There is no real difference between a citation and a ticket.  The word “ticket’ is considered a little less formal. A citation or ticket is an official summons for a violation and the two words are interchangeable when talking to law enforcement about a moving violation.

A citation or ticket will only affect your insurance if you are convicted of the moving violation for which it was written. For example, if you receive a ticket for speeding and you decide to plead guilty and pay the fine, the court will then inform your department of motor vehicles. The DMV will enter the offense on your driving record. Your insurance company will then be able to see that offense the next time they pull your motor vehicle record (MVR).

How an offense affects your insurance bill depends on your insurance company. For example, a single speeding ticket may not affect your rates, but likely will take away any good driver discount you may have gotten. However, if you have a previous moving violation conviction on your MVR, then a second speeding ticket may cause your rates to rise.

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Michelle Megna
Contributing Researcher

Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. She's a former editorial director. Prior to joining, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.