Traffic Ticket FAQ in Washington DC

What do I do if get a traffic ticket in DC?

Either plead guilty and pay your fine or plead not guilty and schedule a hearing. Just be sure to do so within 30 calendar days of receiving the ticket.

The best option for you depends on your personal situation. Our Paying Your Traffic Ticket and Fighting Your Traffic Ticket sections fully outline each route.

Which agency handles my traffic ticket?

The DC DMV handles all traffic citations. You'll pay―or have your hearing with―the Adjudication Services Office.

What are the different kinds of traffic tickets?

DC drivers can get:

  • Parking tickets.
  • Minor and major moving violations.
  • Photo enforcement tickets.

Our DC Traffic Ticket pages cover everything but parking tickets, but you also can handle these with the Adjudication Services Office.

What is the Email Ticket Service Alert?

DC's Email Ticket Service Alert system allows a person to keep up with ticket-related information related to 1 driver's license and up to 4 vehicles.

Learn more at DC's Email Ticket Service Alert.

How can I get a traffic ticket dismissed?

Generally, hearing examiners don't offer traffic school for ticket dismissal, so your best bet is to contest the charge, schedule a hearing, and win your case.

What if I have a Washington DC CDL and get a traffic ticket?

Determine whether you want to plead guilty and pay or contest the charge, and move forward from there.

Keep in mind that you must notify your employer within 30 days of a conviction, and a guilty plea or verdict can seriously affect your driving career, depending on the violation.

Refer to Ticket Fines and Penalties for details.

How will traffic violations affect me if I'm in the GRAD Program?

Pointable violations (those for which points are assigned to your driving record) prevent you from moving on to the next license on time.

Learn more at Ticket Fines and Penalties.

Why is it a good idea to order a driving record?

Your driving record shows you:

  • How close you are to license suspension or revocation based on point accumulation.
  • Whether the DMV dismissed a ticket based on your not guilty verdict.
  • Whether the DMV removed a violation's points after you completed an approved traffic school.

Get a copy of yours at DC Driving Records.

What is the total cost of my traffic ticket?

Traffic ticket fines vary by violation, but are the same throughout the District. Your ticket should include the cost.

Generally, you won't pay any court costs or surcharges; however, DUI- or DWI-related cases, license reinstatement fees, and traffic school fees can increase your overall traffic ticket costs.

Also, the DMV charges a penalty fee (the same amount as your original ticket fine) if you're late responding to the charges.

Refer to Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information.

Does the DMV offer traffic ticket payment plans?


Check out Paying Your Traffic Ticket for details.

How can I find a lost traffic ticket?

Contact the DMV or Adjudication Services Office. We outline the process at Lost DC Traffic Tickets.

When is it a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney?

Whenever you―

  • Aren't sure how to best prepare for and present your case.
  • Aren't comfortable speaking in court.
  • Are interested in negotiating a plea agreement.
  • Need help rescheduling a hearing.
  • Want to appeal a guilty verdict.
  • Are facing serious traffic crimes, like DUI or reckless driving.
―it's a good idea to hire a traffic ticket attorney.

How do points affect my driving privileges?

The DMV suspends your license when you reach 10 points, and revokes it when you reach 12 or more points.

Refer to DC Point Reduction for information on how to reduce points related to a current violation.

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