If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it still make a sound?
If you lose a traffic ticket and can't find it, does you still have to address the citation?
When you lose a traffic ticket, you don't lose your responsibility to address the citation. Finding a lost speeding ticket isn't always easy. Fortunately, some states provide ways for you to find your lost traffic citation information online.
Search for Lost Traffic Citations by State
Some states host websites where you can locate your citation information online. If a highway patrolman or other state-level officer issued your ticket, you might find information on one of these websites. Recall what type of officer provided you the citation, then research your state's online offerings.
Find Your Lost Traffic Ticket by County
Even if you live in a state that doesn't provide a statewide online ticket search, you still might find your lost traffic ticket information online.
Some states address traffic tickets on a county-level basis. In this case, determine which county you receive the ticket in. Then, search for that county's court website. The county might provide an online lost traffic ticket search option.
Pinpoint Your Lost Traffic Ticket
Once you find the proper website to begin your search, you will need to gather some basic information to locate your specific citation.
You might need to provide any or all of the following information:
- Your full name as it appears on your drivers license.
- Your drivers license number.
- Your date of birth.
- Your license plate number.
Carefully read the instructions provided by your online traffic ticket search website and proceed accordingly.
Pleading Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest
Once you find your speeding ticket information, determine how you will plea.
Most states offer three basic plea options:
- No contest (nolo contendre)
- Not guilty
If you plead guilty or no contest, you might need to simply submit a traffic ticket fine payment by the date listed on your citation.
If you plead not guilty, you might need to appear in court. Find out more about fighting your traffic ticket on our dedicated page.
Rules and regulations vary by state, county and the type of citation you receive. So, consult with the agency that issued your traffic ticket and plan accordingly.