Most states have databases that allow drivers to check online for traffic tickets. Washington D.C. has one through its Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Drivers can use the DMV website to create a free account and check the status of their ticket, contest or pay tickets, or look up any scheduled hearings regarding it. This free service also sends drivers reminder emails so they can keep up with their tickets to prevent late fees or having their vehicles booted or impounded. Anyone who has a ticket within the past 18 months can enroll.
Registering With the DMV in D.C.
A person who received a ticket in Washington can register for the DMV's Email Ticket Alert Service (TAS) online. This service allows drivers to create an account that provides them with almost real-time information about their violation tickets, as well as outcomes of hearings and other ticket-related information for up to four vehicles and one driver's license. Those who wish to enroll must have received at least one ticket issued to them or their vehicle in the previous 18 months.
Those who enroll in the program can log on at any time to see all the information associated with their ticket. They can access their ticket history, including hearing requests, payments, outcomes and appeals. They can also link to payment, contesting and scheduling functions through TAS.
Contesting a D.C. Traffic Citation Ticket
If someone wishes to contest a ticket, the DMV has an ombudsman to assist them that can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 202-729-7092. Those who wish to contest a ticket should not pay it – once they do, it can no longer be contested. A reduction in fines can be requested through the DMV Online Ticket Adjudication portal or by sending supporting documents to DMV Adjudication Services, Attention: Mail Adjudication, P.O. Box 37135, Washington, DC 20013.
A person with a ticket must contest it within 120 calendar days. If they do this within the first 30 calendar days, they will need to pay only the initial ticket fine if found guilty. After 30 days, they will have to pay the fine, plus a penalty equal to it. After 60 days, they'll need to fill out a Motion to Vacate to dispute their penalties and fines.
D.C. Traffic Ticket Payment Options
When paying online, an individual must have their ticket number and credit card information ready – the DMV accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. Depending on the type of ticket they have, they'll pay through the Parking and Photo Enforcement, Minor Moving Violations or Fleet portals. Ticket holders can also pay by mail using a check or money order made out to "DC Treasurer" with the ticket number in the memo line and mailed to: Adjudication Services, P.O. Box 2014, Washington, DC 20013. If they do not have the ticket, they can write the vehicle's state and tag number on their form of payment, but if they do not provide a ticket number, the payment goes to the oldest ticket first.
When mailed, the DMV must receive the payment within 30 calendar days, so it should be mailed at least two weeks before the due date. If the DMV does not receive it within that time, it will assess a penalty in the same amount as the ticket fine. People with tickets can also pay them by calling 866-893-5023 or in person at Adjudication Services, 955 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Promenade Level, Suite P100, Washington, DC 20024.
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.