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Pay Traffic Ticket in Michigan

SUMMARY: How to Pay a Michigan Traffic Ticket

Depending on your district court, you may be able to pay your MI civil traffic ticket fines online, by mail, by phone, or in person. Refer to your MI traffic ticket or contact the relevant traffic court to find out how to proceed.

NOTE: Be sure to submit full payment prior to the due date on your ticket to avoid a suspended driver's license.

Continue reading this page to learn how to make a traffic ticket payment in Michigan.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Pay the fine with an explanation.
  • Incur points on driving record that could lead to license suspension.
  • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.
  • Possible option to take driver improvement course to reduce points.

Read full details below.

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest traffic ticket via trial.
  • Choose to represent yourself or hire a traffic ticket attorney.
  • No penalties if found guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees.
  • Court finds you guilty, must pay fines, court/attorney fees and incur penalties.

Learn more about
Fighting Your Traffic Ticket »

What It Means to Pay Your MI Traffic Ticket

Paying your Michigan traffic ticket is an admission of guilt. This means:

  • You pay the traffic ticket but request an explanation. If granted, you appear before a magistrate and explain why you committed the violation. The magistrate may then reduce charges, dismiss the traffic ticket or rebuff your explanation by finding you guilty.
  • The MI Secretary of State (SOS) will add points to your MI driving record.
  • Points on your driving record could cause your MI driver's license to be suspended or revoked.
  • The traffic violation will appear on your driving record, which could cause a spike in your auto insurance rates or, depending on your line of work, jeopardize your job.

Pleading Guilty as a MI CDL Driver

You must, by law, notify your employer of a conviction for a moving violation. This applies to all situations and all vehicles. Even if you're ticketed while driving your own car, you still must alert your employer. For more information on MI traffic violations and penalties, consult Michigan's Commercial Driver License manual.

Pleading Not Guilty

You also have the option to challenge your MI traffic ticket in court. Presenting a strong case could possibly influence the court to reduce charges or even dismiss your traffic citation. Learn more on our Fighting Your Traffic Ticket page.

Respond to Your Traffic Ticket on Time

Regardless of how you plead, be sure to notify the court in a timely fashion. Depending on where you were ticketed, you'll be given a date (this will be indicated on your traffic citation) by which you must reply. If you fail to respond to your traffic ticket, a default judgment will be issued. The Michigan SOS may then add points to your driving record and/or suspend your MI driver's license. In some instances a bench warrant may even be issued for your arrest.

Pay the MI District Court Listed on Your Citation

Read the traffic ticket's payment instructions carefully. You will pay the district court listed on your Michigan traffic ticket. Every step will be covered, including how to pay, where to pay, and when to pay. If you have any questions, call the court listed on your MI traffic citation.

If you cannot find your traffic ticket, find out what to do by reading our Lost Traffic Ticket page.

Pay Your Michigan Traffic Ticket Online

Currently, only some courts allow online traffic ticket payments via a centralized payment system. Your traffic citation will clearly state if paying your ticket fines online is available.

Get Points Removed From Your Driving Record

Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to keep points off your driving record by completing a Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC). Before enrolling, you will need approval from the Michigan SOS.

For more on this, refer to our page covering Defensive Driving courses in MI.

Check Your Michigan Driving Record

After paying your MI traffic ticket, check your driving record to verify there are no unaccounted traffic violations and/or points. Since an accumulation of violations on your Michigan driving record could cause a driver's license suspension or an increase in your car insurance rates, you want to be certain the state's record is accurate.

Shop for Better MI Auto Insurance Rates

Depending on the policies of your car insurance provider, any moving violation on your MI driving record could mandate increased premiums. If this happens, you may want to shop around for a new provider. You can conveniently research online by comparing car insurance rates to ensure you're getting the best deal.

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