Formal negative sanctioning and me.
January 24, 2006 6:50 PM   Subscribe

About a year ago I got a traffic ticket which I thought was totally absurd. I didn't pay it. Not smart, I know. My registered address and living address have been different for all of that time, and so now that I'm ready to pay the ticket (since my license is now suspended and I have no insurance) I have no idea how to find out how much I owe and who to give it to so I can get my license reinstated. I'm in the USA...anybody had a similar experience?
posted by baphomet to Law & Government (6 answers total)
yup. Call the issuing agency and get the info from them. You'll probably have to pay a reinstatement fee, as well. In Illinois, where I live, you would have to actually file a request to the judge to reverse his original judgement against you--go to court and ask him to unsuspend your license. Then you have to pay the state about $40 to clear up the paperwork. Takes about a month--sometimes a bit longer.

And it's important that you don't drive. If you get caught, they get a lot more unhappy--and they tend to raise the fine even higher.
posted by lester at 6:58 PM on January 24, 2006

I would start by going to the court clerk's office of the municipal court where the original ticket was issued. They should be able to pull up the amount of your fine very easily.

By paying off the accumulated fines, you ought to be able to get your license back. Some courts will even allow you to set up a payment plan, and you can get your license back by making a significant down payment toward the entire debt.
posted by jayder at 7:04 PM on January 24, 2006

You almost certainly have a local warrant. The warrant can be cancelled by calling the courthouse and paying all fine. Some courthouses will not arrest you if you show up to resolve a warrant, but I wouldn't assume anything on this. Also Google for the courthouse where the violation was... you can usually find answers to these questions as well as who to call.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:05 PM on January 24, 2006

I went to court voluntarily in NYC to pay off a number of tickets. The judge slapped me with extra fines and had me arrested and put in a cell until somebody showed up with the money and got me out. Ask questions before showing up in person.
posted by semmi at 12:05 AM on January 25, 2006

In Pennsylvania you go to the District Justice for the jurisdiction that you got the ticket for. This is the equivalent of a judge. I was in a similar situation in my younger days when some old parking tickets came back to me in the form of a warrant for my arrest. That ended up costing me about $400. I just went into their office and asked them how much I owed them. I was kind of nervous that they were going to arrest me, but they told me how much it was and they let me go. YMMV, of course. Looking at the post above me, I would suggest having enough with you to pay the fines =)
posted by jefeweiss at 5:59 AM on January 25, 2006

When you go to pay, find out ahead of time what forms of payment they accept and have that amount ready.

I went to pay a warrant and was going to write a check because I knew they didn't take plastic. They wanted cash. Right then. And kindly informed me that the man standing to my right would place me under arrest if I didn't come up with cash.
posted by TeamBilly at 8:05 AM on January 25, 2006

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