Traffic Ticket FAQ in Washington

I got ticketed. What's my next step?

You must choose from one of three options, as indicated on the citation:

  • Payment.
  • Request a mitigation hearing.
  • Request a contested hearing.

Regardless of plea, it must be entered before the ticket's due date. In most cases, this will general be about 15 days from the infraction date.

The first two options are guilty pleas, while the third option, request a contested hearing, is another name for not guilty.

What happens if I ignore my traffic ticket?

If you fail to comply the Department of Licensing (DOL) will send you a Notice of Suspension. Ignore this and your WA driver's license will be suspended.

Does Washington issue points?

There is no point system in Washington.

Is it possible to lose my Washington driving privileges for too many traffic ticket convictions?

The DOL will suspend your driver's license if you get cited for 6 traffic violations in 12 months.

Read more in our Ticket Penalties & Fines page.

Can I get a WA traffic ticket dismissed?

No, but you can, if eligible, get the ticket deferred. Our Pay Traffic Ticket page has the whole scoop.

After getting ticketed, should I expect increased car insurance premiums?

Check with your car insurance agent. Each company has different policies regarding traffic tickets.

If you notice an increase, keep in mind that you always possess the option to shop around for a new provider. You can conveniently compare rates online from a host of different auto insurance companies.

Are traffic ticket fines the same throughout Washington?

Fines vary by county and municipality. The fine amount will be posted on your citation.

Call the court listed on your traffic ticket for questions regarding the fine amount.

I hold a Washington CDL. What happens if I get ticketed?

If you get convicted of the traffic violation, you must notify your employer. This applies to all vehicles―including your home car.

Consult our Ticket Fines & Penalties page for a detailed list of CDL penalties.

Why should I check my driving record after getting cited?

Check the driving record for accuracy. Verify the listed violations. If you detect any errors, immediately contact the DOL.

What if I can't make my court appearance date?

If you can't make your court date, contact the court listed on your citation. Most courts will reschedule a new date if you provide enough advance notice.

Why should I hire a traffic ticket attorney?

If you plan to fight your traffic ticket, Legal counsel will improve your chances for a favorable decision. This could mean reduced charges or ticket dismissal, possibly sparing you from the loss of driving privileges and increased auto insurance rates.

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