Paying a traffic ticket
This page has general information about paying traffic tickets, including traffic school, fix-it tickets, and your options if you can't afford to pay a ticket.
The ticket, notice from the court, or the court's website has specific information about how to pay (online, by mail, or in person).
Where to pay your ticket
Your traffic ticket or the notice you got in the mail from the court has information on how to plead guilty (or no contest) and pay. You can usually do this online, by mail, or in person. If your ticket or notice says mandatory appearance, it means you will have to go to court.
Don’t know which county? Find it by city or zip code.
Plead guilty or no contest and pay the fine by the deadline
If you are not going to contest your traffic ticket, you need to both:
- Plead guilty or no contest
- Pay the fine (also called bail)
The main difference between a guilty or no contest plea is how it can be used if you're sued for a reason related to the traffic ticket. A guilty plea can be used to prove you did what the ticket says. If you plea no contest, the person suing you may still need to prove you did what the ticket says. Talk to a lawyer for more information about how your plea can impact you if you're sued.
DMV points and traffic school
The conviction will show up on your driving record with the DMV (it adds points to your driving record). The points can affect your car insurance.
If you are eligible, you can ask to go to a traffic school so you don't get a point on your record. The notice sent by the court will say if you are eligible for traffic school. There's a fee to go to traffic school.
If you complete traffic school, you don't get the point added to your DMV record (if you have a noncommercial driver's license). If you have a commercial driver's license the rules are different.
If you have a fix-it ticket (correctable offense)
If you had a fix-it ticket (correctable offense), you need to pay the fine and send in proof that you fixed the problem. This is generally the signed certificate of correction on the back of the ticket.
If you can't afford to pay for your ticket
Once the court sets your fine, if you can't afford to pay it you can ask the court to
- Lower what you owe
- Give you more time to pay
- Let you pay over time
- Give you community service
You will need to answer some questions about why you can't afford the fine. Get information on how to ask the court to consider your ability to pay.
If you had a civil assessment, the total amount you owe may be decreased. A new law passed that canceled civil assessments from before July 1, 2022.