Lost Traffic Ticket in Louisiana
If you lost your traffic ticket, you'll need to contact the appropriate LA traffic court directly for details about how to pay or plead "not guilty." You can also request a copy of your lost traffic ticket in Louisiana.
The information you'll find below is related to a moving violation that become a traffic citation. These moving violations include but are not limited to a speeding ticket or red light ticket in the state of Louisiana. In certain situations, the information may also cover lost parking tickets, but it's best to confirm with your local court.
At this time, neither the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) nor the Louisiana court system provides a statewide online traffic ticket search option for you to find your ticket.
Determine Where You Got Your Traffic Ticket
If you have a lost ticket, the LA OMV cannot look up lost traffic tickets; the only access to traffic tickets the OMV has is license suspension- and revocation-related information, and traffic violation information that should appear on your Louisiana driving record. So, to find the ticket you must refer to the court handling your traffic ticket where you were cited fro your traffic violation.
You're ahead of the game if you remember where you were when you received your ticket (or, which type of officer gave you the ticket).
If you can't remember, you'll need to go through a process of elimination to help you find your traffic ticket.
Three kinds of officers can issue traffic citations―city police, parish policy, and state police―and the court handling your Louisiana traffic ticket depends on which officer gave you the citation. Try to remember where you were when you committed the traffic violation, or what kind of officer issued the ticket. Even remembering landmarks or the officer's uniform can help you find the ticket. Once you have an idea, you can begin contacting courts and asking if they have your lost traffic ticket information.
Fortunately, there are fewer courts than there are law enforcement agencies. Contact the Louisiana city court if you determine a city officer ticketed you, and the district court if you determine it was a parish or state officer.
NOTE: It can take a few days for the officer to report the traffic ticket to the court, and for the court to record the information, so you might want to wait several days from the date you received the ticket before contacting the court.
The Louisiana Supreme Court website provides a complete list of city and district (or parish) courts.
To find your ticket, start with calling the court you know (or think) is handling your LA traffic ticket. Most courts can provide all the lost ticket information you need over the phone if you give your full name and date of birth; however, if you need a tangible copy of your traffic ticket, ask the court about picking one up (and whether there's a fee).
If you opt to just get the information over the phone, be sure to ask about:
- The total traffic ticket fine and court costs.
- The court date. You must pay your LA traffic ticket by, or appear in court on, this date.
- Whether your court allows driver improvement school for LA traffic ticket dismissal.
- This will help you determine whether you want to plead "guilty" or "not guilty."
Louisiana allows drivers to plead to a traffic citation in one of three ways:
- No contest.
- Not guilty.
For some drivers, pleading "guilty" or "no contest" is the easiest route. They can pay their LA traffic tickets (some cities and parishes even offer online payment) and go on about their days. The traffic violations will show up on their LA driving records, but this might not be too much cause for concern if it doesn't put them at risk for suspension or revocation.
For other drivers―such as those who believe they're "not guilty" or who committed justifiable traffic offenses―pleading "not guilty" is the best option.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine.
- Possibly have the traffic violation appear on your PDPS record.
- Risk license suspension or revocation depending on the violation.
- Potentially experience an increase in auto insurance rates.
Learn more about
Paying Your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest the ticket during your hearing.
- Prepare your case, possibly with a traffic ticket attorney.
- Possibly attend a driver improvement course for ticket dismissal.
- Have 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 »
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