Traffic Violations

Penalties for Traffic Tickets

The penalties for traffic tickets are consistent throughout all counties in California.

Points issued will depend on the traffic violation. Violations such as speeding, making an unsafe lane change, or an at-fault accident will give you lower points than serious violations, such as reckless driving, hit-and-run, DUI, or driving with a suspended or revoked license.

If convicted of a traffic violation, you could receive points on your CA driving record, or have your driver’s license suspended or revoked. Your traffic court may give you the option to have points removed from your record upon completion of a court-approved traffic course.

Pay a Traffic Ticket in California

If you pay the ticket and attend traffic school, you may not need to go to court. In some cases, you can pay the fine online or by mail; this information should be printed on your ticket.

If you lose your ticket or you cannot find payment information on the ticket, call the traffic court in the county where you received the citation.

Take a Traffic School Course

If you received a traffic ticket for a moving violation, you may, at the court’s discretion, have the option to enroll in traffic school or point reduction course to remove points from your driving record.

Your court will let you know if this is an option for you.

Fight a CA Traffic Ticket

If you wish to contest your traffic ticket in California, you’ll either need to visit the court in the county that issued it, or request a trial by mail.

If the charge is serious, you might consider hiring a traffic ticket attorney.

Lost Your Traffic Ticket?

Any online ticket search availability will vary by which California county you live in. Search your county website to see if they have a search option; it is likely that you will have to contact your local traffic court directly for information regarding a lost traffic ticket.

NOTE: Most counties mail courtesy notices with important details contained on your traffic ticket (e.g., court location, appearance date, and fine amount).

Fines & Penalties for Commercial Drivers

If you have a CDL and are ticketed for a moving violation in California, you must notify your employer within 30 days of your conviction (even if you get ticketed while driving your own car).

If the conviction occurs out of state, use a Report of Out-of-State Traffic Conviction by a Commercial Driver (Form DL 535) to notify your employer.

Major Traffic Violations in CA

The CA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your driver’s license if you accumulate 4 points or more in 12 months. The court will suspend your driver’s license (regardless of the number of points on your driving record) if you’re cited for a serious traffic violation such as driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.