Pay Traffic Ticket in South Dakota
Depending on where you received your traffic ticket, you may be able to pay it by mail or in person. For detailed instructions, check your SD traffic ticket or contact the Circuit or Magistrate Court directly.
Continue reading this page to learn about paying traffic ticket fines in South Dakota.
(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 traffic 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 traffic violation and your current points.
- Your auto insurance company probably will increase your rates.
If you're charged with DWI, your fines and penalties are more severe. Refer to SD DUI for more information.
Traffic ticket payment options and methods vary by court, but all courts require payment by the hearing date on the traffic citation; failure to pay on time results in a driver's license suspension and an arrest warrant.
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 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 traffic ticket.
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 of a violation and feel they can convince a judge might opt to plead "not guilty" and fight their traffic tickets in court.
Interested? Head over to Fighting Your Traffic Ticket for details.
Currently, South Dakota offers no online traffic ticket payment option.
Your traffic 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 traffic citation, and contact your court with any questions.
NOTE: Your officer might allow you to make a deposit after receiving a traffic 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 South Dakota Driving Record
Except for speeding, most traffic violations lead to points on your SD driving record; too many points leads to a driver's license suspension.
Accumulating 15 points in 12 months, or 22 points in a 24 months leads to the following suspensions:
- 1st offense: Suspension for up to 60 days.
- 2nd offense: Suspension for up to 6 months.
- 3rd offense: Suspension for up to 1 year.
Thus, it's important to order your driving record after pleading "guilty" to any traffic 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 SD 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.