Pay Traffic Ticket in Iowa
Depending on where you received your traffic ticket, you may be able to pay your fine online, by mail, by phone, or in person. Check your ticket or contact the relevant IA traffic court for specific instructions.
NOTE: Be sure to pay your ticket fines within 60 days of the deadline. Otherwise, you could lose your driver's license until you pay.
Continue reading this page to learn about paying Iowa traffic tickets.
To pay your Iowa traffic ticket, you must plead " guilty" or "no contest." Pleading "guilty" means admitting you're guilty of the traffic 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.
In Iowa, pleading "guilty" or "no contest" means:
- You might avoid court by paying your traffic ticket fine online or by mail (see below).
- You'll incur points on your IA driving record.
- The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) could suspend, revoke, or bar your IA driver's license, depending on your driving record and traffic 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 traffic 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 traffic 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.
Depending on the county where you received your violation, you may be able to pay your IA traffic ticket online via the Iowa Courts Online Payment website.
To verify your ticket payment options in Iowa, you can check your traffic ticket or contact the appropriate IA 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 IA citation number, but you must know which county court is handling your traffic ticket.
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 traffic 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 IA driver's license suspended or revoked.
Check Your Iowa Driving Record
Points aside, your traffic violation will remain on your Iowa driving record for a certain number of years.
After pleading "guilty" or "no contest," check your IA driving record to make sure only the applicable violation(s) appear(s).
Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates
Iowa auto insurance providers rely heavily on IA 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 traffic 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.