Washington Traffic Ticket Fines, Violations, and Penalties

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The Washington Department of Licensing (DOL) will penalize drivers with fines who are found guilty of a traffic violation. Unlike other states, the Washington DOL does not use a point system to suspend or revoke a driving license. However, to many infractions will result with your license becoming suspended or revoked. To avoid any harsh penalties, pay your fines on time or abide by the traffic laws and avoid getting tickets.

Washington Traffic Tickets Violations

Certain offenses will result in traffic violations. If you are caught, you will receive a citation. Some citation fines can be paid online, by mail, or in person. The more severe offense may require a court appearance. To determine if you should go before a judge, look at your ticket. The options to pay is printed on the back side.

Some violations can cause your Washington driver’s license to be suspended. Violations of such will include:

  • Too many violations is a short period
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) or while intoxicated (DWI) of drugs or alcohol
  • Driving without insurance
  • Driving with a suspended license

If you cannot provide proof of insurance but have coverage, the time you were stopped, you can submit proof at your court appearance. You may require to pay only the court fee and not the fine for the violation.

Paying Your Washington Traffic Tickets

You must pay your Washington traffic tickets within 15 days after your citation. After 15 days, you will be responsible for surcharges and the fine. To pay your ticket, you have the option of paying:

  • Online
  • By mail
  • By phone
  • In person

Not every ticket has all the options to pay. To determine which option is available to pay the fine, look on the ticket or call traffic court for more clarification. Within the 15 days, you can ask for an appoint to fight the ticket.

How to Fight your Washington traffic tickets

On your ticket, you will also notice the option to contest your ticket. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Contested hearing (to fight the ticket)
  • Mitigating hearing (to reduce the fine)

Contested Hearing

To dispute your ticket, you must plead not guilty to the violation. To proceed with the process, you must inform the traffic court in your county and appear on the assigned date. If you fail to show up, you will negate the contested hearing and must pay the fine with any additional charges awarded by the court.

Mitigation Hearing

You may request a mitigation hearing if you are guilty of the violation and want to reduce the fine. Requesting a mitigation hearing does not guarantee a reduction in the fee. However, you may have these options to pay:

  • Get a payment plan
  • Community service

Once the decision is made, you must abide by it or pay additional fines.

Cannot find your Washington traffic tickets?

You were cited for a traffic violation, and now you cannot find your ticket. No need to worry, you can contact the traffic court and provide as many details to get the ticket information. If the ticket was given by an officer, sheriff, or state trooper, you should:

  • If a city or town officer issued the ticket, contact the municipal court
  • If a deputy sheriff or state trooper issued the ticket, contact the county district court
  • Call the court in your county if you are unsure who gave you the ticket

You will provide your name and driver’s license number to get the ticket information.