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Pay Traffic Ticket in Illinois

SUMMARY: How to Pay an Illinois Traffic Ticket

Depending on the county court, you may be able to pay your IL ticket fine online, by mail, or in person.

For specific instructions on ticket payment, you'll need to refer to your IL traffic ticket or contact the traffic court directly.

On this page, you'll find all the information you need about paying Illinois traffic ticket fines.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Potential option to plea bargain and lesser penalties.
  • Potential option to attend traffic school to avoid the conviction.
  • Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
  • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest traffic ticket at a hearing.
  • Hire an attorney or represent yourself.
  • Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties
  • No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.
  • Possibility to attend traffic school to avoid incurring a violation and points on your driving record.

Learn more about
Fighting Your Traffic Ticket »

What It Means to Pay Your Traffic Ticket

When you receive a traffic ticket in Illinois, you must post bond in the form of cash, a bond card, or your IL driver's license.

Depending on the violation and other circumstances (such as location), you'll be given two options for paying your IL traffic ticket. Generally, the ticket will notify you of whether you can:

  • Plead "guilty" and pay the traffic ticket without making a court appearance.
  • OR
  • Plead "guilty" and pay the traffic ticket during a required court appearance.

As long as you pay the fine, your bond or IL driver's license will be returned; if you don't pay, and don't make your court appearance, you'll lose your bond and your driver's license will be suspended.

If you choose to plead "guilty" and pay your IL traffic ticket:

  • Your judge might offer the option of pleading to a lesser offense and penalties; usually, you must make a court appearance for such an option.
  • Your judge might allow you to attend traffic school in lieu of receiving a traffic conviction. Often, this depends on where you received the violation.
  • You might be able to avoid court and pay your traffic ticket online (see below); otherwise, you'll adhere to the payment options and methods your court requires.
  • You'll receive points on your Illinois driving record. Each offense has its own point value, so the number will depend on your traffic violation. Check the Illinois vehicle code and point system for more information.
  • You might experience an increase in auto insurance rates. Usually, this depends on your provider, policy, and driver history, and probably won't happen until you renew your coverage.

Note that:

  • If you hold a graduated driver's license (GDL), your process might be more complicated than just paying a fine. For example, you face license suspension for accumulating a certain number of violations.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs (DUI) charges are handled at the same county courthouse as regular moving violations.
  • Parking tickets are handled on a township level and not at any of the county courts.

Your IL traffic citation will include information on how long you have to respond to your ticket; contact your traffic court for specific details.

Plead Guilty as a CDL Driver

On the surface, pleading "guilty" and paying your fine as a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder is the same as the process for someone with a regular driver's license.

However, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have a few extra things to consider:

  • After receiving an IL traffic ticket, commercial drivers must report the violation to their employers.
  • Typically, CDL holders must report out-of-state traffic violations to their employers and their local Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) office too.
  • Penalties are usually much steeper than just fines, driving record points, and increased auto insurance rates.
For more information consult the Illinois Commercial Driver's License Study Guide.

Plead Not Guilty in Illinois

Pleading "guilty" isn't a requirement; you can fight the traffic ticket in court if you want. Generally, contesting a traffic ticket means giving up the option to plead to a lesser charge and deal with lesser penalties; in other words, if you're found "guilty," you'll most likely feel the full force of the penalties. You'll also probably incur additional court costs and traffic attorney fees if you decide to get legal counsel. It's a big decision, so check our section on fighting your IL traffic ticket so you can be as prepared as possible.

Pay Your IL Traffic Ticket Online

Some drivers can pay their traffic tickets online via the state's E-Pay system. Most likely, this will be printed on your traffic ticket if this is an option for you, but the E-Pay website makes it easy to search the government entity in charge of your ticket and find out if you can pay online.

Our section on lost IL traffic tickets can help you retrieve the necessary information for paying your fine as well as all other traffic ticket-related transactions.

If you're able to pay online, skip on down to our sections on reducing driving record points and auto insurance; otherwise, keep reading.

Visit the Proper Illinois Court Website

Some IL county websites provide information about paying traffic tickets (and even the option to pay online); others aren't so detailed. Check your county's website, and at the very least find the telephone number to call for more details.

Other Ticket Payment Options in IL

Typically, Illinois traffic tickets include information about acceptable payment forms and methods. Naturally, it varies by county (i.e., some may allow over-the-phone payments; others require payments by mail or in person). Check your IL traffic ticket for this information, and if you can't find it, contact your county's court.

NOTE: Your IL traffic ticket might state that you're required to appear in court―even if all you want to do is plead "guilty" and pay your ticket. The Illinois traffic court system rarely grants continuances, so if you absolutely can't make your court date, it's advisable to seek assistance from a traffic ticket lawyer; otherwise, you face losing your bond and have your driver's license suspended.

Remove Driving Record Points

Drivers who are ticketed in certain counties are eligible to attend Illinois traffic school in order to keep a traffic violation (and the related points) from appearing on their driving records. This option is either granted or prohibited by the court, depending on your violation.

Some drivers can attend traffic school to reduce existing driving points or become eligible for lower insurance rates.

Check Your Illinois Driving Record

IL traffic tickets, "guilty" and "not guilty" verdicts, driving schools―they all affect your driving record points, and checking your Illinois driving record is the only way to make sure you weren't wrongly penalized.

Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates

Depending on the auto insurance provider, the policy, and the driver's history, an auto insurance company might increase a policyholder's rates after an IL traffic violation. Usually, this doesn't happen until it's time to renew the policy.

If you've entered (or are planning to enter) a "guilty" plea and paid your IL traffic ticket, talk with your car insurance agent about how it will affect your rates; then, start comparing insurance quotes online to get a lower rate.

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