Speed limits are going to be one of the last things that springs to mind when traveling to a beautiful place such as the U.S. state of Missouri. However, the state’s traffic authority sets out clear guidelines that must be followed in order to avoid getting a traffic ticket, points added to your license, and subsequent insurance increases, or, worse, jail time!

If you are moving to Missouri from another state, visiting, relocating from another country, or simply driving through the state from another, such as Arkansas, or perhaps even Iowa, knowing what is the speed limit in Missouri is extremely pivotal knowledge to have.

Speed limits in Missouri

Knowledge of the correct speed limits is not only about avoiding punishment. It is also about driving safely on the roads to prevent accidents with another motorist. Driving within the speed limit helps reduce the possibility of crashes and promotes efficient use of the road.

Traffic laws, including speed limits and other motor vehicle-related laws, are established by the Missouri Department of Transportation. The state speed limits are defined by two different types of speed limits, basic speeding Missouri law, and absolute speed limits.

The basic speeding law prohibits driving “at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual hazards then existing”. This quote means that motorists must always drive at a safe speed for the conditions and environment they are driving in.

An example would be that if you were driving on a 65 mph road in torrential rain you would be required to slow down your speed to significantly less than the signed speed limit of 65 mph. This is because the weather and road conditions would be considered dangerous, and if you were caught driving at the signed limit, you may be slapped with a fine.

Absolute and Basic Speed Limits in Missouri

The absolute speed limit in Missouri is the speed limit you see signposted on roadways, what you see is what you get, literally! If the weather conditions are good and safe, you may go at the maximum speed limit. Surpassing it will likely cost you in fines.

Missouri has one of the highest maximum speed limits in the U.S., with only 16 other states with a higher maximum speed limit. The maximum speed at which you can travel on certain roads in Missouri is 70 mph.

Here are the different speed limits to look out for in Missouri:

  • 40 mph is the speed limit in residential areas (always double-check the posted speed limit).
  • 65 mph is the maximum speed limit for undivided roads.
  • 70 mph is the maximum speed limit for divided roads.
  • The urban highway speed limit in Missouri is 65 mph.
  • Rural highways in Missouri are 70 mph.
  • The maximum speed limit for trucks in Missouri is also 70 mph.

When driving through residential areas and not a state highway, something to be aware of is schools, hospitals, and construction zones as these areas often have temporarily lowered speed limits and enforce these limits very strictly. You don’t want to receive a hefty fine for not being aware of this.

Speeding Tickets and Points

In Missouri, surpassing the basic speed limit is a class B misdemeanor, which will result in guity motorists facing up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine  of $1,000.

In addition to this, if you are caught and convicted of voilating the absolute speed limit, you will have committed a class C misdemeanor and will face up to 15 days in jail and a maximum fine of $750. However, if you surpass the limit by 5 mph or less, then the offense is considered an infraction.

If you receive a speeding ticket in Missouri, the likelihood is that you will receive points added to your license too. There are many other driving offenses that will result in points being added to your license, receiving too many points over a certain period of time will most likely end up in your license being suspended. Here is an overview of how the point system works in Missouri:

Missouri Speeding Ticket PointsTotal Points
Unlisted violation2
Municipal stop sign violation1
Speeding3
Municipal speeding violation2
Leaving the scene of an accident12
Careless driving6
Driving without a license2
Driving while suspended or revoked12
License fraud12
DUI (driving under the influence)8
Felony involving motor vehicle12
Permitting unlicensed driver to operate4
No insurance4
Endangerment of highway worker4
Aggravated endangerment of highway worker12
Endangerment of emergency worker4
Aggravated endangerment of emergency worker12

When visiting or relocating your family to the beautiful state of Missouri, it is normal to have your mind focused on fun things to do. Knowing what is the speed limit in Missouri is – and adhering to the signed limits – will ensure your time is well spent and minimize the chance of you being fined or getting into an accident.