How to Check Traffic Tickets Online

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A party can find a traffic ticket on the website of the court of the county or city in which the ticket was issued. A party has three options, pay the ticket, attend defensive driving school or plead not guilty and request a court hearing. A party can pay the traffic ticket online.

A party who wants to track a traffic ticket online should visit the website of the city or the court of the county in which the ticket was issued. The website will have a search engine in which the party can enter identifying information, including her first and last names, gender, last four digits of her Social Security number, traffic ticket number, driver’s license, learner’s permit or state identification number, and date of birth. It can take 30 days for a traffic ticket to get posted online.

What Are the Offender’s Options?

When a party receives a civil traffic ticket, he may be eligible to attend a defensive driving class. He must pay a fee, which will be dismissed upon completion of the class. No points will be placed on his driving record.

A state may have a limit on the number of defensive driving classes a party can take in a certain period, such as once every 12 months, and within the party’s lifetime, such as five times in one lifetime. The party also has the option of paying the fee or pleading not guilty and requesting a court hearing.

When a Traffic Ticket Isn’t Available Online

If a party’s ticket is not available online, he must appear at the courthouse by the due date listed on the ticket. He can also contact his county’s traffic court. A ticket marked “summons” will not be in the online system; the party will receive a summons in the mail to attend court.

When a ticket has been dismissed, or the party was convicted at trial and has paid the fines, fees and surcharges, the ticket will be closed. The party will not be able to find and pay that ticket online. In some cases and in certain areas, a law enforcement agency can file a traffic ticket online more than 30 days after the date of the offense. If a party does not see the ticket in the online system after 30 days, he should contact the law enforcement agency that issued the ticket.

What Is the Due Date to Pay?

The due date to pay a traffic ticket is one day before the due date on the notice to appear on the ticket. Paying a ticket by standard mail should allow time for the payment to arrive. A party who has lost his ticket or does not know when the ticket is due should call the law enforcement agency that issued the ticket. If a party pays online, he may have to pay a small additional fee for this service.

A court may offer alternatives to parties who cannot pay traffic fines and fees in full, such as an amnesty program, an installment payment plan based on income and expenses, a delayed collection effort, or a referral to a local work program in lieu of payment.

When an Offender Doesn’t Pay

Failure to respond to a traffic ticket by the due date can result in a civil assessment penalty or fine. The amount of the fine depends on the rules of the county or city in which the ticket was issued. The law enforcement agency can also refer the debt to a collection agency or request that a judge issue a warrant for the offender’s arrest. If an account is referred to a collection agency, the offender can be subject to wage garnishments and bank levies.

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About the Author

Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.