Pay Traffic Ticket in Washington DC
Pleading Guilty to Your D.C. Ticket
Opting to pay your D.C. traffic ticket outright is an admission of guilt; basically, you're pleading “guilty" to the offense.
When you choose this option, expect any of the following:
- Unless your citation states you must appear in court, you can skip the trip and pay your ticket online, by mail, or by phone.
- See How to Pay Your D.C. Traffic Ticket below.
- You'll accumulate driving record points, depending on the exact violation.
- You might face driver's license suspension or revocation.
- Your license will be suspended if the violation adds enough points to your driving record.
- Some violations lead directly to license suspension.
- Your car insurance company might increase your rates.
Check the payment deadline on your traffic ticket; generally, you must pay the fine within 30 calendar days of receiving the citation. Failure to pay on time can lead to additional penalties.
Commercial Drivers in D.C.
Regardless of the type of vehicle you were driving at the time of receiving the citation, if you're a Washington, D.C. commercial driver who pleads “guilty" or is found guilty in court you must:
- Notify your employer within 30 days conviction.
- Notify your driver license agency within 30 days of the conviction.
Also, sometimes CDL drivers face stiffer penalties than regular drivers; for example, some violations lead to mandatory CDL suspension or revocation.
For more information, check out the D.C. Commercial Driver License Manual.
How to Pay Your D.C. Traffic Ticket
Unless you're required to appear in court, you can pay your D.C. traffic ticket fine:
- By mail.
- By phone.
- In person.
- You should be prepared to provide information from your traffic ticket, such as the citation number.
- If you've misplaced your ticket, skip over to our page on Lost D.C. Traffic Tickets.
- Typically, the fine deadline is within 30 calendar days of receiving the ticket.
- Failure to pay in time can lead to more penalties.
To pay your traffic ticket online, visit the appropriate website listed below and follow the system's prompts:
- Minor Moving Tickets.
- Parking and/or Photo Enforcement Tickets.
- Installment Payment Plan.
- This option is for drivers who already have an agreed upon installment payment plan in place.
Have a major credit card ready.
To pay your Washington, D.C. traffic ticket by mail, you will need:
- Your D.C. traffic ticket.
- If you've lost your ticket, write your vehicle's state and license plate number on your check or money order.
- A check or money order (payable to "D.C. Treasurer").
- Write in your traffic ticket number; if you don't include your ticket number and have multiple violations, the payment automatically will be applied to the oldest violation.
Mail the above to:
D.C. DMV Adjudication Services
P.O. Box 2014
Washington, D.C. 20013
Remember, you must pay your ticket fine within 30 calendar days of receiving the citation. The DC DMV recommends dropping your payment in the mail at least 2 weeks before the deadline.
Call (866) 893-5023 and have ready your citation number, vehicle information (such as your license plate number), and a major credit card.
To pay your traffic ticket in person, you'll need:
- Your D.C. traffic ticket.
- If you don't have your ticket, you'll have to request a printout copy; make sure you have government-issued identification such as your driver's license, ID card, passport, or military ID.
- An accepted form of payment.
- Currently, you can pay with: cash, a personal check, a money order, or a credit card.
- If you're NOT paying with cash, you must present a form of government-issued identification.
Bring all of the above to the DC DMV Adjudication Services office located at:
955 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20024
For more information, please call Adjudication Services at 311 or (202) 737-4404.
D.C. Defensive Driving Options
You might complete a defensive driving course because:
- Your judge offers the course as a way to get your ticket dismissed.
- Your judge requires you to complete the course to satisfy your ticket.
- You want or need to reduce the points on your driving record.
- Your car insurance provider confirms you'll get a discount on your rates won't increase if you complete a course.
- You want or need to refresh your driving skills to avoid future traffic violations.
Talk with your judge and/or your car insurance agent for details.
Car Insurance Rates
Expect your auto insurance company to increase your rates the next time you renew your policy; this isn't a guarantee, but it's common practice among coverage providers.
Talk with your agent about a possible hike in rates; if you're facing one, it's time to compare insurance quotes online to look for more affordable coverage.
Check Your Driving Record
The DC DMV uses your driving record to keep track of important information about your driving history—this includes “guilty" traffic violations and their associated points.
Your driving history affects your driving privileges, so it's important to check your driving record to make sure all the information is correct.
- Your driving record shows ONLY “guilty" traffic offenses. Typically, you should not see the following tickets:
- Those for which the court found you “not guilty."
- Those the court dismissed because you completed a defensive driving course.
- Your driver's license isn't suspended or revoked.
- After you accumulate a certain number of driving record points, your driver's license gets suspended.
- Your violation might have been one that leads directly to license suspension.