Lost Traffic Ticket in Washington DC

Because the Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) handles traffic tickets, typically you can find your lost traffic ticket information with the DMV's Adjudication Services. During your traffic ticket search, be sure to ask about your ticket fine, the deadline to pay (or plead "not guilty"), and payment options and/or hearing dates.

D.C. Traffic Ticket Search Options

Because the DC DMV handles traffic tickets, perhaps the best way to begin your traffic ticket search is with the DMV's Adjudication Services; however, you can also sign up for E-mail Ticket Alert Services as well as contact the police department in the district where you received the ticket.

D.C. Adjudication Services

You can contact the D.C. Adjudication Services by calling 311 or (202) 737-4404, or visiting the office in person at:

955 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20024

Visit the Adjudication Services website for days and hours of operation.

E-mail Ticket Alert Service

When you sign up for the D.C. E-mail Ticket Alert Service (TAS), you get real-time information on traffic tickets related to your D.C. driver's license. The TAS allows up to 4 vehicle tags on the account.

If you received your traffic ticket within the last 18 months, your account will provide information about the citation.

Learn more at the District's Registration for E-mail Ticket Alert Service (TAS) portal.

Presiding Police District

Perhaps the above options for conducting a traffic ticket search are the most efficient, but you might be able to find your lost traffic ticket by contacting the police department in the presiding police district. To do this, you must contact the police department that issued the citation, i.e. the police department in the district where you received the citation.

Find contact information using the police service area location tool.

Request D.C. Traffic Ticket Details

Regardless of how you locate your lost traffic ticket in D.C., make sure you gather the following details; they're crucial for determining how you want to plead and making that plea by the deadline:

  • Whether you must appear in court:
    • Some violations require a court appearance before you can enter a plea. Consider consulting a traffic ticket attorney if your alleged violation is serious enough for a court appearance.
  • Details about your D.C. traffic ticket violation, including:
    • Whether you were pulled over for a moving violation or if you received a photo enforcement ticket.
    • Your traffic ticket number. You need this if you want to pay online, by mail, or by phone.
    • The ticketing officer's name and the police district. This information is helpful if you choose to challenge your ticket in traffic court.
  • Violation payment information:
    • Your traffic ticket fine and any related surcharges.
    • Payment options and methods for which you're eligible.
    • Your deadline to pay.
    • Whether you can enroll in an installment payment plan.
  • The deadline to plead:
    • If you're pleading "guilty" this is your deadline to pay; if you're entering a plea of "admit with explanation" or "not guilty" this is your deadline to notify the court.

Plead to Your D.C. Traffic Ticket

Washington, D.C. allows 3 ways to plead; base your decision on your personal situation.

You can:

  • Plead "guilty" and pay your fine, as well as deal with all other associated penalties.
  • Admit with an explanation, which might get the fines and/or penalties dismissed.
  • Plead "not guilty" and schedule a traffic court hearing.

Refer to our sections on Paying Traffic Tickets and Fighting Traffic Tickets for details on each option.

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