What You Need to Know
Office Orlando – Statewide Representation
When You Receive A Florida Traffic Ticket
There are typically three things you can do after you receive a traffic ticket in Florida:
- Just pay the ticket.
- Elect to go to driving school.
- Elect a hearing.
Each of these options must be executed within thirty-days of receiving the ticket. Otherwise you will be charged a late fee. Regardless of what you decide it is always good to keep the ticket. Try not to wad it up or fold it into a small rectangular object. You or someone else will need to be able to read what is on it at some point.
– Just Paying The Ticket
You can just pay the ticket. If the ticket is a moving violation you will receive points by simply paying it. Points can lead to higher insurance rates and driver’s license suspensions. (We suggest that you never just pay a ticket.)
– Elect A Driving School
If you receive a traffic ticket for a moving violation you can elect to take a driving school. This option even applies to out-of-state drivers. To elect a driving school you have to contact the Clerk of Court in the county where you received the ticket. They must be informed before you pay the ticket that you want to elect the driving school option. If you elect this option:
- You must pay the traffic ticket in full immediately.
- You will have 90 days to take and complete a driving school and provide the certificate to the Clerk of Court.
Today, if you elect the driving school option you can take the class online. Do not rely on any school that says THEY will send the certificate to the court. Do this yourself.
– Elect A Hearing
If you decide to elect a hearing you should contact a traffic ticket lawyer. For a small fee we handle everything. If you don’t hire our office, you will need to contact the Clerk of Court and request the hearing yourself.
If You Just Need More Time To Pay The Ticket
Ask for a hearing if you just need more than the 30 days to pay for your ticket. Asking for a hearing is free and typically scheduled at least a month after the request. You can cancel the hearing at anytime by paying the ticket. If you ask for an extension to pay you will be charged at least $4 for it.
If You Do Not Do Anything Within 30 Days
You have to do something within thirty days. If you wait until after thirty days the Clerk will assess a late fee (typically around $23). Additionally, they will tell the DMV that you did not do anything within the required time frame.
When the DMV gets word that someone is late taking care of a ticket they will issue a suspension. This suspension will not start for about 3-weeks. During that period of time you will be sent a letter to the current address on your driver’s license indicating that your driving privilege is about to be suspended (it will include the date the suspension begins)
As long as you pay the late fee before the suspension starts the suspension will be removed and you will not have to reinstate your license. If the suspension has already begun you must pay the late fee and reinstate your driver’s license.
NOTE: Despite late fees and suspensions, you have 180 days to request a hearing for a traffic ticket.
Helpful Information From The DMV
Believe it or not the Department has a very good IT department. You can do everything from updating your address to requesting a replacement for a lost driver’s license online. You can even download forms for things like bill of sale for a motor vehicle. Take advantage of this resource.