As if it weren’t enough to get a ticket in the first place, now you have a lost traffic ticket. Knowing that late payment will only mean more trouble for you, you work yourself into a full-blown panic. Maybe it’s still in the glove compartment. Maybe it blew out the window. Maybe it’s that little ball of pink shreds you pulled out of the dryer. Now what?
It’s Okay, Just Take a Deep Breath and Think
The first place to check is your memory, and this is a memory that’s probably pretty fresh. Try to recall if your ticket was written by a state trooper, local policeman or another type of law enforcement official. Once you remember who wrote it, it’s pretty much downhill from there. If you received your ticket from a traffic cop, pull up the city where you were driving, and they should have a lookup function there. If the citation was given to you by a trooper, there might be another step or two involved.
In many states, troopers write tickets under the jurisdiction of the county in which you were driving. If you remember the county, you’re golden. If not, a little self-paced geography lesson surely won’t hurt. Like most cities, the county should also have a citation lookup function.
What You’ll Need to Look It Up
In most cases, the ticket locator page will be user-friendly. After all, the authorities want their money. Be prepared to enter the following information:
- Your drivers license number
- Your license plate number
- Your full name
- Your date of birth
This is generally all the information you will need to provide to retrieve the information on your citation. It should be noted that if you lost your ticket the day it was written, you might want to wait a day or so to perform the search. As you know, your data is being handled by a bureaucracy. Give them a little time to get you into the system.
Whew, You Found It. Now What?
Now that you have the citation tracked down, it’s time to take care of it. A traffic ticket can be handled in a number of ways.
Just pay it – This is the easiest option, but in the long run may be not the best. Paying that traffic fine will result in the citation appearing on your driving record where it will remain for three years. The citation will add points to your driving record, potentially increasing your auto insurance premiums.
Hire an attorney to fight it, or fight it yourself – This method is great, if you win. Otherwise, it can be a costly and time-consuming exercise that still results in a citation on your record. There are many misconceptions about fighting a ticket that make the process sound simple and dismissal guaranteed, but it ain’t necessarily so.
Take a driving safety class – If you live in a state that allows for this, congratulate yourself for the decision to make your home there and take advantage. In most states, the process is simple. Ask the court for permission to take the course, pay an administrative fee, enroll in and complete the course then return your certificate to the court. Your ticket will be dismissed, and your record will stay clean.
Driving safety classes are offered both in person and online. Granted, we do have a vested interest here, but we think online is great. You can complete your course at the time and place of your choosing, and you don’t have to finish it all at once. You are free to log in, work as long as you like and then log out. When you return, you will pick up right where you left off. While that may not be true for every online course out there, it is for all the online courses we offer here at ApprovedCourse.com.