Traffic Tickets in Washington
SUMMARY: Traffic Tickets in Washington
Depending on the type of WA traffic ticket you received, you can generally pay your ticket fines online, by mail, by phone, or in person. You can also fight your ticket or ask the court to reduce your fine. Be sure to respond to your traffic ticket within 15 days, or you could face additional penalties, such as a license suspension.
Continue reading this page for information about what to do if you receive a traffic ticket in Washington.
Traffic Ticket Fines and Penalties
Traffic fines in Washington vary by court. If you do not pay on time, you will be charged additional late fees.
Refer to your traffic ticket to determine your exact ticket amount, deadlines, and penalties.
NOTE: The WA Department of Licensing (DOL) does not have a point system for traffic violations.
Too many traffic violations on your driving record or commit a major violation, your driver's license can be suspended.
Some major violations include:
- Reckless driving.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol.
- Not carrying adequate car insurance.
If you have questions about your traffic ticket fine, contact the Washington traffic court listed on your citation. If you're a commercial driver, see Fines & Penalties for Commercial Drivers below.
Pay a Traffic Ticket in Washington
If you choose to pay your WA ticket fine, you'll need to do so within 15 days to avoid any additional penalties.
Depending on your violation and the county you received your citation, you can generally pay a WA traffic ticket:
- By mail.
- By phone.
- In person.
Check your traffic ticket for payment methods.
For more information, visit our Pay Traffic Tickets in WA page.
Fight a WA Traffic Ticket
NOTE: You must respond to your ticket within 15 days to avoid further penalties.
On your WA traffic ticket, you'll notice you have the option to request either a:
- Contested hearing (to fight your ticket).
- Mitigation hearing (to reduce your fine).
If you want to plead “not guilty" to the violation, you can request a contested hearing at the relevant county court. Your traffic ticket will have instructions listed.
For further information, see our Fight Traffic Tickets page or contact the Washington court listed on your traffic ticket.
For additional help at your hearing, you may want to hire a traffic ticket attorney.
If you're guilty of the traffic violation, you have the option to request a mitigation hearing and have your fine reduced.
Follow the instructions on your traffic ticket to request this hearing.
Your mitigation hearing may result in, any of the following in lieu of paying the full original ticket fine:
- Fine reduction.
- Monthly payment plan.
- Community service.
You CANNOT appeal the judge's decision of a mitigation hearing.
Visit our page about Fighting Traffic Tickets to learn more.
Don't Pay Too Much for Car Insurance
If you fight your traffic ticket and win, make sure your auto insurance company doesn't increase your premiums. Check your driving record to make sure it's correct and you're not overpaying for insurance.
Lost Your Traffic Ticket?
To get traffic ticket information after you lose your WA traffic citation, you'll need to contact the traffic court in the county where you were ticketed.
- If a city or town officer issued the citation, contact the municipal court.
- If a deputy sheriff or WA State Patrol trooper issued the citation, contact the county district court.
- If you're unsure who ticketed you, call the court in the county you received the citation.
Be prepared to provide your full name and driver's license number. For more information, visit our Lost Traffic Ticket page.
NOTE: County court websites may also offer an online ticket search feature.
Fines & Penalties for Commercial Drivers
As a commercial driver in Washington, you must notify your employer within 30 days of being convicted of a traffic violation (in any state), even if you weren't driving a commercial vehicle.
If you are convicted of any of the following serious offenses, you'll lose your CDL:
- Driving a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.04%.
- Refusing to submit to a sobriety test.
For more information visit our Ticket Fines & Penalties and CDL Suspension pages.
WA Traffic Tickets: FAQs
View our Washington Traffic Ticket FAQ page to learn more about the following topics:
- Hiring a traffic ticket attorney.
- Penalties for commercial drivers.
- Driving records.
- Traffic ticket dismissal.