Pay Traffic Ticket in VirginiaPage Overview
In Virginia you have the option to plead guilty and pay your ticket or plead not guilty and go before a judge to discuss or contest the charges. Learn more about what each entails to help you decide your best course of action in VA.
- Pay the fine online, by mail or in court
- Option to plea bargain penalties in court
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
- Possibly incur increase in auto insurance rates
- Option to take eight-hour driving improvement clinic to reduce demerit points
See the information below
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket in court
- Choose to represent yourself during trial or hire an attorney
- No penalties if found not guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
- If found guilty, incur points on driving record and possible increase in car insurance rates
- If found guilty, possible option to take eight-hour driving improvement clinic to reduce demerit points
Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »
Paying a non-criminal traffic ticket in Virginia is an admission of guilt. This means:
- You can conveniently pay your Virginia traffic ticket fines online or by mail. Just be sure you do so by the deadline on your citation.
- The court will assign either 3 points, 4 points, or 6 points to our driver's license, depending on the severity of your moving violation. These points stay on your record for two years from the date you commit the offense.
- Convictions also get added to your record. The length of time these stay there depend on the severity of the violation.
- Additional points to your driving record could increase your auto insurance rates or affect your job or employment options (if your work requires you to maintain a clean driving record).
- In some cases, the judge will grant you permission to take a state-approved driver improvement clinic. This could reduce points on your driving record. Additionally, your auto insurance company might give you a discount on your car insurance rates.
Payment Deadline and Failure to Pay
Stay on top of your Virginia traffic ticket to avoid incurring further penalties. The court must receive your payment within 30 days after your court date*. Otherwise the state will suspend your driver’s license for failure to pay. If it doesn’t receive your ticket payment with 40 days, the court will then tack on interest to the amount owed and send your account to collection.
*If a “time to pay” or deferred payment agreement has been scheduled, you must pay your VA traffic citation by the agreed upon date.
Pleading Guilty as a VA CDL Driver
The steps for paying your traffic ticket as a commercial driver are the same as any other driver. However, VA CDL holders must also notify their employer within 30 days of conviction for any traffic violations no matter what type of vehicle you were driving. This doesn’t include Virginia parking tickets. For more on traffic violations and penalties for VA CDL drivers, refer to our page on traffic ticket fines and penalties and the Virginia’s Commercial Driver’s Manual.
Pleading Not Guilty
If you want to dispute your traffic ticket before a judge, you’ll need to appear in court. Your VA traffic citation lists a specific date and time you’ll need to show up to state your case. For more on this, check out our page titled Fighting Your VA Traffic Ticket.
Those dealing with General District Courts often have the option to make pre-court and post court traffic ticket payments online. Check the top of your summons. Next to the name of the court you should see the words Pay Online if this option is available to you. You’ll be charged a 4% convenience fee per transaction if you use a credit card. Simply follow these steps:
- Access the General District Court Case Information system online.
- Select the name of the court that corresponds to that listed on the top of your summons.
- Enter your name in the search box and find your case. If the traffic ticket is eligible for online payment, you’ll see the words “Mark for Payment.” Click this to continue processing your payment online. The remaining steps are easy to follow.
Once you submit payment, print your screen as a receipt. You’ll also receive confirmation via e-mail.
If you aren’t eligible to pay online, you might have two options to pay your traffic ticket by mail: Pre-Court and Post-Court. Whichever you choose, just be sure NOT to mail your payment to the Office of the Executive Secretary for the Supreme Court of Virginia.
If you’ve misplaced your VA traffic citation, visit our page on lost traffic tickets.
Pre-Court Traffic Ticket Payments
This option is only available to drivers dealing with the General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts only. Those cited for reckless driving do not have this option.
To ensure your payment reaches the court in time, mail it at least 7 days before your court date. If the court doesn’t RECEIVE the payment by then, you’ll incur an additional fee.
- Check the “NOTICE” on the back of your summons. Here you’ll find details on the alleged violation as well as whether the arresting officer gave you a “VIRGINIA PREPAYABLE OFFENSES INFORMATION SHEET.”
- Refer to the table on the right side with charge descriptions. Find the one closest to or exactly matching your violations*. Then calculate the total fines and fees by adding all applicable fines, inserting the total in the total fines blank and then adding the applicable fees to determine your full prepayment amount due. You’ll then follow the instructions on the summons in the “PRETRIAL WAIVER AND PREPAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS” section.
- Pay your traffic ticket with a personal check (made payable to the applicable district court), money order, certified check or credit card (in the area on your ticket marked “Credit Card Authorization.”
- Mail your payment to the general court or juvenile and domestic relations district court listed at the top of your summons.
- Juveniles younger than 18 years old must also complete the section on the summons entitled, “PROCEDURE IF MOTORIST IS A JUVENILE.” You’ll need a notarized signature of your parent or guardian if mailing the form to the court.
* If you don’t see your violation listed or you weren’t given the sheet list above, call the number listed on your summons for steps on how to proceed.
Post-Court Traffic Ticket Payments
- Make a phone call to the general district court, juvenule and domestic relations district court or circuit court where your case was heard. You’ll need to ask for the amount you owe, your reference case number and the court’s mailing address.
- Determine if you will pay your traffic ticket with a personal check (made payable to the applicable court), money order, certified check or credit card. While you have the clerk on the line, ask about whether the court accepts credit cards and if so, which ones. If you decide to pay by check, write the reference case number on it.
- Mail your payment to the general district court, juvenile and domestic relations district court or circuit court where your case was heard.
You might be ineligible to pay online or by mail. For example, those sited for reckless driving most often have to go before a judge. Check your summons for the exact date and time. If you can’t make this court appearance, you can hire a traffic ticket attorney to stand in for you.
Once you plead guilty and pay your Virginia traffic ticket fines, the state will add demerit points to your driving record. These points vary by offense and will stay on your record for two years. Because additional points can ultimately decrease your driving privileges and increase your auto insurance rates, check out how you can clean up your record on our page titled Point Reduction.
Check Your Driving Record
Again, after paying your ticket, expect to see the number of points on your driving record go up. Give the court some time to process the traffic violation, and then check your driving record to ensure what the state has on file. You’ll want to be certain it accurately reflects the proper number of demerit points associated with your driver’s license. Learn more on Virginia’s point system.
After paying your ticket and checking your driving record, inquire with your auto insurance company on how the violation and its points will affect your rates. It’s likely you’ll see an increase in your car insurance premium the next time you renew your policy. Get ahead of the added expense by shopping online to compare auto insurance rates.Other Topics in This Section