Pay Traffic Ticket in IowaPage Overview
Depending on the county where you received your ticket, you may be eligible to pay your IA traffic ticket online via the Iowa Courts Online Payment website.
To verify your ticket payment options, you can check your traffic ticket or contact the appropriate traffic court. Visit the Iowa Judicial Branch website’s Clerk of Court Directory to obtain their contact information.
- You can’t use the online payment option if you're required to appear in court.
- You don’t need to have your citation number, but you must know which county court holds your ticket.
To pay your Iowa traffic ticket, you must plead "guilty" or "no contest." Pleading guilty means admitting you’re guilty of the offense, and pleading no contest means you don’t want to contest the charge or you realize there’s no convincing case for your innocence.
Pleading guilty or no contest means:
- You might avoid court by paying your fine online or by mail (see below).
- You’ll incur points on your driving record.
- The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) could suspend, revoke, or bar your driver's license depending on the points and violation.
- The IA DOT or your judge might order you to enroll in driver improvement school, depending on the violation.
- Your auto insurance rates will likely increase.
You must pay your traffic ticket fine by the date printed on your ticket; failure to do so can result in a driver's license suspension, which will last until the court notifies the IA DOT you’ve paid the full amount.
Sometimes, courts will change the original “scheduled” fine to a “non-scheduled” or “unsecured” fine; meaning the court could increase your fine if you don’t pay on time.
Plead Guilty as an Iowa CDL Driver
You can plead guilty or no contest in much the same manner as regular drivers; however, you also must:
- Notify your employer after receiving your IA traffic ticket.
- Understand that certain traffic violations can drastically impact your income and driving career.
Refer to Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information about federally mandated penalties if you have a commercial driver's license (CDL).
Plead Not Guilty
“Guilty” and “no contest” aren’t your only options.
If you believe you’re innocent or can prove your violation was unavoidable, you might want to fight your ticket in court. Even if the judge doesn’t find you innocent, he might reduce the charge and penalties.
Head over to Fighting Your Traffic Ticket for more details.
Iowa doesn’t offer any voluntary methods for removing or reducing driving record points because the state’s point system isn’t traditional, i.e., you don’t get points for every kind of violation.
The Iowa DOT assigns points for serious violations. If you accumulate these kinds of points, you can become a “habitual offender” and have your driver's license suspended or revoked.
Check Your Driving Record
Points aside, your violation will remain on your Iowa driving record for a certain number of years.
After pleading guilty or no contest, check your driving record to make sure only the applicable violation(s) appear(s).
Iowa auto insurance providers rely heavily on driving records when it comes to determining your rates.
Pleading guilty or no contest is the same as being convicted of a violation, and that conviction might be enough to increase your auto insurance rates the next time you renew your policy.
Talk with your insurance agent about how a guilty plea will affect your policy rates once it’s time to renew, and consider comparing insurance quotes online if you find out you’re facing an increase.fOther Topics in This Section