Pay Traffic Ticket in FloridaPage Overview
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Incur points on your driving record (which could lead to license suspension or revocation).
- Experience an increase in auto insurance rates.
- If applicable, enroll and complete a Basic Driver Improvement Course to avoid points and an insurance increase.
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest the ticket during a hearing.
- Hire an attorney or represent yourself during the hearing. (Either option will require some prep time.)
- Forfeit the possibility of a plea bargain or incurring lesser charges.
- Suffer no penalties if found not guilty (except any applicable court/attorney fees).
- Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).
Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »
Paying your traffic ticket means you admit you’re guilty, or you’re willing to plead no contest or nolo contendre.
Choosing this option means:
- You might get the option to plead to a lesser offense; probably, you’ll have to make a court appearance for this option.
- You can avoid a trip and pay your traffic ticket online via the county’s website.
- Depending on your violation, you can enroll in and complete a state-approved Basic Driver Improvement Course to avoid driving record points. (Florida’s vehicle code and point system provide further details.)
- The same Basic Driver Improvement Course can prevent your auto insurance company from increasing your rates.
Florida handles traffic tickets on a county basis, which means you’ll pay a ticket at the county traffic court. Some traffic courts allow online payment with a credit card.
Generally, you have 30 days to respond to your traffic ticket.
If your ticket doesn’t state how many days you have to respond, contact the court in the county you received the ticket.
Plead Guilty as a FL CDL Driver
Generally, Florida CDL holders handle non-criminal traffic tickets the same way other drivers do; however:
- They must inform their employers after receiving a conviction.
- They must inform the FL DHSMV after receiving a conviction in another jurisdiction.
- Drivers with Class A, B, or C licenses can’t elect to enroll in a Basic Driver Improvement Course after a moving violation.
For more information related to FL CDL holders, consult the Florida CDL Handbook.
Plead Not Guilty
If you don’t want to plead guilty, no contest, or nolo contendre, you can fight the ticket in traffic court.
Generally, contesting a traffic ticket means you surrender any possibility that the judge might allow you to plead to a lesser offense. Sometimes, fighting a ticket means incurring additional court costs and lawyer fees, too.
Check our section on fighting your FL traffic ticket for complete details.
Depending on the county in which you received the ticket, you might be able to pay online. Check the county’s traffic court website to find out.
Your ticket will include information about which county you were ticketed in; if you misplaced your ticket, check our section on lost FL traffic tickets.
If paying online is an option for you, you can skip down to our sections on points and insurance to learn about how your ticket will affect your driving record points and car insurance rates―and what you can do about it.
Check Florida’s Clerks of Court website for complete contact information―including Web addresses―for the traffic court applicable to you.
From there, you can visit the traffic court’s website for information about paying a ticket, or call the court directly.
Some Florida counties allow drivers to pay their traffic tickets online; others require payment in person, by mail, or over the phone.
When you visit your traffic court’s website or contact the court via telephone, be sure to find out:
- Payment methods applicable to you (online, over the phone, in person, or by mail), as well as modes of payment (credit cards, money orders, personal checks, and cash).
- Whether the Basic Driver Improvement Course is an option for you, and if you can enroll via your traffic court.
Traffic tickets put points on your driving record; however, under most circumstances, Florida allows drivers to enroll in a state-approved Basic Driver Improvement Course} to reduce or avoid driving record points, which can help you avoid license suspension or revocation in the future.
Note that if you want to use the Basic Driver Improvement Course option, you must notify the court within 30 days of receiving the ticket, but prior to actually attending the course. Also, you must pay an election fee to that county.
Check Your Driving Record
Driving record points can negatively affect you in ways varying from knocking you out of certain jobs to putting you at risk for license suspension or revocation.
Whether you plead guilty and accept the points or complete a Basic Driver Improvement Course to reduce or avoid them, always check your driving record to make sure it accurately reflects the points you should or shouldn’t have.
Learn more at our section on the FL point system.
Usually, traffic tickets are associated with increased auto insurance rates; however, Florida drivers who take a Basic Driver Improvement Course can avoid such increases.
Still, because it depends on factors like the nature of the violation, the course isn’t always an option. Drivers who receive citations and can’t protect themselves with the Basic Driver Improvement Course are at risk for higher car insurance rates once renewal time rolls around. For these drivers, comparing insurance quotes online is imperative to keep their rates affordable.Other Topics in This Section