out-of-state violations are also reported to the MRB. All traffic violations are regarded by the MRB as “surchargeable incidents.”

Surchargeable Incidents

A surchargeable incident is one that is reported to a driver’s insurance company, and may cause his premium to rise. The MRB has developed a Safe Driver Insurance Plan to guide insurance companies in determining and levying surcharges on drivers. Speeding is referred to in this standard as a minor traffic law violation.

Unpaid Tickets

You should never assume that you can avoid paying tickets from a different state. If you default on a civil citation in Maine, this information will be shared through the database. The state of Massachusetts will suspend your driver’s license until you pay the ticket in full, including any late charges.

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