Pay Traffic Ticket in South DakotaPage Overview
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
Paying your SD traffic ticket means admitting guilt―or, at least, that you’re not going to contest your guilt.
So, you’re entering a guilty or no contest plea, and doing so means:
- You might avoid court and pay your ticket over the phone or by mail (see below).
- You will accumulate driving record points for any moving violation unrelated to speeding.
- You could face license suspension or revocation, depending on the violation and your current points.
- Your auto insurance company probably will increase your rates.
Note that if you’re charged with DWI, your fines and penalties are more severe. Refer to SD DUI for more information.
Payment options and methods vary by court, but all courts require payment by the hearing date on the citation; failure to pay on time results in license suspension and an arrest warrant.
Note that Magistrate Courts handle misdemeanor traffic tickets and Circuit Courts handle felonies. The South Dakota Unified Judicial System website includes contact information for the courts.
Refer to Lost SD Traffic Tickets if you’ve misplaced your citation and aren’t sure when or where to pay your fine.
Plead Guilty as a SD CDL Driver
You can plead guilty the same as any other driver; just be sure to notify your employer within 30 days of receiving your violation.
Before you plead, understand that for some violations, CDL holders face penalties severe enough to halt or completely end their driving careers. Learn more at Ticket Fines and Penalties.
Plead Not Guilty
Drivers who believe they’re innocent and feel they can convince a judge as much might opt to plead not guilty and fight their tickets in court.
Interested? Head over to Fighting Your Traffic Ticket for details.
Currently, South Dakota offers no online traffic ticket payment option.
Your citation includes information about how to pay your traffic ticket fine, and your officer is supposed to explain these options when you receive your ticket.
Most courts accept payments by mail and in person, and payment methods often include personal and cashier’s checks, money orders, and credit and debit cards. Be sure to check for this information on your citation, and contact your court with any questions.
NOTE: Your officer might allow you to make a deposit after receiving a ticket. If so, he must also notify you in writing that failing to pay the rest of the fine or appear in court, results in bond forfeiture and a guilty verdict.
South Dakota doesn’t offer any voluntary options for point removal.
Check Your Driving Record
Except for speeding, most traffic violations lead to points on your driving record; too many points leads to license suspension.
Accumulating 15 points in 1 year, or 22 points in a 2 years leads to:
- First Offense: Suspension for up to 60 days.
- Second Offense: Suspension for up to 6 months.
- Third Offense: Suspension for up to 1 year.
Thus, it’s important to order your driving record after pleading guilty to any violation unrelated to speeding. Find out how many points you have, and adjust your driving habits accordingly.
Auto insurance providers routinely increase rates for policyholders who plead guilty or are found guilty of traffic violations.
Ask your agent how your guilty plea will affect your rates the next time you renew; if you find out they’ll go up, start comparing insurance quotes online to find less expensive coverage.Other Topics in This Section