Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Written by Chelsey Tucker
Insurance Expert Chelsey Tucker

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • A police citation is another name for a ticket
  • Receiving a police citation can raise your insurance rates
  • Drivers can shop online to find cheaper insurance after receiving a citation

Seeing flashing red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror is never a sight that gives a driver any joy. Those lights most likely signal that you are about to receive a ticket from a police officer for some driving violation.

While most drivers are familiar with the term ‘ticket,’ many may think that a citation from the police carries more dire consequences. Thankfully, when it comes to citation vs. ticket, you can rest a little easier.

So, what is a police citation? A citation is simply another name for a ticket; however, getting a citation can negatively affect your auto insurance rates.

If you’re faced with a citation and you’re worrying about how this will increase your insurance rates, affordable car insurance can still be found online.

If you have received a police citation, enter your ZIP code to receive free quotes from insurance companies near you.

Is a citation a ticket?

A police citation can be referred to by a variety of names. You may recognize some of these other names for a citation:

  • A ticket
  • An auto citation
  • A traffic citation

A citation, or ticket, is a written notice that designates what you did wrong while driving. Speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign are common reasons for receiving a citation, but, of course, other moving violations can result in a citation as well.

Is a citation a charge? Yes. Disobeying the rules of the road is still breaking the law. A citation provides evidence that you committed a moving violation. Depending on the severity of the charge, you will either have to pay a fine or appear in court to rectify the situation.

Now that you can answer, “What is a police citation?,” an auto insurance company that offers low rates may be the best choice for you if you want to avoid paying too much for insurance after receiving a speeding ticket.

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How do insurance companies discover a driver’s record?

Insurance companies can conduct a police-citation lookup whenever a policy is up for renewal or when writing a new policy. Insurance companies, by examining an individual’s Motor Vehicle Report (MVR), can see the driver’s history of accidents and other citations.

This is why it is incredibly important for drivers to be able to answer, “What is a police citation?” because auto insurance quotes can be dramatically affected by those little slips of paper.

No matter the level of severity, all traffic violations appear on your MVR, which means that your current or new insurance company can see them as well.

How does a citation impact auto insurance rates?

Does a citation go on your record? Yes, it does, and because of this, it can have a negative effect on your insurance rates. Insurance companies tend to view drivers that speed and drive through stop signs as high-risk, which can lead to higher insurance rates.

Of course, if you are given a citation, you can always contest it in traffic court. If you are successful, you could potentially keep the citation from appearing on your record. You might be able to remove your citation by passing a defensive driving course.

How you intend to fight the ticket varies by state and the level of offense; but it is well worth looking into to avoid paying a higher rate on your insurance.

Bear in mind though, that if you have a spotless record and receive a low-level citation — such as a parking ticket — your rates may not change at all. Of course, if you do face a rate increase, most insurance companies drop these blemishes on your record from the rate calculations after three to five years.

How can auto insurance rates be reduced after receiving a citation?

Now that you know how to answer, “What is a police citation?,” reducing auto insurance rates should be the next subject you investigate. If your rates have gone up, for any reason, you can take some steps to lower those rates.

One way to save is by reducing your coverage amount, but that is not advisable. A much better step would be to go over all the discounts that an insurance company offers and apply for as many as you think are eligible.

If you’re not sure what discounts you should ask about, below is a list of discounts offered by major insurance companies:

Auto Insurance Discounts from Top Companies

Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75
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As you can see, by reviewing your policy once during the renewal period, you can maintain adequate protection on your vehicle while saving money at the same time.

You can also take more proactive steps and shop online to compare quotes and coverage from other insurance companies. With today’s technology, you can examine multiple companies at once to verify that you are getting the best deal possible.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

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Police Citations: What You Need to Know

If you’ve ever thought, “What is a police citation?” you probably have not had too many in your driving career. In that case, your auto insurance company is happy to have you as a client. A citation is a ticket and can be written up for speeding or any other moving violation.

Of course, if you have managed to get a few citations, you may have noticed an increase in your rates. Typically, these will fall off your record after three to five years, depending on where you live; but you can take steps to keep your rates low.

You can inquire after discounts offered by your insurance company and also work to improve your driving record so you don’t receive citations in the future.

Paying attention to speed limits, reducing distractions while driving, and paying attention to road signs can help you keep your rates low, and, more importantly, keep you safe while operating a vehicle.

Enter your ZIP code to receive free insurance quotes if you’ve ever wondered, “What is a police citation?” and discover great rates near you.