Pay Traffic Ticket in Virginia
In Virginia, you may be able to pay your traffic ticket either online or by mail. Unless a court appearance is mandatory, you can go ahead and pay your fine before your scheduled court day and avoid having to appear at a hearing.
Pleading Guilty to Your VA Ticket
You plead “guilty" when you opt to pay your VA traffic ticket outright—a process the state refers to as “pre-payment."
Before you enter a “guilty" plea, be aware of the following:
- By pleading “guilty" and paying your fine, you waive your right to a hearing.
- Depending on the type of hearing, a court appearance could give you a chance to plead to lesser charges or even challenge your ticket in court.
- Unless you're required to appear in court, you might be able to pay your ticket fine online or by mail.
- See How to Pay Your VA Traffic Ticket below.
- You'll receive demerit points on your driving record.
- The number depends on the specific traffic violation.
- You might be ordered to participate in the Driver Improvement Program. See Driver Improvement & VA Tickets below for details.
- You could face license suspension or revocation.
- Once you accumulate a certain number of points, you'll lose your license.
- Some violations are serious enough to carry an outright license suspension or revocation as a penalty.
- Your car insurance company might increase your rates the next time you renew your policy.
If you decide to plead “guilty," pay your fine by the deadline listed on the citation or you'll face additional fines and penalties.
CDL Drivers & VA Tickets
As a CDL holder, if you plead or are found “guilty":
- You must notify your employer within 30 days of the traffic ticket conviction.
- You must notify the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 30 days of receiving a conviction in another jurisdiction.
This applies no matter what kind of vehicle you were driving when you receiving the ticket.
Also, note that commercial holders sometimes face harsher penalties than do regular drivers; for example, depending on your offense, the state could temporarily suspend or permanently revoke your CDL.
Learn more within the VA Commercial Driver License Manual.
How to Pay Your VA Traffic Ticket
Depending on your presiding court and as long as you aren't required to appear in court, you can pay your traffic ticket online, by mail, or in person. We've included information about payment deadlines below.
You must have your traffic ticket available to pay the fine; if you've misplaced yours, jump over to our Lost Traffic Ticket in Virginia page.
Pay your ticket fine online using the General District Court Online Case Information System.
Once you choose your presiding court and find your traffic ticket case, follow the system prompts, pay the fine, and print your receipt.
NOTE: See “Ticket Payment Deadlines" below to determine when you need to complete the online payment process in time to meet your deadline.
In the simplest terms, you can pay your ticket by mail by sending an acceptable form of payment to the presiding court listed on your citation; typically, this will be a general court or a juvenile court. Generally, the citation states all acceptable forms of payment.
However, there are some variations depending on factors such as your specific violation and when you're paying the fine (i.e. pre-court payment or post-court payment). For example:
- Payment options vary by court.
- You might or might not receive a “VIRGINIA PREPAYABLE OFFENSES INFORMATION SHEET."
- For many drivers, this document is the way to indicate if they want to appear in court to fight their ticket.
- If you didn't receive this, the state recommends calling the number listed on your citation for instructions.
NOTE: See “Ticket Payment Deadlines" below to determine when you need to have your payment in the mail in time to meet your deadline.
Ticket Payment Deadlines
Your payment deadline depends on whether you're making a pre-court payment or a post-court payment.
You must pay your fine by 3:30 p.m. no later than 1 business day before the court date listed on your citation.
If you're paying:
- Allow enough time to complete the payment process before the deadline.
- By mail:
- Mail your payment at least 7 days before the date on your citation.
You must make your post-court payment within 30 days following your court date to avoid license suspension. Note that:
- You can't make a payment on your trial date; you can start making payments the day after your trial.
- If the court doesn't receive your payment within 40 days following your court date, it will send your account to a collection agency and your fine will accrue interest.
- If you have a deferred payment agreement, payment is due on the agreed upon date.
To pay your ticket:
- By mail:
Driver Improvement & VA Tickets
Depending on your driving history and the nature of your violation, your judge might:
- ALLOW you to complete a defensive driving course for ticket dismissal.
- ORDER you to complete a driver improvement program to satisfy your traffic ticket.
Visit our guide to VA driver improvement courses for details.
Car Insurance Rates
Expect your car insurance company to increase your rates once you have a traffic violation conviction and accumulate points on your driving record.
Talk with your provider about this possibility, and if you're facing an increase the next time you renew your policy, compare insurance quotes online to find more affordable coverage.
Check Your Driving Record
- Make sure your record shows ONLY the traffic ticket violations to which you pled “guilty" or of which you were found “guilty" in court.
- Your record shouldn't show any violations the court dismissed or of which the court found you “not guilty."
- Check your driving record points.
- Make sure you have ONLY the number of points associated with your traffic violation convictions.
- See if your number of points puts you close to or over the number of points that lead to license suspension.
- If you're close to license suspension, check if you have enough “good driver points" to combat the demerit points; if you don't, ask if you should complete a driver improvement program.