Traffic Court deals with violations of traffic laws and other minor offenses of state and county ordinances. These violations are considered “infractions” and include, for example, speeding, cell phone violations, expired registrations and automobile equipment needing repair. Infractions are enforced by the issuance of citations (“tickets”) by law enforcement. Punishment for infractions requires payment of fines and does not carry any potential jail or prison time. Failure to respond to a citation may lead to additional penalties including imposition of a $300 Civil Assessment and the notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles of your failure to appear, pursuant to Vehicle Code section 40509.5.
If you Received a Ticket, please read this important Information Sheet.
The San Francisco Superior Court does not handle parking tickets, please contact the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
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A Reminder Notice is mailed to the address listed on the citation. This notice is usually received within 21 days from the date the citation was issued. The notice contains information about the requirements and options available for resolving the ticket, such as:
- Amount of the bail (fine) and due date
- Proof of correction for compliance violations
- Court and Traffic School Information
If a Reminder Notice has not been received, contact the Court. If you are unsure about your options, appear at the Court no later than the date listed at the bottom of the citation.
You may not have received a Reminder Notice due to the following:
- The citation may still be in the hands of the officer who cited you.
- Your latest address may not be updated with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- You may not have shown the officer your change of address card along with your driver's license.
- The address written on the citation may be incorrect or incomplete
- The citation may have been sent back to the citing officer for correction.
- A postal error.
Failure to receive a Reminder Notice does not relieve you of the obligation to appear by the date stated in the Notice to Appear. By signing the citation, in front of the Officer, you have agreed to appear and/or respond to the citation in lieu of being arrested.
Failure to appear or resolve a citation on or before the due date, or failure to appear at a scheduled hearing may result in:
- Imposition of a $300 Civil Assessment in addition to the fine.
- Notification to DMV of your failure to appear.
If You Fail to Appear In Court
Or Fail To Pay Your Citation,
It Could Cost You $300.
A civil assessment of $300 will be added to any traffic/infraction fine if you fail to post bail, appear for your scheduled court date, or pay any fine ordered by the Court. All delinquent citations will be referred to Alliance One for collection. If your citation has been referred to Alliance One and you can't afford to pay, learn more about your options.
California law permits the Court to impose a civil assessment of $300 against any individual who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in Court for any proceeding, or who fails to pay all or any portion of a fine ordered by the Court. The civil assessment is imposed in addition to, and separate from, any fine connected with a traffic citation.
Even if you later contest your citation and win, you may be required to pay the civil assessment.
The Court has entered into an agreement with Alliance One to collect unpaid fines and civil assessments. If you fail to appear or fail to pay your fine, the Court will refer your matter to Alliance One for immediate collection. The Court and Alliance One will use a number of methods to collect unpaid fees and the civil assessment, including: notice to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the garnishment or attachment of your wages, and other various collection methods.
Don't neglect your obligation to the Court ... it could cost you $300.
If you disagree with the Court's ruling after a traffic trial, you have the right to an appeal. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the ruling. Go to Room 145, Hall of Justice, and request a copy of our packet titled "Instructions on Appeal Procedures for Infractions.” The packet covers non-parking traffic matters and contains the forms you need to file your Appeal. Complete these forms and take them to the Appeals clerk in Room 101, Hall of Justice. After your paperwork is processed, you will be notified by mail of the next step in the appeal process and subsequent hearing date. Be aware that the fine ordered by the Court must be paid in Room 145 by the due date.
Correctable Violations - "Fix-It" Tickets
If you received a citation for a correctable violation, such as an expired registration or no proof of insurance, you must submit – by the date at the bottom of your citation or the due date on your Reminder Notice – the proof of correction to the Court by mail or in person, along with a $25 fee per correctable violation. (See Vehicle Code Section 40611)
If you received a citation for a mechanical violation, such as a broken tail light, you must correct the violation and then contact any law enforcement agency to arrange for an officer to verify and sign off on the correction. You must then mail, or bring to the Court, the signed citation along with the $25 fee.
If you were cited for a expired registration violation, mail a copy of your current registration or bring your current registration to the Court, along with the $25 fee.
If you were cited for a driver's license violation, either bring to the Court or mail, a copy of your driver's license, the citation signed off by the DMV and the $25 fee.
If you were cited for no proof of insurance, mail or bring to the Court, proof of insurance that you were insured on the date of the violation, along with the $25 fee. Valid proof of insurance must show the driver's name, vehicle information and the insurance effective and expiration dates.