Failure to resolve your traffic/minor offense ticket by the due date (or appear-by date) may result in the issuance of a warrant, new charges, or the imposition of a $100 civil assessment penalty added to the original bail pursuant to Penal Code § 1214.1, and referral to a collection agency. In addition, you may be subject to wage garnishments, tax refund intercept, and bank levies through the Franchise Tax Board Court Ordered Debt Collection Program (see Cases in Collection).
Paying Your Ticket
Approximately two weeks prior to your appearance date, you may receive a reminder notice from the court in the mail. Your notice will indicate the amount due or if your appearance in court is mandatory.
A person charged with an infraction who is eligible and wishes to have the case proceed as a misdemeanor (See Pen. Code §§17(d)(1), 19.8; Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 146(b)(1), 7574.32(a)(1), 7582.05(a)(1)) must make a court appearance to make the election. By paying and forfeiting bail in such cases, the person waives the right to proceed as a misdemeanor.
If an appearance is not mandatory, the following options are available to pay bail to settle your case on or before your appearance date.
- Online: Select the "Pay Citation" option.
- Mail: Send a check or money order payable to "San Diego Superior Court" along with a copy of your reminder notice to the court address on the notice.
- Fax: Send the completed credit card section on your reminder notice along with your request to forfeit bail to the appropriate office location fax number.
- Express Drop Box: Submit your payment with a copy of your reminder notice to an Express Drop Box.
- In Person: Appear at the appropriate office location during normal business hours.
- Phone: Call the appropriate office location during normal business hours.
More information about paying a citation:
- The "bail" amount on a traffic ticket is not required to be paid before a court appearance, but it may be paid (“forfeited”) prior to your appearance date to settle the case. Your reminder notice will show the bail amount for your case. If you choose to pay/forfeit the bail amount, a conviction will be placed upon your driving record, if it is an offense reportable to the DMV.
- Credit card payments are accepted online, in person, by mail, by fax, or over the phone. (see Credit Card Payments)
- For payment relief options, see the Payment Options and Financial Hardship Information page.
- If you have already appeared in court and have been given time to pay the fine imposed by the judge, you may pay it online by clicking "Pay Citation" above, or mail a check or money order along with a clear copy of your paperwork or payment notice to the court by the due date. You may also use the express drop boxes at the court or pay in person as shown above.
- The Bail Schedule shows the base fine for various code violations. The total bail for any one violation may vary due to prior convictions and additional fees - learn more about how the amount due is calculated on citations.
- Juvenile drivers who receive tickets for Vehicle Code infractions or local municipal code infractions involving driving or operation of a motor vehicle, will be cited to appear at a division of the San Diego Superior Court.
- Any misdemeanor violation against a juvenile is filed in Juvenile Court, 2851 Meadow Lark Drive, San Diego.
Parking tickets are not criminal offenses. They involve civil penalties only.
- Refer to the instructions on the reverse side of your parking ticket for information regarding payment, failure to respond and contesting the ticket.
- If you wish to contest a parking ticket, you must contact the agency that issued the ticket.
Red Light Camera Photo Enforcement
Red Light Camera tickets can be paid online.
If you are not the person in the photograph on the citation received, follow the instructions provided with the notice or contact the issuing agency to change the person named on the citation.
If you want to see your Red Light Camera Photographs, see below.
To view your photographs, call the law enforcement agency at the number listed below to set up an appointment:
- Del Mar (760) 966-3500
- Solana Beach (760) 966-3500
You may also view your photographs at photonotice.com or at the North County Courthouse at 325 South Melrose Dr., Annex Building, Vista, 92081.
Equipment, Registration and/or License Violations
- Bail may be reduced if you submit proof of correction on many equipment, registration and license violations. If the officer has marked the NO box to the left of the violation, proof of correction is not an option.
- Proof of correction may be verified and signed off by a law enforcement officer on the back of the traffic ticket or on the reminder notice. If the violation(s) corrected involve registration or driver license violations, clerical staff from the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles may also verify and sign off on the correction. Pursuant to Government Code §26746.1, a law enforcement agency may charge a fee to sign off a correctable violation.
- The signed-off correction must be submitted to the court by the appearance date along with an additional transaction fee of $25 for EACH corrected violation.
- If your ticket is written for both an equipment and a moving violation, and you attend traffic school, you must submit your proof of correction with your traffic school certificate and a check or money order to cover both the transaction fee ($25 for EACH corrected violation) and the traffic school administrative fee.
Insurance Violations (Proof of Insurance)
First violation of Vehicle Code § 16028(a) or § 16028(c):
- If you have been cited for not having proof of financial responsibility (liability insurance) when operating a vehicle [VC § 16028(a)], or when involved in an accident [VC § 16028(c)], the court may dismiss the violation upon payment of a $25 fee and proof of insurance on the vehicle that was valid at the time the ticket was issued.
The court may accept the following as proof of insurance:
- Copy of insurance card
- Insurance policy or bond showing:
- Insurance company name
- Policy number
- Effective and expiration dates of insurance coverage for the vehicle you were driving when you received the ticket.
NOTE: The court will not accept payment statements or Auto Policy Declarations.
If you obtain and submit proof of valid insurance AFTER the ticket was issued, the bail may be reduced.
Second or subsequent VC § 16028(a) or VC § 16028(c) offenses:
- If you received a ticket for a second or subsequent violation of VC § 16028(a) or VC § 16028(c), the prior conviction(s) will cause this offense to require a mandatory appearance in court with the following exception:
- The court may waive (not require) the mandatory appearance and dismiss the violation if you pay a $25 transaction fee and submit proof of insurance on the vehicle that was valid at the time the ticket was issued. If proof of insurance is valid after the time the ticket was issued or you do not have proof of insurance, a mandatory appearance in court is required.
Out-of-County or Out-of-State Residents
It is your responsibility to address the matter on or before the appearance date regardless of where you live.
You may call the court that is listed or write to the address of the court on the ticket. If you write to the court, please include:
- A copy of your traffic ticket and/or your full name, date of birth, and address.
- Any other information that will aid us in identifying your case.
- The reason you are writing.
Please be aware that correspondence may not affect the status of a warrant that has been issued in your case or result in the issuance of a DMV abstract to clear your driver's license.
Credit Card Payments
The court accepts Visa, Master Card or American Express for payments shown on your reminder notice online, in person, by mail, by fax, or over the phone. However, credit card payments cannot be accepted for requests to set a case for trial or trial by declaration.
- You may need to provide the following information:
- Visa, Master Card or American Express credit card number and expiration date
- Amount you are paying
- Card code located on the back of the credit card
- Signature of cardholder
- Zip code of cardholder
- Daytime phone number
Fees may be added to your bail/fine for:
- Court operations assessment
- Criminal conviction fee
- Emergency medical air transportation penalty
- Establishing a payment schedule to pay a fine
- County automated warrant system fee
- Prior conviction assessment and base fine enhancements
- Night court assessment
Learn more about how bail is calculated.