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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Traffic: Traffic FAQs
Traffic Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a Night Court for traffic tickets?
2. Where do I obtain a copy of an accident report?
3. What happens if I don't take care of my traffic citation by the appearance date?
4. What types of payments do you accept?
5. What if I have a financial hardship and cannot afford to pay for my citation?
6. What if I am unable to pay my court ordered fine?
7. Who do I contact regarding a traffic citation I received?
8. I received a traffic citation, but have not yet received a notice with the bail amount, what should I do?
9. Am I eligible for traffic school?
10. How do I arrange to attend traffic school if I'm eligible?
11. Do I have to pay the court a fee to attend traffic school and a fee to the traffic school?
12. I received a red light photo enforcement ticket in the mail but I was not the driver. What do I do?
13. I received a ticket for your court but I live outside of San Diego County. Where can I get a traffic school list for my area?
14. Can the clerk advise me how to proceed?
15. I received a traffic ticket. Will I get "points" on my driver's license?
16. How is bail calculated?
17. I had a traffic or minor offense hearing/business office appointment set during the Court’s closure. When will my matter be heard?
18. I had a court trial set during the Court’s closure. When will my matter be heard?
19. I have received notice that a virtual hearing has been scheduled, but I am not sure how to access it. Where can I find more information?
20. I received a “Notice of Rescheduled Hearing/Appointment – Remote” and I am unable to participate because I don’t have a computer, tablet or phone. What do I do?
21. I was supposed to submit proof of completion of a court-ordered program during the Court’s closure. What should I do?
22. I was supposed to complete traffic school during the Court’s closure. How can I get more time to complete it?
23. I submitted documents during the closure. How do I know if the Court received them?
24. My case is in collections, I cannot afford to pay and need to see a judicial officer. What should I do?
25. I want to plead not guilty, but cannot pay the bail, and need to see a judicial officer. What should I do?
26. My license is suspended for failing to appear in a traffic/minor offense matter. How can I get it back?
27. I want to plead not guilty and don’t want to post bail. Can I appear in court?
28. I previously requested a trial by declaration and was supposed to submit my declaration during the Court’s closure. What should I do?
29. I previously appeared in court, have been laid off and cannot afford to pay the traffic/minor offense citation. What can I do?
30. I tried to pay online and received a “timed out” error, what should I do?
31. I have received a notice of scheduled virtual hearing. How do I appear for my virtual hearing?


1. Is there a Night Court for traffic tickets?

Most divisions offer an evening court session for infraction cases only. Court addresses and hours are available on our Office Locations page. If your ticket directs you to appear at the Kearny Mesa Traffic Court or the North County Division, Traffic Annex, click here to schedule a court appearance at night court. Bail is not required to appear in court.


2. Where do I obtain a copy of an accident report?

The investigating agency must be contacted for a copy of an accident report.

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3. What happens if I don't take care of my traffic citation by the appearance date?

Failure to resolve your traffic/minor offense ticket by the due date may result in the issuance of a warrant, new charges, or the imposition of a $300 civil assessment penalty added to the original bail amount pursuant to Penal Code §1214.1 with a referral to a collection agency, and if applicable, suspension of your driver license.


4. What types of payment do you accept?

Visa, Master Card, American Express, cash, checks and money orders are accepted at the court. For more information on paying your ticket, click on our Ticket Information page.


5. What if I have a financial hardship and cannot afford to pay for my citation?

If you have a financial hardship and can show that you are unable to pay the full amount for the offenses on your traffic ticket, you may request the court to consider your ability to pay in setting or reducing the fine amount, ask for an installment plan based on your ability to pay, or ask to consider community service. You can do this by:

  1. Appearing in court to make this request. (An appointment is required to appear in court.) Click here for court times and scheduling.
  2. Filing or mailing a written request to the Court


6. What if I am unable to pay my court ordered fine?

If you are unable to make a scheduled court ordered fine payment due to financial hardship, you may do any of the following:

  1. Request a 30-day extension to pay (maximum two extensions) by phone or mail. Click here for court contact information.
  2. Appear at the Traffic Business Office and:
    1. Request a 30-day extension to pay;
    2. Request a reduction of the fine;
    3. Request community service/volunteer work for up to half the total fine; and/or
    4. Request a payment plan, or reduction in payment amount (if above $35/month)
  3. Request a courtroom appearance to ask the court to consider your ability to pay. (An appointment is required to appear in court.) Click here for court appearance information.
  4. File or mail a written explanation of your financial hardship and inability to pay to the court. The court will mail you a response to that request. Any prior orders in your case requiring payment will remain in effect until the court rules on your request.


7. Who do I contact regarding a traffic citation I received?

There is a location on your ticket telling you where to report. Court addresses and hours are available on our Office Locations page.


8. I received a traffic citation, but have not yet received a notice with the bail amount. What should I do?

If you don't receive a reminder notice before your appearance date, you should contact the court location listed on your ticket. Court addresses and hours are available on our Office Locations page.

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9. Am I eligible for traffic school?

Approximately two weeks prior to your appearance date, you may receive a reminder notice from the court in the mail. This notice will tell you if you may be eligible to attend traffic school. Traffic school eligibility is determined by California Rules of Court, rule 4.104. NOTICE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school, your driving record and automobile insurance may be adversely affected.


10. How do I arrange to attend traffic school if I'm eligible?

If you are eligible, your reminder notice will indicate that you have the option to attend traffic school.

You may view California Dept. of Motor Vehicles' list of traffic schools.

For more information see our traffic school information page.


11. Do I have to pay the court a fee to attend Traffic School and a fee to the Traffic School?

Yes. A fee is paid to the court in the amount of the total bail plus $52. A fee must also be paid to the Traffic School you attend. Methods of instruction and class fees vary. You may want to call a variety of schools before you determine which school you attend. If you have a financial hardship and can show that you are unable to pay the full amount for the offenses on your traffic ticket, you may request the court to consider your ability to pay in setting or reducing the fine amount, ask for an installment plan based on your ability to pay, or ask to consider community service. Click here for court times and scheduling.


12. I received a red light photo enforcement ticket in the mail but I was not the driver. What do I do?

To view your photographs, you may call the law enforcement agency at the number listed below to set up an appointment:

  • Del Mar (760) 966-3500
  • Encinitas, Solana Beach (760) 966-3500
  • Oceanside (760) 435-4789
  • Vista (760) 414-3360

You may also view your photographs at www.photonotice.com or the North County Court Division located in Vista at 325 South Melrose Dr., Annex Building, Vista, 92081.


13. I received a ticket for your court but I live outside of San Diego County. Where can I get a Traffic school list for my area?

You can obtain a list from a California Superior Court or from the Department of Motor Vehicles.


14. Can the clerk advise me how to proceed?

Clerks are unable to provide legal advice. It is suggested you either contact an attorney, or perform your own research prior to filing any paperwork. The San Diego County Bar Association provides referral assistance at no charge.


15. I received a traffic ticket. Will I get "points" on my driver's license?

For information about the Department of Motor Vehicle's violation point assessment system, visit their website at www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/vioptct.htm Back to Top


16. How is bail calculated?

Click here to see how bail is calculated.


17. I had a traffic or minor offense hearing/business office appointment set during the Court’s closure. When will my matter be heard?

All traffic and minor offense hearings and business office appointments set for any date after March 16, 2020, have been vacated. You will be notified by mail of a new hearing or appointment date and time. Due to the low volume of customers, you may want to appear at the business office now to take care of your business.


18. I had a court trial set during the Court’s closure. When will my matter be heard?

At this time court trials have been rescheduled as virtual hearings. If you have not received a notice of rescheduled hearing, please contact the Court immediately.


19. I have received notice that a virtual hearing has been scheduled, but I am not sure how to access it. Where can I find more information?

Click here to find more information on Traffic Virtual Hearings including guidance on how to access the virtual hearings on your mobile device, computer or by telephone.


20. I received a “Notice of Rescheduled Hearing/Appointment – Remote” and I am unable to participate because I don’t have a computer, tablet or phone. What do I do?

If you are technologically unable to appear by either videoconference or teleconference (for example, lacking a working computer, tablet or phone), you may request a continuance of your hearing using the Motion for Continuance of Remote Hearing (SDSC #MO-063). This form must be received by the Court (by mail or express drop box) at least 48 hours before the scheduled hearing. If the motion is granted, the Court will continue your hearing and will notify you by mail of the new hearing date. The Court’s preference is that all parties continue to appear virtually. However, effective January 19 for Kearny Mesa and North County, January 21 for South County and January 26 for East County, the Court is prepared to accept in-person appearances for defendants and/or their attorneys. Law enforcement and witnesses are expected to continue appearing virtually.

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21. I was supposed to submit proof of completion of a court-ordered program during the Court’s closure. What should I do?

The due dates for all proofs of completion due to the Court from March 17 – May 22 were extended to August 26, 2020. If you have proof of completion, please submit it immediately to the Court via mail or drop it off at the appropriate court location.


22. I was supposed to complete traffic school during the Court’s closure. How can I get more time to complete it?

You will need to submit in writing a request for more time to complete traffic school.


23. I submitted documents during the closure. How do I know if the Court received them?

Most documents submitted during the closure have been processed. If you have not received written notification, contact the Court immediately.


24. My case is in collections, I cannot afford to pay and need to see a judicial officer. What should I do?

If you want to plead guilty, consider completing the MO-041 and ADM-283 forms and return them to the Court. Once these forms are received, the Court will release the hold on your license and you will be notified by mail of the Court’s decision.


25. I want to plead not guilty, but cannot pay the bail, and need to see a judicial officer. What should I do?

If you want to plead not guilty, consider completing the MO-012 and ADM-283 forms and return them to the Court. Bail will not be required at this time. Once these forms are received, the Court will release the hold on your license and you will be notified of your new arraignment and trial date by mail.

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26. My license is suspended for failing to appear in a traffic/minor offense matter. How can I get it back?

If you want to plead guilty, consider completing the MO-041 and ADM-283 forms and return them to the Court. Once these forms are received, the hold on your license will be released and you will be notified by mail of the Court’s decision.

If you want to plead not guilty, consider completing the MO-012 and ADM-283 forms and return them to the Court. Bail will not be required at this time. Once received, the Court will release the hold on your license and you will be notified of your new arraignment and trial date by mail.


27. I want to plead not guilty and don’t want to post bail. Can I appear in court?

If you want to plead not guilty, consider completing the MO-012 form and return it to the Court. Bail will not be required at this time. Once this form is received, you will be notified of your new arraignment and trial date by mail.


28. I previously requested a trial by declaration and was supposed to submit my declaration during the Court’s closure. What should I do?

All deadlines to submit declarations were extended to June 20. If you submitted your declaration during the closure, it is being reviewed by a judicial officer, and you will be notified via mail of the Court’s decision. If you did not submit timely declarations, contact the Court immediately.


29. I previously appeared in court, have been laid off and cannot afford to pay the traffic/minor offense citation. What can I do?

If you cannot pay your traffic/minor offense citation and/or are facing a hardship and would like to request a monthly installment payment plan or consideration for a fine reduction, you may download the TR-320 and mail it to the Court. The TR-320 may only be submitted if there is an adjudication (formal judgment or decision) on a case.

Other options include using the online system to set up a payment plan or write to the Court asking for a lower payment plan than is offered online. More information can be found here.


30. I tried to pay online and received a “timed out” error, what should I do?

If you are using Google Chrome as your web browser, that may be the issue. Try using a different web browser and see if that corrects the issue. If the problem persists, you can mail your payment to the address indicated on your citation.

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31. I have received a notice of scheduled virtual hearing. How do I appear for my virtual hearing?

Prior to your hearing date, visit the Traffic page on the Court’s website at sdcourt.ca.gov/Traffic for the most current instructions on how to appear for your hearing. Hearings will be held remotely (via videoconference or teleconference) with no in-person attendance. The website also contains information on other services that are available, including options for resolving your case without a court appearance.







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