Traffic Ticket Questions
1) How do I know which type of Traffic Ticket I have?
In California, there are several traffic violations for which you can receive traffic tickets. The following is the three general types of citations:
If you received a parking ticket, this is not filed with the court. Any fines you may have that relate to damaged vehicle equipment may be listed on this ticket. You must pay this ticket or the fines will increase and you may not be able to renew your vehicle registration. Contact the parking ticket agency on the ticket for information about what to do.
Infraction Traffic Ticket:
This ticket may have been issued to you for breaking speed laws, traffic laws, running red lights, etc. If a police officer pulls you over for breaking California Traffic Law they can charge you with an infraction. You may also be asked to sign the ticket, which is also called the “Notice to Appear”. In addition, if you do not have proof of car insurance, you can be charged with an infraction for operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance.
Misdemeanor Traffic Ticket:
If you are charged with a misdemeanor traffic ticket this is a more serious offense. You can be charged with a misdemeanor for driving without a license, or on a suspended license. If these charges do not involve alcohol or drugs, you may be asked to sign the ticket or the “Notice to Appear”.
After you pay the fine, points may show up on your DMV record unless you can go to traffic school. If the court allows you to attend a traffic school and receives your completion of the class before the deadline, the points should not show up on your record.
2) What do I do if I get an Infraction Traffic Ticket?
You may have to sign a “Notice to Appear”, by signing the ticket. This does not mean you are guilty. It simply means you promise to go to court or pay the fine.
What if I don’t want to go to court?
If you don’t want to go to court you can:
- Ask the court if you can plead guilty and
- Pay the fine by mail
- Pay to go to traffic school or
- Have a trial by mail
If you plead guilty and pay the fine, you will get points on your driving record and your car insurance premiums may increase.
However, if you don't go to court or pay the fine, your license can be suspended and the court can charge you with a misdemeanor and issue a warrant for your arrest.
3) What is a Notice to Appear?
The Notice to Appear, or act of signing the infraction or misdemeanor traffic ticket, is not the same thing as admitting you are guilty. The Notice to Appear is simply a promise to appear in court or pay the fine.
4) How much will I have to pay for an Infraction Ticket?
The fine for infractions can be $370 or more.
5) Do I get points on my driving record even if I pay my fine?
You may still receive points on your record unless the court allows you to take traffic school. In this instance, if you turn in your proof of completion of the approved traffic school before the deadline, you should not receive any points.
Remember, points on your driving record can increase your insurance premiums or, your policy could be cancelled all together.
6) How do I know if I can take Traffic School?
The court should be able to tell you whether or not traffic school is an option and what schools are approved.
You should not get any points on your record if:
- this is your first ticket
- the court allows you to go to traffic school
7) Where can I find the traffic laws for California?
The link below provides online access to the California Driver’s Manual, Vehicle Code book and a list of all of the traffic laws and driving rules in California.
8) Where can I find the court contact information?
If you would like to contact your court for questions about your ticket or taking traffic school, the link below will provide you a detailed list by county.
For more information about traffic citations and court procedure, visit:
9) My court is not on your list, can I still take your traffic school?
Possibly. You must contact the judge (or traffic supervisor) at your court to request special permission to take our program (approved by over 140 other courts). If you receive permission, then contact us to determine how to sign up.
10) How long will it take to get my certificate?
Once you pass the final exam, you will be able to instantly download your certificate. Because this course is DMV approved, we automatically report your completion to the DMV who reports it to the court. All course completions are reported to the DMV after finishing the course.