Lost Traffic Ticket in Rhode IslandPage Overview
Two agencies handle Rhode Island traffic tickets: Traffic Tribunals and Municipal Courts.
Traffic Tribunals handle state violations, and Municipal Courts handle city violations.
Sometimes, remembering where you received the citation will help you determine which court has your ticket.
For example, if you were within a city’s limits when an officer pulled you over, you can start with that area’s Municipal Court. Likewise, if you were on a state highway, outside of city limits, you can start with the Traffic Tribunal.
The Rhode Island Judiciary website provides information about the Traffic Tribunal and Municipal Courts; however, to retrieve lost traffic ticket information, it’s best to call the agency. The website lists telephone numbers.
Once you locate your court, be sure to ask about:
- Your exact traffic ticket fine and court costs.
- Your arraignment date, or the date by which you must pay the ticket.
- Whether you’re required to appear in court. (If you’re not, you might pay your ticket online or by mail.)
Even though you know which court is handling your ticket, you might not know where the arraignment and hearing will be held. The chief judge determines locations for Traffic Tribunal cases, and the law determines locations for Municipal Court. Be sure to ask when you call.
NOTE: It usually takes at least a week for the court to receive and process the ticket; if your ticket doesn’t show the first time you call, the clerk might suggest you call at a later date.
You can plead:
- Guilty or no contest.
- Not guilty.
Usually, pleading guilty or no contest means paying the traffic ticket fine and dealing with any associated penalties; pleading not guilty means going to court.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine, possibly online.
- Risk suspended license or other penalties, like a habitual offender label.
- Potentially receive the good driving record ticket dismissal.
- Face increased auto insurance rates..
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