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Mechanical Violations

All states require motor vehicles to have specific equipment properly installed on a vehicle. That equipment also must be in working order while you drive.

If your vehicle's equipment is missing or broken, you can get a traffic ticket for a mechanical violation. Too many infractions, including vehicle problems, can lead to penalties like driver's license suspension or revocation.

Types of Mechanical Traffic Violations

Common reasons you might get a mechanical violation include:

  • Burned-out headlights, brake lights, or turn signals
  • Cracked windshields
  • Broken mirrors
  • Missing or malfunctioning seat belts
  • Missing muffler or other noise-control devices, causing loud sounds
  • Excessive smog emissions
  • Damaged license plate

Unlike one-time offenses like reckless driving or skipping a stop sign, these are ongoing. They will continue to violate the law until you fix them.

Other vehicle-related issues can be more serious, up to a misdemeanor or even a felony. Fortunately, most mechanical violations are minor and simple to resolve.

What Is a Fix-It Ticket?

Citations for some mechanical issues are often known as correctable violations or fix-it tickets. State laws specify how fix-it tickets work.

Your citation will tell you whether it is a fix-it ticket. A police officer usually checks "yes" next to a term like "Correctable Violation." Motorists have a short period of time to fix the problem before their court date.

After you repair the mechanical issue, you show proof of correction to an authorized person. You'll need their signature. For example, a local law enforcement officer could sign the "Certificate of Correction" part of the ticket.

If the court accepts your correction, it can dismiss your traffic citation. But, if you fail to fix the problem within the period, you must pay the entire fine for the mechanical violation. You might also get another ticket, which will go on your driving record.

Too Many Traffic Tickets

Collecting a certain amount of tickets can risk your driving privileges. That's why a fix-it ticket could sometimes carry higher penalties, especially after a DUI or prior tickets for unlawful driving.

Because the failure to repair a mechanical violation leads to the issuance of another ticket, it is wise to address a fix-it ticket quickly. Your one fix-it ticket could become two tickets. Those tickets can count toward your state's license penalties or points system.

Commercial Vehicle Fix-it Tickets

As a professional driver, tickets can affect your commercial driver's license. Running a red light is a clear moving violation that only a driver can cause. But, a mechanical issue for a vehicle that belongs to your employer can be confusing.

Your employer may generally handle vehicle inspections and equipment. Yet, you may still be personally liable for a fix-it ticket. Depending on the case, some states and companies might let you transfer the ticket to your employer, but this option is rare.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that drivers share responsibility for the vehicle's condition. As a commercial driver, you should still complete a pre-trip inspection to ensure the vehicle meets safety and legal standards. Alert your employer to any mechanical issues.

State Laws for Mechanical Violations

Learn about the specific laws for vehicle requirements through the chart below. Or, visit your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.

 

Alabama

Regulation of Operation of Motor Vehicles: Equipment

(AL Code Title 32, Ch. 5, Article 9)

Alaska

Vehicle Equipment Standards

(AK Statutes section 28.05.081)

Arizona

Equipment Requirements

(ARS Title 28-921 to 28-966)

Arkansas

Lighting and Equipment Regulations

(AR Code Title 27, Chapters 36 and 37)

California

Equipment of Vehicles

(California Vehicle Code, Division 12)

Colorado

Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic: Equipment

(CRS 42-4-201 to 42-4-239)

Connecticut

Motor Vehicles: Equipment

(GSC Ch. 246, sections 14-80 to 14-106)

Delaware

Equipment Requirements

(DE Code Title 21, Ch. 43, Subchapter I)

Head Lights and Tail Lights

(DE Code Title 21, Ch. 43, Subchapter II)

District of Columbia

Browse the D.C. Vehicle Code

(Chapter 18-7)

Florida

State Uniform Traffic Control: Equipment

(FS Title XXIII, 316.217 to 316.455)

Georgia

Vehicles and Equipment

(Georgia Code Title 40, Chapter 8)

Hawaii

Vehicles and Special Interest Vehicles

(HRS Title 17, Chapter 286, Parts IA, II, and IV)

Idaho

Vehicle Equipment

(ID Statutes Title 49, Ch. 9)

Illinois

Equipment of Vehicles

(625 ILCS 5, Chapter 12)

Indiana

Vehicle Equipment

(Indiana Code 9-21-7. Ensure the most recent year is selected.)

Motor Vehicle Equipment

(Indiana Code Title 9, Article 19. Ensure the most recent year is selected.)

Iowa

Vehicle Equipment

(IA Code Chapter 321, scroll to 321.281 and 321.384 to 321.481 )

Kansas

Equipment of Vehicles

(KS Statutes Chapter 8, Article 17)

Kentucky

Vehicle Equipment

(KRS Chapter 189, sections .020 to .205)

Louisiana

Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulation: Equipment

(LRS 32:301 to 32:369)

Proper equipment required on vehicles

(LRS 32:53)

Maine Equipment(MRS Title 29-A, Chapter 17)
Maryland

Equipment of Vehicles

(MD Transportation Code Title 22)

Massachusetts

Vehicle equipment standards

(90 MGL section 7)

Operation of unregistered or improperly equipped motor vehicles

(90 MGL section 9)

Michigan

Equipment

(MI Vehicle Code sections 257.683 to 257.711)

Minnesota

Traffic Regulations: Equipment

(MN Statutes Chapter 169, 169.46 to 169.75)

Mississippi

Equipment and Identification

(MS Code Title 63, Ch. 7)

Missouri

Vehicle Equipment Regulations

(MRS Chapter 307)

Montana Vehicle Equipment (MCA Title 61, Ch. 9)
Nebraska

Vehicle equipment and violations

(R.R.S. Nebr. Chapter 60, scroll to 60-6, 219 to 298)

Nevada Equipment of Vehicles (NRS 484.541 to 484.646)
New Hampshire Equipment of Vehicles (NH Statutes Ch. 266)
New Jersey

Motor vehicle equipment

(NJ Statutes Subtitle 1, Chapter 3, Article 3, 39:3-46 to 39:3-84)

New Mexico

Motor Vehicles: Equipment

(NMS Ch. 66, Article 3 scroll to Part 9)

New York

Equipment of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles

(NY Vehicle and Traffic Code Article 9)

North Carolina

Motor Vehicle Act: Equipment

(NCGS Ch. 20, Article 3 scroll to sections 20-122 to 20-137)

North Dakota

Equipment of Vehicles

(ND Code Chapter 39-21)

Size, Width, and Height Restrictions

(ND Code Chapter 39-12)

Ohio

Traffic Laws: Equipment

(ORC Chapter 4513)

Oklahoma

Vehicle Equipment

(OK Statutes Title 47, Chapter 12)

Oregon

Vehicle Equipment Generally

(OR Title 59: Vehicle Code, Chapters 815 and 816)

Pennsylvania

Equipment Standards

(PA Vehicle Code Ch. 41)

Lighting Equipment

(PA Vehicle Code Ch. 43)

Other Required Equipment

(PA Vehicle Code Ch. 45)

Rhode Island

Equipment and Accessories Generally

(RI Code Ch. 31-23)

Lighting Equipment and Reflectors

(RI Code Ch. 31-24)

South Carolina

Equipment and Identification

(SC Code scroll to Title 35)

South Dakota

Motor Vehicles: Title 32

(32-15 through 32-19)

Tennessee

Equipment and Lighting Regulations

(TN Code Title 55, Chapter 9)

Texas

Vehicle Equipment

(TX Transp. Code Ch. 547)

Utah

Vehicle Equipment and Modifications

(UT Code, scroll to Chapter 6A, part 16: 41-6a-1603 to 41-6a-1641)

Vermont

Operation of Vehicles: Equipment

(23 VSA Ch. 13, Subchapter 14, sections 1221 to 1362)

Virginia

Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety

(VA Code Title 46.2, Ch. 10)

Washington

Vehicle lighting and other equipment

(RCW Chapter 46.37)

West Virginia

Equipment

(WV Code Chapter 17C, Article 15)

Wisconsin

Equipment of Vehicles

(WI Code Chapter 347)

Wyoming

Equipment

(WY Statutes Title 31, Chapter 5, Article 9)

Get Legal Help for a Traffic Violation

Fix-it tickets are often straightforward and typically don't demand legal action. A prompt repair can protect your driving privileges.

But every situation is different. You may find yourself in need of advice, especially if you have previous traffic tickets. Contact a traffic law attorney in your area for more information.

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