How to Write a Response Letter Disputing a Traffic Violation

By Meg Rains
Some traffic tickets are worth a dispute.

traffic light image by sonya etchison from Fotolia.com

Traffic violations cause more than a sinking feeling in your stomach—they’re expensive and can cause your insurance rates to skyrocket. According to World Law Direct, only 5 percent of the 35 million people who receive traffic tickets each year dispute the violation. However, taking the time to dispute a violation is likely to pay off, since roughly half of those contested tickets get dismissed. All it takes is a little research and organization to rightfully state your case.

Read the ticket you received from the police officer thoroughly. It shows the reason for your citation, your assigned ticket number, the city or county in which you received the ticket and contact information where you will send correspondence.

Take photos of the area where the violation occurred. For example, if you received a parking ticket at a location where the relevant signs were missing or obscured, a photo will add weight to your case.

Put your anger and other emotions aside. Remember that the first person to read this letter will be an employee who has nothing to do with the incident. If your letter is filled with hostility, the reader may react in kind, and your dispute could be thrown out.

Explain in the first paragraph that you are contesting your traffic violation, give your ticket number, and offer a brief description of the incident, stating such facts as location, date, time and reason for citation.

Justify the reasons why you are contesting the violation, and provide evidence to support your case. Evidence may reference local traffic laws, photos or state vehicle registration information, depending on the reason for the citation.

Inform the reader if you have enclosed copies of evidence, such as photos or documents. Also thank the reader for his or her time and consideration of your case.

About the Author

Since 1994, Meg Rains has written content ranging from advertising copy to federal grant proposals. Her work has appeared in “Chicago” Magazine, “Arts and Letters” and “Cleveland Clinic Health.” She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson College and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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