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Pay Traffic Ticket in Pennsylvania

SUMMARY: How to Pay a Pennsylvania Traffic Ticket

If you decide to simply pay your traffic ticket, you be able to do so online, by mail, or in person. For specific instructions, refer to your PA traffic ticket or contact the appropriate traffic court, as the process will vary by county.

NOTE: Your traffic violation may require a court appearance.

Keep reading to learn more about paying PA traffic tickets.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Incur points on your driving record (which could lead to license suspension or revocation).
  • Possibly experience an increase in auto insurance rates.

Learn more below.

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest the ticket during a hearing.
  • Possibly hire a traffic ticket attorney to represent you.
  • Perhaps lose the option of pleading to a lesser charge.
  • Experience 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 »

What It Means to Pay Your PA Traffic Ticket

Often, paying your PA traffic ticket is easier than contesting it in court; however, because it is an admission of guilt, you can face penalties in addition to the typical fine.

If you choose to plead guilty:

  • You might get the option to plead to a lesser offense and deal with lesser penalties and fines. Usually, a court appearance is required for this possibility.
  • Usually, you can forward or provide in person the full amount (traffic ticket fine plus any surcharges) to the court and the ordeal is over.
  • Some traffic courts allow drivers to set up a payment plan.
  • You'll receive points on your PA driving record. Depending on how many points the traffic violation adds (and how many points you already have), you might have to take a written exam, road exam, or have your driver's license suspended. Refer to Pennsylvania's vehicle code and point system for more information.
  • You might experience increased auto insurance rates. Usually, this depends on your insurance provider, policy terms, and driving history.

Most courts allow you to pay in person, by mail, or online (using the ePay system or the court's own system); paying by phone typically isn't an option.

NOTE:

  • Younger drivers face license suspension for certain PA traffic violations. Check our Ticket Fines & Penalties section for more details.
  • You'll mostly likely deal with the criminal court, rather than any type of traffic court, if your charge involves driving under the influence (DUI).
  • Parking tickets are handled by the local parking authority.

Most PA traffic tickets make things easy for drivers by including information on:

  • Your PA traffic ticket fine.
  • The presiding court.
  • Your hearing date.

If you don't respond to the traffic ticket or appear in court within your allotted amount of time, the court will likely issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

To retrieve this information after you've lost your ticket, check our section on obtaining a replacement PA traffic ticket.

Plead Guilty as a CDL Driver

Generally, commercial driver's license (CDL) holders in Pennsylvania handle ticket payments the same way other drivers do. The main differences lie in reporting the tickets and the penalties.

For example:

  • Usually, commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers must report to their employers within 30 days of receiving a PA traffic ticket; those who receive tickets in another state must report the violations to PennDOT.
  • For certain traffic violations, CDL holders can face much stiffer penalties than point accumulation and increase insurance rates.

For more information related to CDL holders, consult the Pennsylvania Commercial Driver's Manual.

Plead Not Guilty

Pleading "guilty" isn't your only option; if you want to contest the traffic ticket, you can do so in court.

Typically, fighting a traffic ticket and appearing in court means you're giving up any possibility of plea bargains and lesser charges and penalties. You also might have to pay additional costs, such as court costs and attorney fees.

Our section on Fighting Your PA Traffic Ticket can help you prepare.

Pay Your Pennsylvania Traffic Ticket Online

Unless your traffic ticket notes otherwise, you can pay your fine online using:

  • Your specific court's own online payment system. For example, the Philadelphia Traffic Court provides its own online payment system.
  • Pennsylvania's ePay system.
  • The online traffic ticket payment tool at the top of this page.

If you're able to pay your traffic ticket online, go ahead. Just be sure to check out the below sections on handling driving record points and auto insurance rates, too.

If paying online isn't an option for you, continue reading.

Contact the Proper PA Traffic Court

Your location when you received the traffic ticket, and the officer who issued the ticket, will determine which court handles your ticket.

Most drivers will go through their local magistrate courts; however, there might be exceptions. For example, you might be directed to a different court if a highway patrol or sheriff's officer pulls you over than if a local town or city police officer pulls you over.

Your PA traffic ticket should provide information about the appropriate court as well as ticket fines, payment options, and possible hearing dates; if not, or you need further information, visit your county's website to contact your traffic court.

Pay Your Traffic Ticket

In addition to paying your ticket online, many courts allow drivers to pay in person and by mail; paying a PA traffic ticket over the phone typically isn't an option.

Since towns, cities, and counties might vary in regard to ticket payment methods and options, be sure to contact your appropriate traffic court to get specific details before attempting a payment.

Unable to Make Court Appearance

If you need to pay your ticket in person but can't make it to court by the date printed on your ticket, you must request a continuance in writing or in person to the court before the original hearing. You can only do this once, and if you miss your hearing date, the court will go on without you and notify you of its verdict.

Get Points Removed from Your PA Driving Record

Pennsylvania doesn't offer the option to remove driving record points via traffic or driving schools; however, the state doesn't leave its drivers high and dry, either.

Options to remove points from your PA driving record include:

  • Passing a written or on-road examination. Generally, this is a PennDOT-ordered measure for drivers who've accumulated too many points on their records. Passing the exam removes 2 points from the PA driving record.
  • Going 12 months consecutively without incurring any additional points. Doing this knocks 3 points off your record, and once your PA driving record is clean of all points―and stays clean for 12 months―the state treats any additional point accumulation as first-time accumulations.

Check Your Pennsylvania Driving Record

With so few options for reducing points, it's more important than ever to keep a watch on your PA driving record.

Be sure to check your Pennsylvania driving record:

  • Whenever you receive judgment on a PA traffic violation. If you plead "guilty," make sure the point accumulation doesn't push you over the limit of 6 points; if you're found "not guilty," make sure no additional points show up.
  • After you pass a court-ordered written examination.

Shop for Lower PA Auto Insurance Rates

More often than not, PA traffic tickets affect auto insurance rates―in a bad way.

Once you plead "guilty" and pay your fine (or even before you decide whether to plead "guilty"), talk with your insurance provider about how the guilty verdict will affect your rates in Pennsylvania. You might find it's time to start comparing car insurance quotes online to get a better deal.

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