Pay Traffic Ticket in MichiganPage Overview
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine OR
- 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
(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 »
Paying your Michigan traffic ticket is an admission of guilt. This means:
- You pay the 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 ticket or rebuff your explanation by finding you guilty.
- The Secretary of State (SOS) will add points to your 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 any 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 traffic violations and penalties, consult Michigan's Commercial Driver License manual.
Pleading Not Guilty
You also have the option to challenge your traffic ticket in court. Presenting a strong case could possibly influence the court to reduce charges or even dismiss your citation. Learn more on our Fighting Your Traffic Ticket page.
Respond to Your 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 citation) for which you must reply by. If you fail to respond, a default judgment will be issued. The SOS may then add points to your driving record and/or suspend your driver's license. In some instances a bench warrant may even be issued for your arrest.
You will pay the district court listed on your MI traffic ticket. Read the ticket's payment instructions carefully. 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 the citation.
If you cannot find your traffic ticket, read up on what to do in our Lost Traffic Ticket section.
Currently only some courts allow online traffic ticket payments via a centralized payment system. Your citation will clearly state if paying online is available.
Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to keep points off your driving record by completing a Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC). This is a one time opportunity. Before enrolling you will need approval from the SOS. For more on this, refer to our page covering Michigan point reduction.
After paying your ticket, check your driving record for accuracy. Verify there are no unaccounted violations and/or points. Because an accumulation of violations on your record could cause driver's license suspension or an increase in your car insurance rates, you want to be certain the state's record is accurate.
Depending on the policies of your car insurance provider, any moving violation on your 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.Other Topics in This Section