Traffic Tickets 101
Your Courtesy Bail Notice
The Court sends you a Courtesy Bail Notice once we receive your citation. (It may take an agency 2-3 weeks to get us your citation info.) The Courtesy Notice provides information about how to handle your ticket, including:
- Bail amount you owe
- Due date when payment must be made
- Traffic School eligibility criteria
- "Fix-It" ticket information: how to clear a proof of correction violation
Take action on the citation by its listed due date. Not receiving your Courtesy Bail Notice is not a legal excuse for failing to resolve the citation on time. Allow 10 days for delivery and processing when submitting anything by mail.
The DMV may suspend your driver’s license if you fail to appear or take action by the citation's due date. This DMV hold will restrict your ability to renew your driver's license or attend traffic school.
The court may refer your case to collections which may add up to $100.00 in civil assessment fees if you fail to pay your fines on time.
Paying the Citation
Financial Hardship or Ability to Pay
To ask the Court to consider your ability to pay due to financial hardship and decide whether to approve a reduced fine with a payment plan or community service, you may schedule an appearance in Court for arraignment without the deposit of bail by contacting the clerk's office.
Payment plans and Community Work service are available for fines ordered by the Court. You may contact the clerk's office by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Methods of Payment
The Court accepts credit or debit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover), personal checks, money orders, cashier’s checks, and cash
- Mail the payment (check or money order, do not mail cash) to the Traffic Processing Center:
- Make the payment payable to the SLO Superior Court.
- Write your docket number on the check or money order. Your case number can be found at the top right-hand corner of your courtesy bail notice directly under the print date.
- If you do not have the court's case number, you may write your citation number on your payment.
- Mail your payment to:
Traffic Processing Center
216 S. 16th Street
Grover Beach, CA 93433 USA
- Pay in person - See payment instructions under Contact Information in right hand column. ->
If you are wishing to post bail and contest your citation, you must contact the clerk's office prior to payment either by phone or by correspondence. Failure to contact the clerk's office prior to payment will result in your case being closed. This is ONLY necessary if you are intending on pleading NOT GUILTY.
If you have appeared in Court and were granted Traffic School with a new total amount due, that amount does reflect the Traffic School fee. Your case will or has been continued with a Traffic School due date.
NOTE: The Court's vendor charges an additional Administrative Fee on all credit card payments.
It is your responsibility to make sure payment is actually received by the Court prior to your appearance date.
A $30.00 charge will be added on all returned checks.
Bail is the dollar amount associated with the code section you were cited for noted on your citation. If you choose to pay the bail on the citation without going to your arraignment or trial, it is a bail forfeiture. The citation is deemed paid, and the resulting conviction will be reported to DMV if you were cited for a reportable violation. Some violations require a mandatory court appearance and cannot simply be paid.
If there are mechanical or insurance violations included in the citation, the Court requires you to submit proof of correction before any reduction in bail can be applied. If you do not provide proof of correction, the total bail amount must be paid. Proof may be submitted either by mail or in person.
Requesting an Extension
The Clerk’s Office may give one 30-day court appearance or due date extension. Make a request online at email@example.com or by calling (805) 706-3600.
For a person who wants community work service instead of paying a fine or for those who just want more time to pay, the clerk of the Court is authorized to accept a written plea of guilty at the counter (or by mail) and continue the case for payments. This procedure is known as a “Counter Arraignment” and is designed to save time and effort of sitting through a court session. This option is also available for payment of Traffic School fees.
A defendant who enters a guilty plea in writing at the clerk’s office will be given the options to request a one-time 90 day extension or they may request monthly payments of $50/$100 per month. This option is also available for Traffic School fees.
Fine can be satisfied by completing community work service or some combination of work and fine. There is a required minimum payment due when the Counter Arraignment is signed.
Proof of Correction
How to obtain Proof of Correction for Mechanical, Registration, License and Insurance Violations (“fix-it tickets”):
The citing officer must allege on the citation that the violation is correctable. Violations marked with an asterisk on your courtesy bail notice designate correctable violations.
Advisement: Fraudulent or altered documentation may be referred to the Office of the District Attorney for a full investigation and possible criminal prosecution.
Proof of correction violations (required under VC40610) will be dismissed once the following have occurred (if taken care of in a timely manner).
- The item is corrected (e.g. the tail light is fixed).
- An authorized representative signs the citation or Courtesy Bail Notice certifying it was corrected.
- The signed citation is submitted with a mandatory Fix-it Fee to the court.
Authorized representatives include:
- All California Law Enforcement agencies
- Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
(for license and registration issues)
- Any Station in California licensed to inspect and certify for the violation.
Many agencies charge a fee to sign the cite; this is different than the State Administration Fix-it Fee required by the court.
If you are delinquent in appearing, proof of correction will probably not reduce the bail or fine.
Registration and License Violations
If you are charged with a violation of the registration law, you must show proof to the Court that the vehicle has been registered, junked, or receipted as planned non-operation after the date of citation. A $25 State Mandated Fix-it fee will also be due. If proof of Release of Liability is submitted and it is dated with DMV prior to the violation date the $25 Fix-it Fee is waived.
You may have DMV "Sign-Off" the violation on the back of your citation or you may submit a copy of your registration, proof of your junked or dismantled vehicle or proof the vehicle has been placed in non-operational status "Non-Op'd".
If you are charged with a license violation you may have the DMV sign off the back of your citation or sign your Courtesy Bail Notice. You may also provide a copy of your driver's license to the court. Sign-off only qualifies if the violation is filed as an "infraction" and the citing officer allows for correction.
If you were charged with a violation of the proof of financial responsibility law (VC16028), the Court will dismiss the charge only if it is shown that the defendant was financially responsible (i.e. there was an insurance policy that covered the defendant/driver on the date of violation, or proof the the vehicle was insured at the time of the violation). A Fixit-Fee is payable to the Court.
If you purchase a 6 month insurance policy after the violation date and your name is on the policy, the court will suspend a portion of the bail amount due that carries with that violation (VC16028(a)).
Advisement: Fraudulent or altered documentation may be referred to the Office of the District Attorney for a full investigation and possible criminal prosecution
What if I no longer own the vehicle or it is inoperable?
If you no longer own the vehicle or it is inoperable, it is still your responsibility to clear the citation by either paying the bail or appearing in court. If you have junked the car or it is deemed inoperable, you will need to show proof of a DMV junk certificate or planned non-operation receipt to the Court. A Fixit-Fee is payable to the Court. (if applicable)
Am I responsible for an equipment violation on a car I am driving that is not mine?
Yes, unless the ticket is issued in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle you are driving. It is not an excuse that it was not your vehicle; it is still your responsibility to clear the citation if the citation is issued in your name.
See these pages for more details:
- Traffic School Information including eligibility requirements
- List of Traffic Schools
Traffic School Not Completed - What Can I Do?
Contact the Court with your request to complete Traffic School by phone, in writing or in person at the clerk’s office at one of our branch locations.
If granted, you will be given time to complete Traffic School. Once proof of completion is received from the school, your driving record will be updated to reflect a confidential Traffic School Conviction (a masked report with DMV).
If denied, there will either be conditions that are ordered, or no further action required.
Petition the court to request to attend Traffic School.
In order to qualify for this petition process, you must submit your request within 30 days of the date your case was closed. Submission after 30 days is considered tardy and will not be accepted.
Once you have filled out your reason why the court should consider your request and submitted it timely to the court, your petition will be reviewed for consideration by our Traffic Commissioner.
If granted, you will be given time to complete Traffic School. Once proof is shown to the court, your driving record will be updated to reflect a confidential Traffic School conviction. (a masked report with D.M.V.)
If denied, there will either be conditions that are ordered or no further action required.
Click on Forms & Filing tab at the top of the page. The Traffic Department forms are at the bottom of the page. You can download form # TR01 - Traffic Petition and mail it to the San Luis Obispo address.
Getting More Help
Court staff is authorized to provide information regarding the procedures used by the court to process a case.
However, all court staff are prohibited by law (Government Code Section 24004) from giving legal advice to litigants or to assist them in filling out any forms, including forms provided by the court, for the following reasons:
Court staff are not attorneys. The clerical staff is trained to accept papers for filing and has no expertise in the legal consequences of information included on any of the forms.
- The court must be neutral in any proceeding. By assisting one side or the other, court staff can cause the court to be perceived as taking sides or being biased.
All persons seeking legal assistance from the clerk’s office are to be directed to an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California without naming any specific person or firm.