Pay Traffic Ticket in North Carolina

SUMMARY: How to Pay a North Carolina Traffic Ticket

If you have a “waivable" traffic ticket in North Carolina, you can pay the fine online, by mail, or in person. If you have a “non-waivable" traffic ticket, you must wait until your court appearance to pay the fine.

Continue reading this page to learn how to pay your NC traffic ticket.

NOTE: If you want to plead “not guilty" to your charge, visit our Fighting a Traffic Ticket in North Carolina page.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Plea bargain for a reduced charge.
  • Receive points on your driving record.
  • Incur possible jump in auto insurance rates.
  • Possible option to take driver safety course to reduce driving record points.

Learn more below

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Challenge traffic ticket via trial.
  • Either represent yourself or hire a lawyer.
  • Enter not guilty plea and then immediately ask for a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC).
  • Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser charges.

Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

Pleading Guilty to Your NC Ticket

When you pay your traffic ticket outright, you're admitting guilt; meaning, you're pleading “guilty" to the violation.

This means:

  • You pay the citation fine as well as any additional fees, and forfeit your right to challenge the ticket in court.
  • The court might allow you to complete a driver improvement program for ticket dismissal.
  • As long as you received a “waivable" offense, you can pay your fine online, by mail, or in person without appearing in court.
  • The state will add points to your driving record.
  • The state will add the violation to your driving record.
    • This could result in an increase in car insurance rates.

You must pay your waivable offense by the deadline printed on your ticket or you face license suspension and additional fines and penalties; if your citation isn't marked “waivable," you must appear in court on the court date printed on the ticket.

Pleading Guilty as a CDL Driver

When pleading “guilty" or being found guilty in court, CDL holders can face stiffer penalties than other drivers. For example, not only must you notify their employers of a violation conviction—no matter what kind of vehicle you were driving at the time—but also some violations mean temporary or permanent CDL suspension or revocation.

Learn more in North Carolina's Commercial Driver License Manual.

How to Pay Your NC Traffic Ticket

You can pay your ticket online, by mail, or in person.

Remember that:

  • You can only use these payment options if your citation is marked “waivable." Otherwise, you must appear in court.
  • You will need your traffic ticket to make a payment.


Visit payNCticket to pay your NC traffic ticket online.

Be prepared to:

  • Pay with a valid credit or debit card accepted on the website.
  • Pay any additional processing fees and charges.

Other Payment Methods

Typically, drivers handle NC traffic tickets at the county clerk's office or magistrate's office in the area in which they were ticketed. Your ticket should include this contact information. You can pay these courts by mail and in person.

Most courts accept:

  • Cash (ONLY when paying in person).
  • A cashier's check.
  • A certified check.

Driver Improvement & Ticket Dismissal

There are a couple of considerations regarding defensive driving courses in North Carolina:

  • Optional:
    • Each NC district has its own policies regarding whether drivers can get reduced charges or ticket dismissal if they complete a defensive driving course.
    • Ask your judge about this option.
  • Required:
    • Depending on your violation, the judge might require you to complete a driver improvement clinic.
    • Your judge will inform you if this is applicable to you.

Check Your Driving Record

Whether you plead “guilty" and pay the fine or fight your ticket (regardless of the verdict), check your driving record to make sure:

  • The traffic violation doesn't show up IF the judge let you complete a driver improvement clinic for ticket dismissal.
    • If you completed the driving school for reduced charges, make sure only those charges show up.
    • This applies to all associated driving record points, too.
  • The only violation that shows up is the one you pled “guilty" to or were found guilty of in court.
    • This goes for driving record points associated with that violation.
    • Make sure your number of points haven't put you close to or at license suspension.

Your driving record impacts your driving privileges, so be sure the information is accurate to avoid a suspended or revoked driver's license (and even employment problems).

Car Insurance Rates & NC Tickets

Expect your car insurance provider to increase your rates after a violation conviction; it isn't a given, but generally it happens.

Some auto insurance carriers provide a discount if you complete a driver improvement clinic to decrease your driving record points or dismiss your ticket. As your agent about this option.

Otherwise, consider comparing insurance quotes online to find more affordable rates.

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