What Is a Traffic Warrant?

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A traffic warrant is a warrant for a person's arrest. Courts issue a traffic warrant when a person fails to pay a traffic fine or fails to appear in court to answer a traffic summons.

Traffic Infractions

Traffic violations range in scale from minor to severe. Minor infractions include such violations as an illegal U-turn, driving above the speed limit or rolling through a stop sign. You can pay an infraction by mail or you can request a trial to present your defense. Serious traffic infractions, such as drag racing or driving without a license, are misdemeanor. A misdemeanor always requires a court appearance.

Read More: What Is a Traffic Infraction?


When you receive a traffic ticket, you must either pay the fine or appear in court. Failing to comply may result in a court issuing a traffic warrant for your arrest. A late fee may be added to original fine. If you have an outstanding traffic warrant, your state's department of motor vehicles may suspend your driver's license or refuse to renew it.

What To Do

If a traffic warrant is issued for your arrest, immediately contact the court that issued the warrant. The court will likely give you a date to appear before the court. Failure to appear will result in the issuance of a new traffic warrant.


About the Author

Samantha Arroyo graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelors degree in English journalism. She began her career as a journalist and later moved into marketing and advertising. As an experienced copywriter, has produced compelling, benefit-driven copy for ministries, utilities, financial institutions and retail stores. Her work has also been featured in "Carved In Granite II," Applaud Women Magazine, and online at 'Tween Girls and God and FaithWriters.

Photo Credits

  • Frightened businessman and female hands image by Laser from Fotolia.com