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Traffic FAQs

General

How soon can you deal with my ticket?

It generally takes a week to ten days for the court to receive a ticket and another 5-10 business days to enter and process it. Once entered into the court's system, a Courtesy Notice is mailed to the address listed on the citation.

The Court can quote bail and give you information regarding your citation after the citation has been filed by the issuing agency and entered into the court's computers.

How do I take care of a fix-it ticket?

See Proof of Correction on the Traffic Tickets page.

Paying Tickets

Why is there a proof of correction fee?

(Sometimes the officer states there is no fee for correctable "fix-it" violations.)

The State of California requires the court to collect a proof of correction processing fee (Fix-it Fee) per Vehicle Code § 40611 (which is statutory) for all correctable violations.

Statutory fees apply even if the infraction itself carries no fine.

Can I pay my traffic ticket online?

Yes. Pay your ticket in full, 24 hours a day, with a Visa or Mastercard. You will be charged a nominal processing fee for this service.

We also have an automated phone payment system: 866-822-5176. You will need your court docket number; see the Citation Status page for information about docket numbers.

If our ticket information section does not answer your questions, you may call us by phone or by appearing at the clerk's office at any of our branch locations.

Any holds on your driving record will be released on the next business day after making your payment in full with these options.

How much is my ticket?

Fines will vary based on violations alleged and/or judge's decisions if a court appearance is made.

Typically, the amount due is the bail required for each violation plus any applicable assesments and fees.

The California legislature enacts minimum and maximum fines for all violations of state law; fines for local laws are enacted by the Board of Supervisors or City Councils. The State of California and the County of San Luis Obispo have also adopted laws which add an assessment to the amount of the fine.

When you appear in court, the judge may impose any fine between the minimum and maximum based upon the facts of your case and your record of prior convictions.

If the judge becomes aware that you have prior convictions, the fine imposed in court can be more than the bail. The Judicial Council recommends an increase for each prior conviction up to the maximum permitted by law.

If your ticket includes a correctable violation, see Proof of Correction.

Who do I make my check out to?

Make checks out to SLO Superior Court.

Appearing in Court

When is my court date?

Your court date is the date on the bottom of your citation. If the citation does not have a court date listed, the court will issue one and will include it on the Courtesy Bail Notice.

What if I need to change my appearance date?

See Requesting an Extension on the Tickets page.

What happens when I appear in Traffic Court?

See Appearing in Court.

How do I check in?

See "How do I set a court date?" on the Appearing in Court page.

What happens when I plead Not Guilty?

See the same question on the Contesting a Citation page.

Do I have a warrant?

Warrants are not usually issued on Traffic Infractions. Punishment for an infraction is a fine only.

If you do not take care of your traffic citation in a timely manner:

  • a hold will be placed on your driver's license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV),
  • your license may be suspended, and
  • a civil assessment of $300.00 will be added to the bail amount currently due.

Am I eligible for Traffic School?

See the Eligibility Requirements.

The State of California has set forth Traffic School eligibility requirements in California Rule of Court 4.104. These rules determine under what conditions and in which cases a person may attend Traffic School in order to receive a confidential traffic school conviction.

This court will permit attendance at a Department of Motor Vehicles certified Traffic School as a means of obtaining a confidential traffic school conviction if you meet the Eligibility Requirements.

If I have a Trial and am found guilty, can I still do Traffic School?

Traffic School attendance after a Court Trial would have to be approved by the judge.

Advanced Matters

What if I disagree with the ticket the officer wrote, what can I do?

You have two options available to you:

1. Trial by Written Declaration
This option is for infraction violations only and does not require a personal appearance. You may request a Trial by Written Declaration which requires you to post bail in lieu of your appearance. Instructions and forms for a Trial by Written Declaration may be obtained by mail or from our forms page. Submit the Trial by Written Declaration form with any facts or evidence you wish to have considered. A written statement will be requested from the citing officer(s). A judicial officer will review your case and you will be notified by mail of the decision.

2. Court Trial
This option requires a court appearance and is available for all violations. A Court Trial requires you to post bail if you do not appear for arraignment. Posting bail pursuant to VC40519(b) constitutes a waiver of your right to a speedy trial within 45 days. Send a check or money order for the total bail or appear for an arraignment and enter your plea after which the court will set your trial date and notice you by mail.

If you fail to appear at the time designated for your trial, either a trial in your absence will occur (Trial in Absentia), or a VC40508(a) charge may be added against you, which bears an additional penalty fee and a driver’s license suspension until resolved.

For more information, see What happens when I plead not guilty?.

What if I disagree with the outcome of my trial?

Any party may appeal an unfavorable decision made in the trial court to the appellate division of the superior court. The appeal must be directed towards errors of law only. An appeal is not a retrial, and you will not be permitted to introduce new evidence. You are advised to thoroughly read California Rules of Court, rules 8.702-8.709 and rules 8.780-8.793. The court clerks cannot assist you. You should direct any questions you have to an attorney of your own choosing.

Forms for an appeal are available from the clerk's office (Judicial Council forms TR-150, TR-155, TR-160, TR-165) or online at this website at www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm. Choose "Traffic Infractions" from the "Category" drop down menu then click the "search" button. The Notice of Appeal from a Court Trial must be filed within 30 days of the judgment date.

Filing a Notice of Appeal does not stop enforcement of the judgment. You must still comply with all terms and conditions of the court order.

To appeal a Trial by Declaration decision, complete and file a Request for New Trial (Trial De Novo) (Judicial Council Form TR-220) with the Court within 20 days of the mailing of judgment.