Pay Traffic Ticket in Pennsylvania
If you decide to simply pay your traffic ticket, you be able to do so online, by mail, or in person. For specific instructions, refer to your PA traffic ticket or contact the appropriate traffic court, as the process will vary by county. Keep reading for details!
NOTE: Your traffic violation may require a court appearance.
Pleading Guilty to Your PA Ticket
Often, paying your PA traffic ticket is easier than contesting it in court; however, because it is an admission of guilt, you can face penalties in addition to the typical fine.
If you choose to plead guilty:
- You might get the option to plead to a lesser offense and deal with lesser penalties and fines.
- Usually, a court appearance is required for this possibility.
payment options include:
- Paying online, by mail, or in person.
- Some traffic courts allow drivers to set up a payment plan.
- You'll receive points on your PA driving record which, depending on your situation, could lead to:
- Being required to take a written and/or road exam.
- Having your driver's license suspended.
- You might experience increased auto insurance rates.
- This depends on your insurance provider, policy terms, and driving history.
Also note that:
- Younger drivers—specifically, those working through the GDL process—face harsher penalties, including license suspension, for certain PA traffic violations.
- You'll mostly likely deal with the criminal court, rather than any type of traffic court, if your charge involves driving under the influence (DUI).
- Parking tickets are handled by the local parking authority.
You must respond to your PA traffic ticket within the allotted amount of time stated on the citation; otherwise, you could face additional fines and penalties – including a bench warrant for your arrest.
PA CDL Drivers & Traffic Tickets
As a Pennsylvania commercial driver:
- You must notify your employer within 30 days of receiving a PA traffic violation conviction.
- A CDL holder who receives a conviction in another state must report the conviction to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) within 30 days of receiving it.
- This applies no matter what kind of vehicle you were driving at the time; this does not apply to parking tickets.
- For certain traffic violations, CDL holders can face much stiffer penalties than point accumulation and increase insurance rates.
- Such penalties can include CDL suspension or revocation.
For more information related to CDL holders, consult the Pennsylvania Commercial Driver's Manual.
How to Pay Your PA Traffic Ticket
Depending on your court, you can pay your traffic ticket online, by mail, or in person.
Most PA traffic tickets provide:
- The traffic ticket fine amount.
- This is how much you must pay if you plead “guilty."
- Some courts allow payment plans.
- The presiding court.
- This is the court handling your case.
- Generally, these are the minor courts made up of the magisterial courts and municipal courts, depending on where you got your ticket.
- Your hearing date.
- This is date by which you must pay your traffic ticket fine; otherwise, you face additional fines and penalties.
NOTE: You must have your PA traffic ticket to pay your fine; if you've misplaced yours, refer to our guide to Lost Traffic Tickets in Pennsylvania to retrieve the necessary information.
Be prepared to enter the required information and pay your fine and any additional fees (such as transaction fees) using a major credit card or debit card.
Other Payment Methods
Most courts accept traffic fine payments by mail and in person; simply check the information on your citation or contact the presiding court with any questions.
NOTE: If you need to pay your ticket in person but can't make it to court by the date printed on your ticket, you must request a continuance in writing or in person to the court before the original hearing. If you miss your hearing date, the court will go on without you and notify you of its verdict.
Defensive Driving & PA Tickets
Depending on your court and specific situation, you might be able to complete an approved Pennsylvania defensive driving course for ticket dismissal; furthermore, the court might require you to complete a court to satisfy the traffic ticket's consequences. Ask your judge for details.
Keep in mind, you'll accumulate points if you plead or are found “guilty," and completing a defensive driving course doesn't remove points from your PA driving record.
Car Insurance Rates
Expect your car insurance rates to increase after a traffic ticket conviction; whether or not they will depends on your provider's policies, but it's common.
Once you plead "guilty" and pay your fine (or even before you decide whether to plead "guilty"), talk with your PA insurance provider about how the guilty verdict will affect your rates in Pennsylvania. You might find it's time to start comparing car insurance quotes online to get a better deal.
Check Your Driving Record
Your driving record is a report of your driving history and shows your traffic violation convictions and associated points. Your driving record affects your driving privileges and can even impact life events like employment options.
Make sure you check your driving record after paying (or fighting) your ticket. You want to make sure the information is accurate to avoid any disruptions to your driving privileges.
When you order your driving record, make sure:
- It shows ONLY your guilty traffic violation, whether you pleaded were found “guilty" in court.
- You're not at risk for driver's license suspension.
- If you accumulate 6 points or more, PennDOT requires you to either complete a written point examination or a departmental hearing; your driver's license could be suspended until you complete the requirement.
- PennDOT automatically suspends your driver's license if you accumulate 11 points or more; the length of the suspension depends on depends on how many suspensions you've had in the past.