State laws and definitions of moving violations differ, so in some states, a defective or unsafe vehicle citation may be considered a moving violation, while in others, it may not.
For example, the Texas Department of Public Safety chart of moving violations lists vehicles without required equipment or in an unsafe condition as a moving violation that will have driver responsibility points assessed to the person’s license if they are convicted of this offense. Operating an unsafe vehicle is also listed as a moving violation assigned points.
In Texas, a citation for specific defective equipment on a car would be a non-moving violation. For example, defective breaks, headlamps, tail lights, etc would be considered an equipment ticket which is a non-moving violation. It may be up to the discretion of the officer or court to determine if a defective equipment ticket will be a fix-it ticket. Typically, if you get the defective equipment taken care of and show the court proof by your court date, the citation can be dismissed.
South Carolina is different in that it lists driving an unsafe vehicle, unsafe equipment and defective parts cited on a vehicle under equipment violations and not as moving violations.
To find out how your state regards citations for either a defective part or vehicle or an unsafe vehicle contact your Department of Motor Vehicles.
— Michelle Megna contributed to this story.
Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. “Texas Administrative Code.” Accessed January 2023.
South Carolina Judicial Branch. “Common Traffic Violations.” Accessed January 2023.