Traffic Tickets



INTRODUCTION:  The Graduate Legal Aid Office can provide information about traffic tickets issued in Maryland and help students evaluate the best course of action to take after receiving a ticket.  Some of the questions we can help with involving tickets issued in Maryland include (if your ticket was issued in another state, we will not be familiar with the laws and procedures there but we may be able to help you find general information or provide referrals to an out-of-state attorney).

Please note:  If you have been charged with a driving offense involving drugs or alcohol, we will recommend that you seek advice from an outside attorney who specializes in that area of law.  We can provide referrals.



Where is the best place to get an overview of Maryland traffic law and procedure?

For answers to general questions on Traffic Tickets, please visit the Maryland Courts website at:

Does a conviction of an out-of-state traffic offense result in “points” on my Maryland driving record?

The answer depends on the specific offense for which you are convicted.   In general, minor offenses do not result in points being assessed against your license — although the conviction will most likely show up on your MVA driving record.  Out-of-state violations for which points are assessed on your Maryland license include:

Will I be assessed points if found guilty of a red light or speed monitoring camera citation?

As stated on the red light and speed monitoring citations: “Payment of the penalty amount for the violation will not result in points and cannot be used to increase your insurance rates.”

What is the significance of having points on my driving record?

Points are assessed by the MVA after you have been convicted of a moving traffic violation.  You will not be assessed points if you receive probation before judgment from the court.  Points are used to trigger certain actions by the MVA.  At five points, you will be required to take a driver improvement course; at 8 points, your license will be suspended; and at 12 points your license will be revoked.  The MVA website is a good resource for students who want to read about this subject in more detail.

I am an international student who was stopped by the police for going through a stop sign.  I have a driver’s license from my home country, which has been translated into English.  The police officer ticketed me for not displaying a proper license and told me I would have to go to court.  What can I tell the judge to get this ticket dismissed?

You may have a defense to the ticket if you have lived in the United States for less than a year and you showed the officer a valid license from your home country.  The license you hold in your home country must authorize you to drive the same class of vehicle you were driving when you received the ticket and should be translated into English by an MVA approved translator.  (For a list of approved translators, go to the MVA website listed in our resource section).

Students who have been driving on an international or home country license — and who have been in the U.S. for less than a year — have successfully presented a defense in court.   To increase your chances of succeeding, it is important to prepare properly before going to court.  Please come see us during walk-in hours as soon as you receive the ticket so that we can give you the necessary information and assistance.

The best way to avoid getting a ticket for driving without a proper ticket and to avoid having to go to court?  Obtain your Maryland license when you first arrive.  For information on applying for a Maryland license, please visit


Maryland Courts Traffic Citation Information:

Maryland People’s Law-Traffic Citations:

Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration:

Maryland Traffic Code: Unannotated Code of Maryland

DISCLAIMER: The materials on this website do not constitute legal advice.

The information on this site provides general information only.  This information does not constitute legal advice and does not take the place of consulting with an attorney.  We do not warrant that the materials on this website are completely accurate, error-free or comprehensive.

This website contains links to other resources on the Internet. We do not sponsor and are not otherwise associated with the creators of those other sites, do not warrant their accuracy, and are not responsible for their content or validity.

Recommendations and opinions are those of the Graduate Student Legal Aid Office and not of the University of Maryland or any of its components.