Difference Between Citation And Ticket
Lauren Lewthwaite 05-04-2022

What Is The Difference Between A Citation And A Ticket?

Difference Between Citation And Ticket

If you’ve ever wondered “what’s the difference between a citation and a ticket?”, you’re not alone. These two terms are both frequently used when it comes to driving infractions, so it’s important to understand what they refer to and how they’re used. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know when it comes to the difference between citation and ticket, and how they affect you and your insurance. 

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Citation vs. ticket

These two words are used interchangeably and essentially mean the same thing: you’ve committed an infraction and need to either pay a fine or appear in court, depending on the type of infraction. While both words mean the same thing, the citation is often used in more formal situations like when you have to go to court. 

How Citations and Tickets Affect Your Insurance

Because there’s no difference between a citation and a ticket, they both equally affect your insurance. The extent of their impact depends on the type of infraction you’ve incurred: a minor parking ticket won’t have the same lasting impact as driving under the influence charge. 

Keeping your tickets and citations down in number is the best way to keep your car insurance affordable. The more frequent citations you receive and the more severe the infractions, the more you’ll pay—to the point where you could even lose your driver’s license. 

Each insurance provider and state sets its own rules for determining how particular infractions affect your car insurance rates. For some, a first-time speeding ticket might have no impact on their car insurance rates (although you may lose a good-driver discount), but if it’s your second moving violation, your insurance provider might hike your rate. 

Luckily, parking tickets and other non-moving violations don’t generally impact your driver history and your insurance. You also won’t be summoned to court for these (unless you want to contest the ticket) and will simply need to pay a fine.

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Your Insurance Versus Your Driver History

It’s worthwhile to note that what affects your insurance might not affect your driver history and vice versa. In terms of the difference between a citation and ticket on your driver history and your insurance, there’s none: the terms are still interchangeable when it comes to both your record as a driver and your insurance.

But keep in mind that just because your insurance rates didn’t get raised over a ticket or citation, that doesn’t mind that it doesn’t go on your driving record for a certain number of years. Over time, tickets and citations can add up and start to affect your insurance rates

The Difference Between Citation and Ticket: Your Takeaways

So, what’s the difference between a citation and a ticket? Not much. While they might be used in different contexts depending on the state, they’re essentially the same thing. What you do need to know is that both terms have the ability to affect your driving record and your insurance rate, so it’s important to avoid any tickets or citations to keep your rates down and your record clear. 

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Lauren LewthwaiteLauren Lewthwaite has been freelance writing for almost five years writing content that ranges from health to insurance and everything in between. Lauren is also a trained translator in French and English and is a dog-mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd.