Traffic Ticket FAQ in Oregon

What do I do if get a traffic ticket in OR?

Determine whether you want to plead―

  • Guilty,
  • No contest, or
  • Not guilty
―and move forward from there.

Some drivers who plead guilty or no contest can pay their fines, deal with their penalties, and move on; others, who are guilty of more serious offenses, might face a more involved process.

Those who plead not guilty go to court and plead their cases to judges. Some hire traffic ticket lawyers for assistance.

Refer to Paying Your Traffic Ticket and Fighting Your Traffic Ticket for more information about these options.

Which court has my traffic ticket?

Several courts handle traffic tickets in Oregon, but the most common are:

  • Municipal Courts, which handle city-level tickets.
  • Justice Courts, which handle county-level tickets.
  • Circuit Courts, which handle county-level tickets in some areas.

Your citation includes the name of the court handling your ticket.

What’s the difference between a traffic violation and a traffic crime?

In Oregon, a traffic violation is a minor offense such as speeding or failing to completely stop at a stop sign; a traffic crime is a more serious offense, such as DUII or reckless driving.

How can I get a traffic ticket dismissed?

There are two ways, and neither is easy or a sure thing.

You can either fight your ticket in court and win, or ask to enroll in the Driver Improvement Program for ticket dismissal.

NOTE: Typically, judges only offer the Driver Improvement Program for ticket dismissal to student drivers or first-time offenders.

What if I have an Oregon CDL and get a traffic ticket?

As far as pleading guilty, no contest, or not guilty is concerned, you’ll follow the same process as regular license holders.

However, if you plead or are found guilty (or plead no contest), you must notify your employer.

Also, the federally-mandated penalties for certain CDL offenses can hinder or end your truck driving career.

How will traffic violations affect me if I’m younger than 18?

You face license restrictions (in addition to your provisional license restrictions) or suspension, depending on the offense.

For example, if you’re convicted of DUII, your license will be suspended until you turn 18 years old.

Learn more at Ticket Fines and Penalties.

Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?

Oregon doesn’t use a point system, but your driving record still holds valuable information.

You can see:

  • How close you are to license suspension based on the convictions you’ve accumulated.
  • Whether the appropriate offenses are represented.
  • Whether the court dismissed a ticket based on your not guilty verdict or Driver Improvement Program completion.

Get a copy of yours at OR Driving Records.

What is the total cost of my traffic ticket?

The total costs depends on:

Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout the state?

Each offense has a minimum and maximum fine, and those minimum and maximum amounts are the same throughout the state.

Your citation will include a dollar amount, and the state refers to this as the “base fine”―a fine that is higher than the minimum but lower than the maximum.

Basically, this base fine gives you an idea of what you might pay. You might pay that exact amount, or your judge might lower or increase the amount based on your driving record or circumstances related to the offense.

For information specific to your offense, contact your court.

How can I find a lost traffic ticket online?

Oregon doesn’t provide an online search for traffic tickets, but your court can give you all the information you need.

Head over to Lost OR Traffic Tickets for details.

When is it a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney?

Many drivers opt to hire traffic ticket attorneys if they:

  • Aren’t sure how to best prepare for and present their cases.
  • Aren’t comfortable speaking in court.
  • Are interested in negotiating plea agreements.
  • Need help rescheduling a hearing.
  • Want to appeal a guilty verdict.
  • Are facing serious traffic crimes, like DUII.

Does Oregon assign points for traffic violations?


How can the DMV suspend my license without a point system?

The DMV can restrict or suspend your license based on the violations and accidents you accrue.

Under these circumstances, you may be required to enroll in the Driver Improvement Program. Refer to the Oregon Driver Manual for more information.

How did I get a “habitual offender” status?

You’re labeled a habitual offender if you do either of the following within 5 years:

  • Get convicted of 3 or more traffic crimes.
  • Get convicted of 20 or more traffic violations.

The DMV will revoke your license for 5 years, but you might be eligible for a hardship license. Refer to Suspended OR License for more information.

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