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How Much Is a Surcharge in Massachusetts

How Much Is a Surcharge in Massachusetts?

If you are a driver in Massachusetts, you may have heard about surcharges and wondered how much they can cost you. Surcharges are additional fees imposed on drivers for various traffic violations, accidents, or driving offenses. These surcharges are in addition to any fines or penalties you may have already incurred. In this article, we will explore the different types of surcharges in Massachusetts and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

Types of Surcharges in Massachusetts:

1. Traffic Violations Surcharge: This type of surcharge is imposed on drivers who accumulate multiple traffic violations within a specific period. The surcharge is $100 for each offense, and it applies to a range of violations, including speeding, running a red light, or driving without a valid license.

2. Major Traffic Violation Surcharge: If you are convicted of a major traffic violation, such as driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, or leaving the scene of an accident, you will face a surcharge of $500 per offense. This surcharge applies in addition to any fines or penalties imposed by the court.

3. At-Fault Accident Surcharge: Massachusetts has a “no-fault” auto insurance system, but if you are deemed to be at fault in an accident, you may face an at-fault accident surcharge. The amount of the surcharge depends on the total amount of damages resulting from the accident. The surcharge ranges from $500 to $5,000 per year for three years. The surcharge is higher if you have multiple at-fault accidents.

4. Insurance Surcharge: If you have been found guilty of certain driving offenses, your auto insurance provider may impose an insurance surcharge. This surcharge can significantly increase your insurance premiums for a specific period, typically three years. The amount of the surcharge depends on the severity of the offense and the insurance company’s policies.

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Q: How long do surcharges stay on your driving record?
A: Surcharges remain on your driving record for six years from the date of the offense. It is important to maintain a clean driving record to avoid these penalties.

Q: Can I appeal a surcharge?
A: Yes, you have the right to appeal a surcharge. You can request a hearing with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to contest the surcharge. It is advisable to seek legal representation or consult with an attorney experienced in traffic violations to increase your chances of a successful appeal.

Q: Can I take a defensive driving course to reduce surcharges?
A: Massachusetts does not offer a defensive driving course to reduce surcharges. However, completing a driver improvement course voluntarily may help improve your driving skills and reduce the risk of future violations.

Q: Will a surcharge affect my insurance rates?
A: Yes, surcharges can significantly impact your insurance rates. Insurance companies use surcharges as a factor in determining premiums. It is essential to maintain a clean driving record to avoid insurance surcharges.

Q: Can I pay surcharges in installments?
A: Yes, if you are unable to pay the surcharges in full, you may be eligible for a payment plan. Contact the Massachusetts RMV or your insurance provider to discuss available options.


Surcharges in Massachusetts can be costly and have long-term implications for your driving record and insurance rates. It is crucial to understand the types of surcharges and their associated costs to avoid unnecessary financial burdens. Remember to drive responsibly, follow traffic laws, and maintain a clean driving record to prevent surcharges from affecting you.

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