Fighting your California traffic ticket begins with knowing when, how and where to look up your ticket.
This can be especially important since there are different law enforcement agencies in California that are able to issue traffic citations. For example, there is the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the county sheriffs and the local municipal police.
In this article, learn how to use California traffic ticket lookup tools to find your ticket quickly and start mounting an effective defense to fight it.
Traffic Ticket Lookup for the State of California
If you have received a traffic citation in the state of California, there is one central California traffic ticket lookup database where all violations are logged.
From this central database, each violation is associated with the county of issue. So for example, if you were cited by the California Highway Patrol in the County of Santa Clara, your citation will be associated with Santa Clara County even if you live in Alameda County.
This website is organized by county. You want to start by locating the county your ticket was issued from. You can do this by entering your zip code.
Choose your county and then select Online Services (upper left hand corner). Click on “look up or pay your traffic ticket” from the drop-down menu.
Next (and this part is not intuitive), click on “Click to Pay Your Traffic Ticket.” This will take you to a page where, midway down on the page, you can look up your citation by citation number, docket number or personal information.
You can also go directly to the county court website of the county where your ticket was issued and look up your traffic citation number that way.
However, you will still be redirected to the main database mentioned here earlier to find your citation.
Help! I Can’t Find My Traffic Ticket
Like most government entities, the central traffic database can be slow to update. As the Sacramento Superior Court explains, it generally takes up to 30 days before an issued citation will appear in the database and become searchable.
This isn’t helpful if you want to get started with fighting your traffic ticket immediately!
The SSC also highlights that sometimes it can take longer for a traffic citation to appear in the database and become searchable.
But even if 90 days or more have passed and you still don’t see your citation listed, this doesn’t mean you are off the hook. You are still responsible for taking action, whether that is to fight your citation or to pay the fine and go on with your life.
In this case, you should contact the county that issued your traffic ticket and explain the problem and request a hard copy of your traffic ticket.
To do this, you will need to go directly to the main website for the issuing county. You can then enter your details and look up your traffic citation through that website. To locate the correct county court, open up your browser and type in “county name traffic ticket lookup” to locate the correct website and page.
Yet another way to find your issuing court is to visit the California Courts website and select “Courts” (upper left hand corner) and then “Find Your Court.” You can then enter your county, city or zip code to find your court.
Once you have that information, you can call or email the court to locate your citation and obtain a copy.
What Is Trial By Written Declaration?
It is so important to have a copy of your traffic citation so you can ensure you keep a clean driving record by contesting an unfair citation. When you have your citation in hand, you can contest it in the fastest, easiest way – Trial By Written Declaration.
Trial By Written Declaration is a very real and legal method of contesting a wide variety of traffic citations. However, most people overlook it because they don’t read the fine print on the back of their ticket!
Trial By Written Declaration is the best method for fighting your traffic citation because you don’t have to pick up the phone or hire an attorney, fill out any paperwork or take time off work to go to the courthouse in person.
All you have to do is upload a snapshot of your citation to TicketBust’s website, tell us what happened when your citation was issued and then follow our instructions to submit your documents to the court along with the bail (we would do this for you, but the State of California will not allow it).
And then our team will go to work on your behalf to get your ticket dismissed. It is true you can do this on your own as well, but since the majority of success rests on mounting the most convincing argument, your best value is to let us handle this part for you.
It really can be this easy to get your traffic ticket dismissed. You give us the building blocks and we argue on your behalf and email you with the resolution.
If for any reason your ticket is not dismissed, we will refund you the amount of your bail and, in some cases, even send you to traffic school on us!
Why Use TicketBust to Get Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed?
When you choose TicketBust to fight your traffic citation, you get our team’s combined expertise with fighting thousands of traffic tickets in all areas of the California legal system.
Whether your citation is for a red light camera, cell phone use behind the wheel, speeding or something else, we can make short work of your citation and keep points off your license.
Meanwhile, you get instant peace of mind and can return to your regularly scheduled life knowing your traffic ticket is in good hands.
To learn more and start the process of fighting your traffic ticket with TicketBust, visit us at www.ticketbust.com.