Lost Traffic Ticket in Pennsylvania
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You might be able to find your PA traffic ticket online using PAePAY, but if this option isn't available you can contact the presiding traffic court, which generally is the Commonwealth Court or Magisterial District Court.
PA Traffic Ticket Search
Depending on your situation—specifically, how much information you can provide—you might be able to search for your lost traffic ticket online; otherwise, you'll need to contact the presiding traffic court.
The PAePay system provides a variety of ways to search for cases. Many of them require a traffic citation number or docket number, which you probably don't have if you've lost your PA traffic ticket.
However, PAePay also lets drivers search for cases by court type and your first and last names. If you know your court type (i.e. which court is handling your case), this option might work for you; however, be aware that if the results don't provide all the important information, you might need to contact your court anyway.
NOTE: The Philadelphia Municipal Court provides an online traffic ticket search, which might be applicable to you.
Find Your PA Traffic Court
Aside from the Philadelphia Municipal Court, PA traffic tickets are handled by the Commonwealth Court or Magisterial District Court. Your job is to contact the one that's handling your citation and request the specific details related to your traffic ticket.
If YOU DON'T KNOW which court is handling your citation, you can:
- Start by contacting the Commonwealth Court's Chief Clerk's Office at (717) 255-1650.
- The Chief Clerk might be able to determine whether the Commonwealth Court is handling your ticket, or point you in another direction (which will narrow your possibilities).
- Contact the Magisterial District Court in the county in which you received your ticket.
- Understand there are several courts in each county, so be prepared for a hit-or-miss process.
- Begin this process as soon as possible, so you can respond to your PA traffic ticket by the deadline.
Lost PA Traffic Ticket Details
As mentioned above, there are certain lost traffic ticket details that are specific to your citation and necessary to respond to your traffic ticket in time.
When you contact the presiding traffic court (or find your ticket online), MAKE SURE you find out:
- Whether you must appear in court.
- Certain violations require court appearances and if you miss yours, you face additional penalties.
- Take note of your court's address and the date and time to appear.
- If you have the opportunity to plead to a lesser offense.
- Typically, this requires pleading "guilty" and appearing in court.
- Traffic ticket information specific to your citation. Ask about the:
- Exact violation of which you're charged. (You might want to consult a traffic ticket attorney if it's a serious offense).
- Citation number.
- Location, date, and time you received your citation.
- Law enforcement agency and name of the police officer who issued the ticket.
- Information to help you pay the fine, if you choose to plead "guilty"; this includes:
- The exact traffic ticket fine.
- Court fees or surcharges you must pay.
- Your payment deadline.
- The court's payment options and methods, and whether you're eligible for a payment plan.
- Your response deadline.
- This might be the deadline by which you must pay (if you plead "guilty") or the deadline by which you must plead "not guilty" and schedule a court date.
Decide How to Plead to a PA Ticket
Once you have all your lost traffic ticket information, you can decide how you want to plead. Generally, this means pleading “guilty" and paying your fine (sometimes you can plead to a lesser offense) or pleading "not guilty" and fighting your citation in court.