Pay a Traffic Ticket
Upon receipt of a traffic ticket for an infraction. You have 30 days from the date of issuance to exercise any of the following three options:
- Pay the ticket
- Take a driver improvement course
- Enter a plea of not guilty
- Enter a plea of nolo contendere
Option 1 – Pay the Ticket
If you choose to pay the ticket, points could be assessed against your driver's license, and you must pay the fine within 30 days of the date you received the ticket.
Option 2 – Driver’s Improvement School
If you choose to take a driver improvement course, you must sign the Driver Improvement Course Affidavit Form and file it with the Clerk's office along with the payment for the ticket. Upon receipt of your affidavit and ticket payment you will be granted an extra 30 to 60 days to attend a driver improvement school in the State of Florida. Failure to attend the school or pay the fine will result in late fees being assessed and potential suspension of your driver license. However, with successful completion of the driver improvement school no points will be assessed against your driver's license.
Option 3 – Enter a plea of not guilty
You must appear at court as noted on your citation, or you can send an Affidavit of Defense or Admission and Waiver of Appearance form to the Clerk’s office. If you cannot appear in court, you must file this form with the Clerk.
Option 4 – Enter a plea of nolo contendere
If you were charged with a violation 316.646(1), 320.0605(1), 320.07(3)(a), 322.065, 322.15(1), or 322.34(1) and your license is suspended for failure to appear, failure to pay, or failure to attend a driver improvement school under 322.291, you may enter this plea in lieu of payment or the court appearance. You must send the Affidavit Option form to the Clerk’s office. You must provide a valid driver license, tag, registration, or proof of insurance to the Clerk’s office. You must not have made this election within the last 12 months. And you must not have pled nolo contendere previously under 318.14(10)(a) three times in your life. If your plea is accepted, the Clerk’s office will withhold adjudication.
More Facts on Traffic Fines
What traffic charges are considered “criminal?”
Charges, such as Driving Under the Influence, require a court appearance and carry criminal penalties, which may include fines and costs, probation and/or the possibility of a jail term. Payment cannot be automatically made to the Clerk's office because persons charged with a criminal offense must appear in court on the date the officer has written on the citation.
What traffic violations are considered “infractions?”
Infractions are noncriminal charges that can usually be disposed of by paying a civil penalty or paying the penalty and opting to attend a driver improvement course. A court appearance is not required, except in cases where the violation involves a serious accident, or leaving a child under the age of six unattended in a vehicle. Payment can be made by mail, using the envelope provided by the officer, in person at the Clerk’s office or online. Payments may be paid online by going to the Clerks’ website in which the county the ticket was issued.
Where does my fine money go?
The majority of the money stays in the city or county where the ticket is written. The rest of the fine money is distributed to the state for general revenue and a variety of state trust funds and programs, such as:
- Emergency Medical Services
- Brain and Spinal Cord Rehabilitation
- Florida Endowment for Vocational Rehabilitation
- Child Welfare Training
- Juvenile Justice
- Foster Care Citizen Review Panel,
- State Criminal Justice Programs