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Lost Traffic Ticket in Illinois

Depending on your situation, you might be able to find your IL traffic ticket online, through the presiding court, or with the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS).

NOTE: If you recently lost an IL parking ticket, you'll need to contact the issuing agency in the city where you received it. For traffic citations such as speeding tickets, red light tickets, and other moving violations, keep reading.

Depending on your situation, you might be able to find your IL traffic ticket online, through the presiding court, or with the IL SOS.

NOTE: If you recently lost an IL parking ticket, you'll need to contact the issuing agency in the city where you received it. For traffic citations such as speeding tickets, red light tickets, and other moving violations, keep reading for additional details.

Search IL Tickets Online

You might be able to find lost traffic ticket information online using the state's online payment system system if:

  • You aren't required to appear in court.
  • AND
  • Your county and presiding court participates in the program.

As the program's name suggests, this system is designed to let you plead “guilty" and pay your IL traffic ticket (as long as the violation doesn't require a court appearance).

However, there are several options for looking up your traffic citation, which can provide you with some of all of the information you need: search by ticket number, case number, or your first and last names. Because your ticket is missing, you probably don't have your ticket or case numbers—but you do know your first and last names.

Contact Your IL Traffic Court

Your presiding court is the one that handles traffic tickets in the area where you received your violation; generally, this court can provide you with information about your IL traffic ticket.

For some drivers, the tricky part is finding this court.

If YOU KNOW where you received your citation, you can simply refer to the Illinois Judiciary Map for the court's location and contact information.

If you AREN'T SURE where you received the ticket, you can:

  • Think back to the day or month when you were traveling and received the ticket.
    • This might help you remember where you were traveling; ideally the city or county where you were ticketed.
  • When you have an idea of where you were ticketed, you can contact the courts in that county.
    • Note that the court might not have record of your ticket when you call. If this happens, you can wait a few days and try again (sometimes it takes a little while for the courts to record your citation) AND/OR you can try contacting courts in neighboring counties.

Call the IL SOS

If all else fails (or, if you think this might be a simpler route), try retrieving your lost traffic ticket information from the IL SOS at (800) 252-8980.

Find Lost Traffic Ticket Details

Whether you plead “guilty" and pay your fine outright or plead “not guilty" and take your citation to court, you have only a certain amount of time to respond to your traffic ticket before you accrue additional penalties.

On the flip side, some traffic violations require a court appearance, which means you must know your court location, date, and time to appear in court and avoid consequences.

Because of these reasons, it's important to ask the following types of questions about your IL traffic ticket:

  • Am I required to appear in court?
    • If so, find out the court location as well as the date and time of your hearing.
  • What is my exact traffic violation and citation number?
    • These details especially can help you if you choose to plead “guilty" and pay your fine without appearing in court (as long the court doesn't require an appearance).
    • Also, these details can help you if you decide to plead “not guilty" and set a traffic hearing; if you hire one, a traffic ticket attorney will want to know, too.
  • What is my payment deadline?
    • The amount of time you have left to pay your fine might help you choose the most convenient payment option your traffic court offers.
  • What are my payment options?
    • Generally, payment options include online, by mail, by phone, and in person, but these options vary by court and your situation.
  • Which payment methods are acceptable?
    • Depending on the court, you might pay with cash, personal checks, cashier's checks, money orders, or credit/debit cards.

How to Plead to Your IL Traffic Ticket

You can:

  • Plead “guilty" (or “no contest") and pay your traffic ticket fine.
  • OR
  • Plead “not guilty" and fight your traffic ticket in court.

NOTE: Even if your traffic violation requires you to appear in court, you still can choose either of these options.

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