Traffic FAQs

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

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

Failure to resolve your traffic/minor offense ticket by the appear-by date, located near the bottom of your ticket, may result in the issuance of a warrant, new charges, or the imposition of a $300 civil assessment 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.

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

You may choose from any of the options below.

Pleading Guilty:

If you would like to plead guilty in writing, you may complete an Advisal/Waiver of Constitutional Rights for Plea by Mail form (SDSC Form #MO-041) and submit it to the court either in person, via mail, or via express drop box at the courthouse. Include a written explanation of your financial hardship and inability to pay. You may want to consider completing and submitting a Can’t Afford to Pay Fine form (Judicial Council Form #TR-320) as well. Your request will be submitted to the court for review and you will be notified of the court’s decision by mail.

Pleading Not Guilty:

If you would like to plead not guilty in writing, you may complete the Request for Arraignment and Trial on Same Date – Infractions form (SDSC Form #MO-012), and submit it to the court either in person, via mail, or via express drop box at the courthouse. You will be notified of your arraignment and trial date by mail. Your ability to pay will be discussed after your trial, if necessary.

Appearing in Court:

If you would like to appear in court for any of the above reasons, you will need to schedule a hearing date.  You can schedule a hearing online or visit the traffic business office of the court indicated on your ticket, court paperwork, or collection paperwork to schedule your hearing date.

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) online, by phone, or in writing via mail or via an express drop box at the correct courthouse location.
  2. Appear at the Traffic Business Office and:
    1. Request a 30-day extension to pay (maximum of two extensions); or
    2. Request a payment plan, or reduction in payment amount (if above $35/month); or
    3. Request to schedule a courtroom appointment to ask the court to:
      1. Consider your ability to pay; and/or
      2. Request a reduction of the fine; and/or
      3. Request community service/volunteer work; and/or
      4. Request a payment plan, or reduction in payment amount (if above $35/month).

    NOTE: An appointment is required to appear in court. The online scheduler is not available for these cases.

  3. Submit a written explanation of your financial hardship and inability to pay to the court. You may want to complete and submit a Can’t Afford to Pay Fine form (Judicial Council Form #TR-320).  You will be notified of the court’s decision by mail.  Any prior orders in your case requiring payment will remain in effect until the court rules on your request.
  4. Appear in Court. If you would like to appear in court for any of the above reasons, you will need to visit the traffic business office of the court indicated on your ticket, court paperwork, or collection paperwork to schedule your courtroom appointment date. All court appearances are scheduled in advance.

There is a court name and address located near the bottom of your ticket indicating where your ticket has been filed. Court locations, contact information, and hours are available on the Traffic Business Office page.

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.

Once the ticket is filed with the court, you may receive a reminder notice in the mail. This notice will indicate whether you may be eligible to attend traffic school. You are INELIGIBLE for traffic school if the following apply:

  1. You attended traffic school for a violation occurring within 18 months of the current violation.
  2. For those with a commercial license, you were driving a commercial vehicle when the violation occurred.

For those eligible for traffic school, completing traffic school DOES NOT result in a dismissal of the violation(s).  Your conviction will be reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV). However, if you have a noncommercial driver’s license, the DMV may choose to make the conviction confidential, such that it would not appear on your driving record. If you have a commercial driver’s license, the conviction will appear on your driving record, but the DMV may choose not to count it as a violation point.

If you attend traffic school despite being ineligible, your conviction will remain on your non-confidential driving record. If you are ineligible for traffic school or are eligible but decide not to attend, your automobile insurance, as well as other areas, may be adversely affected. Refer to Vehicle Code § 42005, Vehicle Code § 1808.7, Vehicle Code § 41501, Vehicle Code § 42007, and California Rules of Court, rule 4.104, for additional information. 

You may obtain a list of approved traffic schools from a local California Department of Motor Vehicles office.

If you are eligible, your reminder notice will indicate that you have the option to attend traffic school. It will also indicate the total amount due to the court for this option. You can request traffic school online, by mail, via an express drop box, or in person. Traffic school lists are available at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. For more information, see our Traffic School Information page.

Yes, a fee is paid to the court in the amount of the total bail plus $52, and the total will be indicated on your reminder notice in the “Traffic School” amount listed under the “Total Bail” amount in the upper right corner, see sample below.

Sample image:

You may pay the fee in full or set up a payment plan online or in person. 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 ticket, you may request the court consider:

  1. Your ability to pay and/or your request to reduce the bail amount; or
  2. Your request for an installment plan or reduced payment amount (for payments less than $35/month) based on your ability to pay;
  3. Your request for community service/volunteer work in lieu of the fine.

These requests can be made in writing or by a courtroom appointment. Find for court times and courtroom appointment scheduling information on the Traffic Business Office page.

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

  • Del Mar and Solana Beach (760) 966-3500

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.

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

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.

Please visit the Department of Motor Vehicle's website for information about their violation point assessment system.

Learn more about how bail is calculated.

You may appear either in person or remotely via Microsoft Teams. Please review the instructions for in-person court appearances and instructions on how to appear for a virtual hearing from your mobile device, computer or telephone.

If you would like to plead not guilty in writing, you may complete a Request for Arraignment and Trial on Same Date form (SDSC Form #MO-012) and submit it to the court either in person, via mail, or via an express drop box at the courthouse. Bail is not required at this time. You will be notified of your arraignment and trial date by mail.

If you would like to appear in court and plead not guilty, a courtroom appointment is required. You may schedule a hearing for an arraignment online or by calling or visiting the traffic business office of the court indicated on your ticket, to schedule a hearing for arraignment.

Pleading Guilty:
If you would like to plead guilty in writing, you may complete an Advisal/Waiver of Constitutional Rights for Plea by Mail form (SDSC Form #MO-041) AND a Civil Assessment Good Cause Statement Failure to Appear or Pay form (SDSC Form #ADM-283), and submit them to the court either in person, via mail, or via an express drop box at the courthouse. Include a written explanation of your financial hardship and inability to pay to the court. You may want to consider completing and submitting a Can’t Afford to Pay Fine form (Judicial Council Form #TR-320) as well. Once these forms are received, the court will notify the DMV and submit the documents for judicial review. You will be notified of the court’s decision by mail.

Pleading Not Guilty:
If you would like to plead not guilty in writing, you may complete a Request for Arraignment and Trial on Same Date form (SDSC Form #MO-012) AND a Civil Assessment Good Cause Statement Failure to Appear or Pay form (SDSC Form #ADM-283), and submit them to the court either in person, via mail, or via an express drop box at the courthouse. Once both of these forms are received, the court will notify the DMV. You will be notified of your arraignment and trial date by mail.

Failing to Pay Court Ordered Fees/Fine:
You may complete a Civil Assessment Good Cause Statement Failure to Appear or Pay form (SDSC Form #ADM-283) and include any additional information you want the court to consider. Include a written explanation of your financial hardship and inability to pay to the court. You may want to consider completing and submitting a Can’t Afford to Pay Fine form (Judicial Council Form #TR-320) as well. You will be notified of the court’s decision by mail.

Appearing in Court:
If you would like to appear in court for any of the above reasons, you will need to visit the traffic business office of the court indicated on your ticket, court paperwork or collection paperwork, to schedule your hearing date. The online scheduler is not available for these cases.

You must take action on your case in order to have the court release any hold on your license due to the failure to appear.

Pleading Guilty:
If you would like to plead guilty in writing, you may complete an Advisal/Waiver of Constitutional Rights for Plea by Mail form (SDSC Form #MO-041) and submit it to the court either in person, via mail, or via an express drop box at the courthouse. Once the form is received, the court will notify the DMV and submit the documents for judicial review. You will be notified of the court’s decision by mail.
Note: If your case was referred for collection, you will need to include a Civil Assessment Good Cause Statement Failure to Appear or Pay form (SDSC Form #ADM-283) and submit it along with the MO-041 before any license hold will be released.

Pleading Not Guilty:
If you would like to plead not guilty in writing, you may complete a Request for Arraignment and Trial on Same Date form (SDSC Form #MO-012) and submit it to the court either in person, via mail, or via an express drop box at the courthouse. Once the form is received, the court will notify the DMV. You will be notified of your arraignment and trial date by mail.
Note: If your case was referred for collection, you will need to include a Civil Assessment Good Cause Statement Failure to Appear or Pay form (SDSC Form #ADM-283) and submit it along with the MO-012 before any license hold will be released.

Appearing in Court:
If you would like to appear in court for any of the above reasons, you will need to visit the traffic business office of the court indicated on your ticket, court paperwork or collection paperwork, to schedule your hearing date. The online scheduler is not available for these cases.

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 of two extensions) online, by phone, or in writing via mail, or via an express drop box at the appropriate courthouse location.
  1. Appear at the Traffic Business Office and:

    1. Request a 30-day extension to pay (maximum of two extensions); or
    2. Request a payment plan, or reduction in your payment amount (if above $35/month); or
    3. Request to schedule a courtroom appointment to ask the court to:
      1. Consider your ability to pay; and/or
      2. Request a reduction of the fine; and/or
      3. Request community service/volunteer work; and/or
      4. Request a payment plan, or reduction in payment amount (if above $35/month).

        NOTE: An appointment is required to appear in court. The online scheduler is not available for these cases.

  2. Submit a written explanation of your financial hardship and inability to pay to the court. You may want to consider also submitting a Can’t Afford to Pay Fine form (Judicial Council Form #TR-320). You will be notified of the court’s decision by mail. Any prior orders in your case requiring payment will remain in effect until the court rules on your request.

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.