Lost Traffic Ticket in Iowa

If you've lost your IA traffic ticket you can search online, contact the court, or even order a copy of the citation from the Iowa

Department of Transportation (DOT).

NOTE: Generally, these tickets involve moving violations and include citations such as red light tickets and speeding tickets. The following help also might apply to a lost parking ticket, but be sure to check with your court.

Depending on your situation (for example, the nature of your violation or how quickly you need your IA traffic ticket information), you might be able to search for your lost traffic ticket online or with the presiding court, or even order a tangible copy of your citation.

Search for IA Tickets Online

You can search for information about your traffic ticket online using the state's online payment search; the system allows you to search using your first and last names, which is convenient considering you probably don't have your citation or case number handy.

When searching for traffic ticket information online:

  • Mark that you want to search for a traffic ticket.
    • Currently, the system provides information for a variety of other cases, including civil and criminal.
  • Choose the county in which you received the citation.
    • If you're not sure which county applies to you, refer to “Contact the Traffic Court" below.
  • Understand that it may take a few weeks for a traffic ticket to appear on the website.
    • If you don't have this amount of time, consider obtaining the information from your traffic court.

Contact the Traffic Court

Generally, your presiding traffic court is the district court in the county where you received the ticket.

If YOU CAN REMEMEBER the county where you received the citation:

  • Refer to the state's court directory for that county's contact information.

If YOU CAN'T REMEMBER the county where you received the ticket:

  • Ask yourself a few questions to jog your memory, such as “Was I traveling to a certain destination that day?" or “Was that the date of a specific appointment?"
  • Contact the traffic court in the county that seems most plausible; if it's not the one, try neighboring counties.
  • If you still can't find your county court, consider ordering a tangible copy of your traffic ticket.
    • See “Order a Lost Traffic Ticket" below.

Order a Lost Traffic Ticket

The Iowa Customer Services Bureau (ODS) will send you a tangible copy of your traffic ticket for $.50.

You'll need:

Mail these items to:

Customer Services Bureau
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, IA 50306

IA Traffic Ticket Details

Your IA traffic ticket contains crucial information—information that will help you respond to the ticket on time and avoid additional penalties.

No matter how you look up or order your traffic ticket, make sure you have at least the following information:

  • The location, date, and time of any required court appearance.
  • Eligible ways to pay your fine.
    • Sometimes, this depends on the court and your personal situation; for example, the nature of your violation and whether you must appear in court.
    • Also ask about accepted forms of payment such as cash, checks, and credit cards.
  • The deadline by which you must respond to your IA traffic ticket.
    • This might be the deadline for pleading “guilty" or “no contest" and paying or pleading “not guilty" and setting a hearing date.

Other traffic ticket information to gather is your exact traffic violation (this will help you determine how you want to plead) and the citation number (which is helpful if you decide to pay your fine outright).

How to Plead to Your IA Citation

In Iowa, you can:

  • Plead “guilty" or “no contest" and pay your traffic ticket fine.
  • Plead “not guilty" and fight your ticket in court.

For more details—including the potential penalties for pleading or being found “guilty"—refer to Pay Traffic Ticket and Fight Traffic Ticket.


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