Pay Traffic Ticket in ArizonaPage Overview
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Accumulate driving record points (sometimes leads to license suspension or revocation).
- Pay higher auto insurance rates.
- Possibly use Defensive Driving Program to satisfy ticket and avoid point accumulation.
Learn more below
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest the ticket during a hearing.
- Represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket lawyer for help.
- Possible lose the chance to plead to lesser charges.
- Pay only attorney fees (and possibly court costs) if found not guilty.
- Appeal the verdict, if found guilty.
Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »
When you plead guilty or no contest, it means you’re admitting you are guilty of the offense, or have no proof or case for your innocence.
Some drivers can:
- Pay their ticket fines online or over the telephone and avoid a trip to the courthouse.
- Take advantage of plea bargains and suffer lesser penalties. Generally, this is up to the judge and requires a court appearance.
- Enroll in the Defensive Driving Program to satisfy the ticket and avoid accumulating points. (Arizona’s vehicle code and point system provide more information about how points can affect your driving privileges.)
- Avoid an auto insurance rates increase after completing one of the driving courses.
Check your ticket for the date by which you must respond to the charge; missing this date can lead to license suspension. If you’ve misplaced your ticket, check our section on replacing lost AZ traffic tickets or contact your county court. If your ticket is on a city level, contact the city court or your local MVD office for the required information.
Also understand that if enrolling in the Defensive Driving Program is an option for you, you must complete the course at least seven days before the hearing date printed on your ticket.
Plead Guilty as an AZ CDL Driver
CDL holders must notify their employers after receiving traffic citations; out-of-state citations require them to notify the MVD, too.
Aside from that, AZ CDL holders handle traffic tickets in much the same way. They’ll plead guilty and deal with the penalties, or plead not guilty and go to court.
However, they don’t have the option to enroll in the Defensive Driving Program; depending on the violation, CDL holders face penalties more severe than accumulating points and paying higher auto insurance rates, anyway.
Check our Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information, or contact the AZ MVD for a copy of the CDL handbook.
Plead Not Guilty
Although for some drivers it’s the easiest route, pleading guilty or no contest and paying your AZ traffic ticket fine isn’t your only option. You can plead not guilty and contest the ticket in court.
Learn more at Fighting Your Traffic Ticket.
Most commonly, drivers with delinquent court financial obligations (i.e. traffic ticket fines) can pay their fines online using the Arizona Courts Online Payment system.
If the court doesn’t consider your ticket delinquent, you don’t have your court case number (or the notice number on the collection notice), or your citation doesn’t show up when you enter your information in the system, you must contact your county court or the city court printed on your ticket to find out acceptable payment options and methods. Some county and city courts allow drivers to pay traffic ticket fines directly through their own websites.
If you’re not eligible to pay your AZ traffic ticket fine using the state’s website or telephone system, you must pay directly to the proper court.
Check your ticket for information about where you received the ticket and the court in charge of your case. You must pay the fine to this court.
If you’ve misplaced your ticket, or it doesn’t include information about where to pay the fine, contact the MVD. A representative can look up your ticket information with some basic information like your name, address, and driver’s license number.
Once you know which court is in charge of your traffic ticket, you can access its website via the Arizona Courts Locator. Using this tool, you can find the website for each court by county, as well as the state appellate courts.
NOTE: If your ticket is on a city level, you might not be able to use the state’s courts locator tool; however, your ticket should include the appropriate court and contact information.
When you visit your court’s website (or call your city court), you’ll find one of two things:
- Direct instructions on how to pay your traffic ticket fine.
- Contact information to call and ask how to pay your traffic ticket.
- Phone, mail, and online payment options, just in case you miss this information on the court’s website.
- Payment methods. Find out whether personal checks, cash, money orders, and/or credit cards are options.
- Your deadline or hearing date. Generally, this is printed on the ticket, but if you’ve lost your ticket or it doesn’t include a date, be sure to ask.
If you must call your court to find out how to pay your fine, be sure to ask about:
Some drivers can use Arizona’s Defensive Driving Program (DDP) to satisfy a traffic ticket and avoid point accumulation related to that violation.
Registration and eligibility varies by school, but you should be able to use a defensive driving course if:
- The DDP lists your violation as an eligible violation. (Note that some violations are eligible, but require judge approval.)
- The citation is not associated with a serious injury or fatal accident.
- The citation is not related to a CDL.
- You can complete the course at least seven days before your hearing date.
For more information, visit our section on AZ ticket dismissal and point reduction.
Check Your Driving Record
Once it’s all said and done, check your driving record to make sure:
- Only the appropriate number of points show up (if you pleaded guilty and paid your fine).
- No points show up (if you opted to take a defensive driving course).
Under normal circumstances, you can talk with the MVD about driving record points; however, if you see points on your record related to a traffic ticket for which you complete a defensive driving school, you need to notify your court.
It’s common for auto insurance providers to increase a policyholder’s rates for a traffic violation conviction. When you plead guilty and pay your fine, you’re considered “convicted” of the violation.
Talk with your insurance agent about how the conviction might affect your rates when you renew your policy. You might find it’s time to start comparing insurance quotes online to find more affordable coverage.
NOTE: Your insurance rates should not increase if you complete a defensive driving course for ticket dismissal and point avoidance.Other Topics in This Section