Pay Traffic Ticket in Iowa

SUMMARY: How to Pay an Iowa Traffic Ticket

Depending on where you received your traffic ticket, you may be able to pay your fine online, by mail, by phone, or in person. Check your ticket or contact the relevant IA traffic court for specific instructions.

NOTE: Be sure to pay your ticket fines within 60 days of the deadline. Otherwise, you could lose your driver's license until you pay.

Responding to Your IA Traffic Ticket

To pay your Iowa traffic ticket, you must plead " guilty" or "no contest":

  • Pleading "guilty" means admitting you're guilty of the traffic offense.
  • Pleading "no contest" means you don't want to contest the charge or you realize there's no convincing case for your innocence.

In Iowa, pleading "guilty" or "no contest" means:

  • You might avoid court by paying your traffic ticket fine online or by mail (see below).
  • You'll incur points on your IA driving record.
  • The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) could suspend, revoke, or bar your IA driver's license, depending on your driving record and traffic violation.
  • The IA DOT or your judge might order you to enroll in driver improvement school, depending on the violation.
  • Your auto insurance rates will likely increase.

You must pay your traffic ticket fine by the date printed on your traffic ticket; failure to do so can result in a driver's license suspension, which will last until the court notifies the IA DOT you've paid the full amount.

CDL Drivers

If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL), you can plead "guilty" or "no contest" in much the same manner as regular drivers; however:

  • You must notify your employer after a conviction for an IA traffic ticket.
  • Understand that certain traffic violations can drastically impact your income and driving career.

Refer to our page on Ticket Fines and Penalties for more information about federally mandated penalties if you have a commercial driver's license.

How to Pay Your Iowa Traffic Ticket

Unless you must appear in court, generally you can pay your IA traffic ticket online; however, other options might include paying in person, by mail, or by phone depending on your traffic court.

Pay Your Ticket Online

Most drivers can pay their traffic ticket fines online as long as they don't have to appear in court.

Visit the state's online payment system, enter the mandatory information, and use the required payment option.

NOTE: Currently, the system doesn't require your citation number, but you do have to know which court is handling your traffic ticket. Typically, you can find this information on your traffic ticket, but if you've misplaced it or need help retrieving the information, refer to out guide to Lost Traffic Tickets in Iowa.

Other Payment Methods

If you're ineligible or otherwise unable to pay your ticket fine online, contact the court handling your ticket for information on other payment options. You might be able to pay the fine in person, by mail, or by phone depending on its policies.

Ticket Points & Your Driving Record

Depending on your situation and your judge's ruling, you might be able to complete a state-approved traffic school for ticket dismissal. Generally, this is decided on a case-by-case basis; be sure to ask your judge about your eligibility.

If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, you may be required by the court to complete a driver improvement course. See our guide to traffic school in Iowa for details.

Check Your Driving Record

The Iowa DOT assigns points for serious violations. If you accumulate these kinds of points, you can become a “habitual offender" and have your IA driver's license suspended or revoked. It's important to be aware of any points on your record to ensure you don't fall into this category.

Points aside, your traffic violation will remain on your Iowa driving record for a certain number of years.

After pleading "guilty" or "no contest," check your IA driving record to make sure only the applicable violation(s) appear(s).

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