Alabama Court Records
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How To Pay Alabama Traffic Tickets
Traffic tickets are official notices issued to drivers and other road users after a traffic violation in Alabama. These tickets typically contain information regarding the driver, the vehicle involved, the specific offenses, details of its severity, and associated penalties. Generally, authorized officers of the Department of Public Safety issues traffic tickets and enforces traffic penalties under Alabama Traffic Laws. Also, the department creates, maintains, and disseminates driving records.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching less complicated, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record of the person involved
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party websites may vary.
What Does a Traffic Citation Mean in Alabama?
A traffic citation, also known as a ticket, is an official document that indicates that the recipient has violated traffic laws in Alabama. These citations contain information regarding the violation and typically require that the offender appears in court or pays stipulated fines depending on the severity of the traffic violation.
How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Alabama?
A violator who has received a traffic ticket must respond by paying the fines within 15 days from the issue date or appearing in court on the ticket's date. Bear in mind that choosing to pay a traffic ticket is equivalent to an admission of guilt and that the offender has opted to waive their right to challenge the traffic ticket in court. If the violation considers the citation unfair, they may choose to contest the ticket within the window.
In the jurisdiction where the violation occurs, the local circuit court typically hears traffic cases in Alabama. Fines are paid to the court in person, by phone, mail, or online, and the offender must contact the court to determine which of these methods is available. Most courts offer in-person payment options during business hours. For example, to pay a traffic ticket in Madison County by mail, the violator must enclose the original copy of the citation and a cashier's check or money order for the amount in a self-addressed stamped envelope. Then, they must send the mail to:
Madison County Circuit Clerk's Office
Traffic Court Division
100 Northside Square
Huntsville, AL 35801
Phone: (256) 532-3373
At times, the violator cannot pay the full fine at once, and the court may set up a payment plan. However, the offender must contact the court to find out if this option is available.
Paying a ticket may attract additional penalties, such as adding points to the offender's driving record. The addition of points often translates to increased auto insurance fees for the offending driver.
Can You Pay Alabama Traffic Tickets Online?
Yes, the Alabama Traffic Service Center is the central payment system for traffic tickets in Alabama. However, specific traffic tickets must be paid in person at the local courthouse. Also, certain third-party service providers resolve or dispute tickets on behalf of clients. Typically, this service is subscription-based, and users have to provide the relevant information to find and settle or contest the ticket. In either case, the details required often include the violator's full name, the jurisdiction of the violation, the citation number of the ticket, case number, court date, date of offense, and the driver's license number.
How do I Pay a Ticket online in Alabama?
Interested persons may pay traffic tickets online using the Alabama Traffic Service Center's portal. The requestor must first select the county where the traffic violation occurred. Upon selecting "pay ticket" on the left-side menu, the user will be redirected to the county's specific online payment portal. The individual must then provide the traffic ticket or information contained in the ticket. The necessary information includes the Uniform Traffic Citation number located at the upper right corner of the ticket and the driver's date of birth.
What is the Alabama Traffic Ticketing System?
The Alabama Department of Public Safety uses a point system to track and determine penalties for various traffic violations. Typically, the division issues a warning when a driver accumulates six points within two years and awards penalties to drivers who get 12 points or more within two years. Collecting 12 or more points within two years attracts the suspension of the driver's license for 60 days.
Accumulating more points within two years results in lengthier suspension of the driver's license.
The driver's record points expire after two years, but the offense remains on the violator's record. The Department of Public Safety may also issue a temporary or permanent disqualification of a driver's license if the violation is a serious offense such as a DUI or negligence while transporting hazardous materials. The reinstatement requirements for a suspended or disqualified driver's license differ with the circumstances surrounding the violation. Nevertheless, most violators may have to:
- Serve the entire suspension.
- Complete a remedial driving course
- Provide a certificate of insurance
- Pay a reinstatement fee.
- Retake a driver's license exam
How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Alabama?
Usually, Alabama drivers who have been issued a ticket will be served in person or by mail. However, if an offender misses this mail or ignores it, the court shall issue a supplemental summons or warrant. Parties interested in finding a pending ticket must obtain their driving record from the Department of Public Safety on the available web page. Requests for these records can be made online, in person, or by mail.
A typical driving record will contain the driver's complete driving history, including crash reports, DUIs, citation history, etc. Typically, the requester must provide the driver's date of birth, license number, and other required information. The payment of the necessary fee validates a request, or the order will not be processed.
In-person and mail driving record requests may be made by completing the record request form. The requester must then submit or mail the form with an enclosed self-addressed stamped envelope. The applicable fee is $5.75. Direct requests to:
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
Driver License Division, P.O. Box 1471
Montgomery, AL 36102-1472
Phone: (334) 242-4241
Likewise, independent service providers allow interested parties to know any traffic ticket's status on a driver's record. This option is especially useful when searching for multiple traffic tickets in different jurisdictions.
How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Alabama?
Interested individuals may find lost traffic tickets by contacting the District Court in the jurisdiction where the violation occurred. Generally, the requester must provide a traffic ticket number, court docket number, or subject's full name to facilitate the search. Thus, offenders must memorize or make personal records of the citation number, presiding court, the issuing officer's name, and the specific violations or charges.
How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Alabama?
Points from a traffic ticket are valid on a driving record for two years. However, according to information retrieved from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, a traffic conviction remains on a driving record for life.
Is a Summon Worse Than a Ticket in Alabama?
It depends. A court summons often requires that the recipient appears at a local court while a ticket can be resolved by making a payment online, through the mail, or in-person. Summons are usually issued after the violator has been issued multiple tickets or fails to respond to a traffic ticket within the official window. A summons may result in unsavory penalties such as increased costs of settling the violation, suspension of license, etc.