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Traffic violations for non-U.S. residents can affect future visits

Local South Carolina drivers are not the only ones susceptible to being pulled over by police and issued a speeding ticket. In fact, some might argue that out-of-towners are even more likely to get caught because they are not familiar with the local roads and where police set up speed traps to snare unsuspecting motorists.

Motorists who are visiting from outside of the country -- often those who drive down from Canada -- may not think that a speeding ticket is anything to worry about. After all, the authorities cannot pursue an unpaid speeding ticket against a person who does not live in the United States.

However, if motorists from outside the country receive a speeding ticket or driving citation in South Carolina or throughout the rest of the United States, there are still consequences.

Residents from outside of the country are offered a number of options once they receive a speeding ticket. They can pay the fine by mail or ask for a remediation hearing. If they do not mind being totally inconvenienced, they can return to the city where they were cited for the offense and fight the ticket in court.

Out-of-country motorists would be wise to take some sort of action with their ticket. If they ignore it, the authorities in the United States will take away that person's driving privilege in the states. This would be problematic if the out-of-country driver often comes to the U.S. to drive.

With driving privileges revoked, a driver would essentially be driving on a suspended license, which can be met with serious punishment. However, an individual cannot be arrested for unpaid tickets unless there is a warrant out for their arrest.

Those with unpaid tickets might also open themselves to more intense scrutiny at the border. Without a clean record, border patrol might be more skeptical about letting an individual in the country. Even if the driver does not plan on returning to the United States, their unpaid traffic fine can go to collections, which would also hurt them.

Source: The Globe and Mail, "Why should I pay a U.S. speeding ticket?" Joanne Will, March 21, 2012

1 Comment

The first sentence says it all. This blog post holds very relevant information for people who are prone towards speeding tickets. Thank you for sharing this bit of information.

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