Lost Traffic Ticket in Michigan

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Generally, district courts act as traffic courts in Michigan and can help you find information about your lost traffic ticket. Be prepared to provide some personal information to get details such as traffic ticket fines, plea options, and deadlines.

NOTE: For parking ticket information, contact the city agency that handles parking violations.

Find Your MI Traffic Court

Your presiding traffic court is the district court in the area where you received your citation.

If you DO REMEMBER where you were, great! All you have to do is contact that court.

If you DON'T REMEMBER, consider these tips:

  • Think about why you were driving when you received the traffic ticket.
  • Ask any passengers if they remember where you were pulled over.
  • Were you in a rural or populated area?
    • The number of courts to choose from depends on the county. For example, some rural counties have only one presiding district court; more populated counties have municipal and county district courts.

Once you narrow down your choices, start with the most likely traffic court; if that's not the correct court, begin trying neighboring courts.

NOTE: Depending on the type of ticket you received, you may be able to use Michigan's online payment system to search and pay for your traffic ticket.

Gather Lost Traffic Ticket Details

You must respond to your MI traffic ticket by the deadline—or court date—listed on your citation to avoid additional penalties such as license suspension.

Generally, this means:

  • If your violation is one that requires a court appearance, such as a “criminal infraction" (one that involves a possible jail sentence), you must appear in court on the date listed on the citation.
  • If your ticket is for a “civil infraction," generally you can:
    • Plead “guilty" and either pay your traffic ticket fine OR plead “guilty" with the option to explain the situation.
    • Plead “not guilty" and request a hearing to challenge your ticket in court.

Thus, it's crucial to gather your lost traffic ticket information as soon as possible in order to respond on time.

Examples of information include:

  • Whether your violation requires a court appearance.
    • Ask for the court location, date, and time.
  • Whether you have the option to plead “guilty" and pay your fine.
    • Ask for your payment deadline.
    • Find out acceptable payment options and methods.
  • Your specific ticket information.
    • For example, you'll need your citation number in order to use certain payment options.

Responding to MI Traffic Tickets

Refer to the following sections to learn how to respond to your MI traffic ticket:

  • Pay Traffic Ticket:
    • You can admit responsibility (i.e. plead “guilty") and pay your fine.
    • You might choose to admit responsibility with the option to explain your situation.
  • Fight Traffic Ticket:
    • You can deny responsibility (i.e. plead “not guilty") and request either an informal OR a formal hearing.
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