Traffic tickets are annoying. We usually have enough going on in our lives without having to deal with a fine or a day in court. Whether you pay the ticket or contest it, the citation requires that you take action. If you lose or forget to pay it within the 30-day window, you will accrue a larger fine and (depending on the ticket) additional penalties. To avoid this, here’s how to check for traffic tickets online:
Navigating the Motor Vehicles Website
To find traffic tickets online, you will need:
- Your driver’s license
- Your social security number
- Internet access
Visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Website (flhsmv.gov). In the top left corner of the page, click on the “+” sign to the right of the “Driver Licenses & ID Cards” tab. We circled it for you.
Next, you will be taken to a drop-down menu with multiple options. Select “Driver License Check & ID Tracking System. It should be the third option in the leftmost column.
If you’re using a mobile device, simply go to flhsmv.gov and click on the menu. It should be the third option available under the “Driver Licenses & ID Cards” tab.
Next, you will be asked to enter your driver’s license number and then retype the character from the captcha below. On the following screen, you will be asked for the last four digits of your social security number to verify your identity. Once you have, your driver history will appear.
On this page, you should be able to find information about any traffic citation that you’ve received and whether you’ve paid it or not. If you have tickets that require your attention, you should figure out what you want to do with them.
Traffic Tickets: Your Three Options
In our post about why you need to contest your traffic tickets, we explained that you have three options when you receive a traffic ticket. You can:
- Pay it
- Go to traffic school
- Contest it
When you pay your ticket, you’ll receive points on your license and risk an increase in your insurance premiums. Going to a traffic ticket can get your ticket dismissed and your premiums reduced, but it also costs money and is a timely affair. Contesting your ticket is usually your best option. However, no matter what option you choose, make sure you choose one within the first 30 days of receiving the ticket in the mail.
What Happens If You Don’t Pay on Time?
Florida is nicknamed the “citation state” for good reason. They give out a lot of traffic tickets, and they’d prefer you to pay them quickly. Your fine will increase if you miss your 30-day deadline. If you ignore it for too long, the state will eventually suspend your driver’s license.
If you’re stopped by a police officer while a driver with a suspended license, you may even end up in jail. People get arrested for what started as a red light ticket before, and it happens more often than you think.
Check for Traffic Tickets: Final Thoughts
We all lead busy lives – even during a pandemic. Don’t let something as trivial as an unpaid parking ticket becomes more drama than it’s worth. If you think that there’s a chance that you’ve forgotten to pay or contest a traffic citation, check online. It takes just a minute and can save you a lot of stress.