December 18, 2014
Options on How to Take Care of Your Traffic Citation/Ticket

Please WAIT until you receive a Notice of Bail (Courtesy Notice) from the Court. If you do not receive your notice a week prior to your court date (noted on the bottom of your citation/ticket), please call the Traffic Division and ask them to check in the system to see if your citation/ticket has been received.

When you receive your Notice of Bail it will inform you of the amount you must pay for your citation/ticket. The following options may apply:

  1. If the Notice of Bail indicates that your appearance in Court is MANDATORY, you must appear in Court.
  2. If your Court appearance is not mandatory, there are three options for paying a citation/ticket:
    • Online
    • By mail - sent to the traffic clerk's office at 500 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063
    • In person at the traffic clerk's office at 500 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063
    Note: If paying by check, please make the check payable to "Superior Court" and include your docket number (court case number) on your check.
  3. You may request and attend traffic school if you qualify. To attend traffic school you must pay the total bail amount due on your citation/ticket, plus an additional non-refundable $49.00 administrative fee. The traffic school will charge you a separate registration fee when you enroll. The advantage of attending traffic school is that the violation will be kept confidential by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which will not be seen by insurance companies and a point will not be added to your driving record. NOTICE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. One conviction in any 18-month period will be held confidential and not show on your driving record if you complete a traffic violator school program. You can request traffic school by mail, online through this website, or at the traffic clerk's office. The court branch pertaining to your case is at the bottom of the citation/ticket and on your Notice of Bail.
  4. You may appear in court to plead guilty with or without an explanation. Please note that if you plan on appearing in court to request a reduction of your fine, it's at the discretion of the court based upon a person's driving record and nature of the offense and therefore not automatic. Additionally, some fines are considered mandatory and therefore the Commissioner may not have discretion to lower the amount.
  5. You may appear in court, plead not guilty, and request a court trial with the officer present. This choice means the court will subpoena the officer and you will have to return another day for the trial.
  6. You may plead not guilty and request a court trial date without initially appearing in court by filling out the necessary form, posting the full bail amount, and waiving time for trial. This can be done in person or by mail.
  7. If you are considering appearing in court to contest a photo enforced red light violation, it is strongly recommended that you first view the video of the violation either by making an appointment with the specific police department or via the vendor's website provided to you on your citation/ticket (not the Court's website).
  8. You may request a Trial by Written Declaration if you were cited for an infraction violation. You must send your request along with the bail amount indicated on your Notice of Bail. Your request must be received by the Due Date. The traffic clerk's office will mail to you the required forms to complete for your Trial by Written Declaration.
  9. Proof of Correction Violations: Specific instructions for correctable violations are on the back of your citation/ticket. Have the violation(s) corrected, and the citation/ticket signed off by a police officer. Vehicle registration and driver license violations may also be signed off by DMV or you may present proof to the Traffic Clerk's Office. VC 16028 (insurance) violations can only be dismissed upon providing proof to the traffic clerk's office of insurance coverage that was in effect on the date that you were cited. Proof must show the driver's name, vehicle information and the insurance effective and expiration dates. If you had valid insurance on the date of the citation/ticket, the insurance violation will be dismissed and you will be charged a $25.00 fee per correctable violation. If you obtained insurance after the date of the violation, a reduced bail amount may be charged.
© 2014 Superior Court of San Mateo County