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Traffic Court – Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Traffic Citation Basics

I have been cited for a traffic violation or minor offense. What do I do now?

By signing the citation in the officer’s presence you have agreed to appear or resolve the issue by the indicated date. The Court will send a courtesy notice to the address on the citation once the citation has been filed with the Court, typically within one month from the date of the citation. The courtesy notice will provide more information regarding your specific options to resolve the citation.

Please note:

  • Marin County Superior Court can only resolve citations issued within the Marin County jurisdiction.
  • Traffic Court handles all infractions including traffic, animal, fishing, boating and infractions of local municipal codes.
  • Parking Citations are not handled by the Superior Court, please click here for instructions on resolving parking citations.
What if I do not receive a courtesy notice?

If you do not receive a courtesy notice by the date written at the bottom of your citation, you are still responsible to take action on or before the date listed on the citation. Please wait two weeks from the time you are cited before calling the Court to allow time for the citation to be processed.

Do I need to appear in Court to resolve this?

The date at the bottom of your ticket is the "promise to appear" date. It is not a court date but rather a ‘due’ date to resolve the citation in some way, either by paying it or setting up a contested court date.

Only a small number of citations require individuals to appear in court. The courtesy notices for these citations will have the words "Mandatory Appearance" on them.

My Courtesy Notice does not say "Mandatory Appearance." What are my options for resolving this matter?

If you do not need to appear in person to resolve your matter, you have several options:

  • Pay the full amount on the courtesy or final notice on or before the due date.
    • Payments, and payments with requests for traffic violator school, may be made in person, by phone or by mail. An appearance in court is not necessary. For more information on traffic violator school please click here.
    • If your citation requires a proof of correction you may need to provide appropriate documentation or have your citation signed off by a law enforcement officer or DMV representative and mail it to or appear at the Traffic Clerk’s Office with your documentation to resolve your issue. For more information on correctable violations please click here.
  • Request a payment plan.
    • The Court offers a payment plan that can be set up at the Traffic Clerk’s Office without appearing in Court.  Violators must make minimum monthly payments of at least $50 and the payment plan cannot exceed 12 months in duration. For more information on how to make payments, please click here.
  • Request that the bail be converted to community service work.
    • The Court has a community service work program for individuals who cannot afford to pay the bail on their citations if they meet certain financial qualifications.  For more information on community service work, please click here.
  • Plead 'not guilty' by the due date on the citation or courtesy notice and set a trial date.
    • Individuals who wish to contest their citations may schedule a court trial at the Traffic Clerk's Office. Court trials are scheduled throughout the week at various times. For more information on court trials, please click here.
  • Plead “not guilty” and request a trial by written declaration.
    • Individuals may request a trial by written declaration by appearing in person at the Traffic Clerk's Office or by writing to the Court to request this kind of a trial. For more information on trials by written declaration, please click here.
What if I need more time to pay or appear?

You can request a thirty (30) day extension from the Traffic Clerk’s Office.

What happens if I do not appear or resolve my citation?

If you fail to pay the bail or appear in court, you will be charged with a failure to appear violation, the case will be sent to court collections, the amount owed will be increased by a $100 civil assessment and other monetary sanctions, and your driving privileges may be affected.

What do I do if I missed the due date on my final notice?

Contact the Traffic Clerk’s Office immediately to determine whether your case has been sent to court collections. If this has already occurred, you will be directed to contact the collections office.

Proof of Correction

What do I do if I receive a courtesy notice for a "fix-it" ticket? How do I show proof of correction?

For more information on how to resolve a “fix-it” ticket, please click here.

What do I do if I was cited for not having a driver’s license, registration or insurance?

For information on how to resolve a citation when you did not have a driver’s license, registration or insurance with you in the vehicle at the time you were cited, please click here.

What if I did not have registration, insurance or a drivers’ license when I got the ticket, but I have it now?

For information on how to show proof and possibly qualify for a reduction in your bail, please click here.

What if I was cited for no registration but the vehicle was not mine?

If you were the driver, and you signed the citation, you are responsible for taking care of the citation.

Traffic Violator School

In addition to the bail, you must pay a non-refundable administrative fee of $52 when requesting traffic violator school. The Court accepts certificates of completion from classroom and online traffic violator schools accredited by the Department of Motor Vehicles. You will also be required to pay the fee at the traffic violator school you select. You must submit satisfactory proof of completion to the Court by your due date. If you do so, your citation will not be reported on your driving record. If you sign up for traffic violator school and fail to submit the certificate of completion to the Court by the due date, the Court will notify DMV of your conviction and this conviction will be added to your driving record.

If I go to Traffic Violator School do I still have to pay my full bail?

Yes, you must pay full bail to attend traffic violator school. The benefit you will get from completing traffic violator school is greater awareness of the traffic laws in California and the violation will not be reported on your driving record. This will help keep your insurance rates from increasing.

By completing traffic violator school, will the violation be taken off my driving record?

No, the violation remains on your driving record with the DMV. The Court reports to the DMV that you have attended traffic violator school. DMV will suppress this information from being reported on your public driving record and your insurance company will not have access to your violation.

Who is eligible for Traffic Violator School and how do I register?

For information on traffic violator school, please click here.

Can I attend Traffic Violator School if I am on a payment plan or doing community service work?

Yes, if you are eligible for traffic violator school, you may attend while on a payment plan or doing community service work. However, you will be required to pay the $52 administrative fee to sign up for traffic violator school and you will have to pay a fee at the school you attend.

What happens if I don't make my payments on time but I complete Traffic Violator School?

The DMV will not accept your proof of completion of traffic violator school and the conviction will be reported on your driving record. Please be aware of the importance of timely payments in order to ensure that the violation does not appear on your record.

Traffic Appeals

What is an appeal?

If you are found guilty at your court trial, you may appeal the judicial officer’s decision to the Court’s Appellate Division.

An appeal is NOT a new trial. The Appellate Division will review the evidence (testimony and exhibits) presented at the original trial.

The fact sheet Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions (CR-141-INFO) is available by clicking here.

Is there a deadline to file an appeal?

Yes. You must file a Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (CR-142) within thirty (30) calendar days of entry of judgment or court order. If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to appeal.

Does an appeal stop the judge's sentence?

No, an appeal does not postpone the deadline for you to pay your fine or complete any part of your sentence.

Do I have to file any other papers after the Notice of Appeal?

Yes. You must file a Proposed Statement on Appeal (CR-143) within twenty (20) calendar days after you file the notice of appeal. Or, you can file this document at the same time as the Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (CR-142).

Your Proposed Statement on Appeal (CR-143) must say why you are appealing.

Traffic and Infractions Online and by Phone

Can I access the automated system if I do not have the case/citation or driver's license number?

No, you must have one of the following in order to access the automated system: case number, citation number or driver's license number.

Can I use the automated system to request an extension?

Yes, you can access the court's automated system to request a one-time 30 day extension to pay, appear, or complete traffic violator school.

Can I sign up for traffic violator school by the automated system?

Yes, you can access the court's automated system to sign up and pay for traffic violator school.

I want to plead not guilty and contest the citation; can I set a court trial date without posting bail?

If requesting a court trial in person you may post your bail for vehicle code violations. For all other violations you must post your bail. If requesting a court trail by mail, trial by written declaration or by using our automated system, bail must be posted in full and included with your request regardless of the violation.

Can I change my court trial date by the automated system?

No, you must request to change your court trial date by mail or in person at least ten (10) calendar days before the hearing date.

Can I pay a reduced bail now and send in the proof of correction by mail?

No, you must mail or bring your proof of correction to the court along with your payment.

Can I use the automated system to set up a payment plan?

Yes, you can use the automated system to set up a payment plan with the minimum payment of $50 or more per month. Whatever amount you owe will be divided into 12 equal monthly installments. If your total amount due is more than $600, your monthly payment will be more than $50.

Can I use the automated system to look up the payment status?

Yes, you can use the automated system to look up your current payment status, to view the payment balance or to find your next payment due date.

Can I request community service work (CSW) on the automated system?

No, you must come to the court to fill out the request for CSW so the court can determine your eligibility.


The Traffic Clerk's Office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., except holidays. The office is located on the Court Floor of the Marin County Civic Center Hall of Justice in Room C-10. For directions to the Civic Center, please click here.

The Marin County Civic Center has three drive-through arches. From the middle arch lobby only, take the elevator to the "C" floor. After passing through security screening, go left to the end of the hall to Room C-10. For individuals wishing to speak with a clerk in this office, please call (415) 448-8230 between 5:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (Saturday). Calls are answered in the order received.

The mailing address is:

Marin County Superior Court - Traffic
P.O. Box 4988
San Rafael, CA 94913-4988

Spanish Language Services

The Traffic Clerk's Office has several Spanish speaking clerks to assist the public and some forms are also available for review in Spanish. There is usually a Spanish language interpreter in the courtroom to assist non-English speakers at court hearings.

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