Traffic Tickets And The 30-Day Window
Previously published on Eric J Dirga’s blogger account May 6, 2016.
When you receive a traffic ticket in Florida you are told (or you are notified by the content of the ticket) that you have options on how to handle the ticket. These options are called “elections.” The big three elections included in the 30-day window are:
- Paying the ticket (Caution: may cause point suspension).
- Going to driving school.
- Setting ticket for a hearing.
All elections must be made within 30-days of receiving the ticket. If you fail to make an election within those first 30-days the following happens:
- The Clerk of Court assesses a late fee.
- The Clerk of Court notifies the Department [DMV] that you are late.
- The DMV begins the process of suspending your license.
The DMV process to suspend your driver’s license begins when they are notified by the Clerk of Court that you have failed to make an election within the 30-day window. When the DMV receives this notice they do the following:
- Send the Driver a letter to the last known address that they failed to make an election.
- The letter will have a suspension date approximately 3-weeks in the future.
What you need to do to avoid the suspension
When you receive the DMV letter indicating that your driver’s license is about to be suspended you need to do the following:
- Go to the Clerk of Court in the county where you received your ticket and pay the late fee.
If you do this before the suspension starts it will be removed and never start. If you have waited until after the suspension begins you will have to:
- Go to the Clerk and pay the late fee.
- Go to DMV and reinstate your driver’s license ($60).
If your license has been suspended do not drive. Driving with a suspended license can be a crime in Florida. You can check to see if your driver’s license is suspended online.
The bottom line is the late fee must be paid to the Clerk of the Court even if your ticket is dismissed. If you do not act within the 30-day window you are assessed a late fee.
Additionally, you need to keep your address on your driver’s license and your vehicle(s) registrations up-to-date. The DMV uses these addresses to notify you of any issues you need to take care of (as does all the toll agencies). The DMV website has information on how to change your address.
Please note the date this article was published. The information listed above is subject to change as changes are made to the laws. The information written above is meant only to be for Informational Purposes Only and is not legal advice.
If any corrections or errors are found please notify me as soon as possible.
Eric Dirga has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1995. His office is Eric J. Dirga, PA, located online in Orlando, FL. He provides legal representation for traffic issues throughout the state of Florida.