Traffic Court – General Information
Phone: (415) 444-7180
Email: traffic@marincourt.org
Location: Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room C-10
Office Hours: 8:00am - 3:00pm






Resolve your citations online or by phone. It’s easy and convenient!

Individuals with traffic or minor infraction citations can resolve these cases any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Online access is available here. Phone access is available by calling (415) 444-7180.

These systems are user-friendly and will prompt an individual making an inquiry to enter a case number, citation number or driver’s license number plus his or her date of birth to retrieve information about infraction cases pending before the court. The public can use these systems to:
  • Locate and review basic information about citations pending before the court
  • Pay infraction fines and fees
  • Set up payment plans and view future payment dates
  • Sign up and pay for traffic violator school
  • Review traffic violator school completion due dates
  • Post bail when setting up a contested court trial date
  • Check scheduled court dates
  • Get a one-time 30-day extension to pay the fine or to appear in court
  • Obtain a one-time 30-day extension to complete traffic violator school


Citations and Notices

The Court files citations received from all Marin County law enforcement agencies including local police departments, animal control, parks, open space, and fish and game agencies, as well as Marin County citations from the California Highway Patrol. When an individual is cited by a law enforcement officer for a traffic, local ordinance, animal control or other violation, the original citation is delivered to the Court for processing. Please note that the Court does NOT handle parking citations. For information on how to take care of these citations, please click here.

Once the Court receives the original citation from the law enforcement agency, it creates a court docket of the citation and generates and mails a courtesy notice to the person who was cited. This courtesy notice will contain the amount due (called the 'bail'); the deadline to appear in court without additional penalties; information regarding traffic violator school eligibility; and, for any correctable citation (sometimes called a 'fix it' ticket), the requirements needed to clear the citation. For more information on traffic violator school eligibility, attendance and procedures for showing proof of completion, please click here. For more information on the procedures to resolve correctable citations for vehicle registration, insurance or equipment repairs, please click here.

Most citations can be resolved without ever appearing in court, by paying the bail or paying the bail along with requesting traffic violator school or providing proof of correction. 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. Individuals with these citations must appear in court. For information on the requirements for mandatory appearances, please click here.

It can take from a few days to several weeks for the courtesy notice to be mailed. This is because some law enforcement agencies deliver their citations to the Court frequently (more often than once a week) while others deliver them only a few times per month. The Court cannot quote bail or give you information regarding your citation until it is received from the police agency.

The law enforcement officer enters a date, called the 'promise to appear' date, on the citation, approximately three weeks from the date of the citation. This date is very important, as individuals who fail to contact the Court by that date may be subject to sanctions and penalties in excess of the amount they would owe on their citations and their driving privileges may be affected.

Individuals are responsible for contacting the Court, by phone or in person, by the promise to appear date on their citations, whether or not they have received their courtesy notices in the mail.

Individuals who do not respond to the courtesy notice by the due date will receive a 'final notice - failure to appear' giving them one final opportunity to resolve their citations before penalties and court sanctions are imposed. Individuals may request a one-time extension of time to pay the bail by contacting the court in person or by phone. The request must be made on or before the due date.

For individuals who disregard all notices from the Court or who make arrangements to pay the bail or appear in court but do not fulfill these requirements, the Court will impose additional penalties and sanctions. In addition to significant increases in the bail amount, such as a $300 civil assessment, individuals may also have their drivers' licenses and registrations placed on hold with the Department of Motor Vehicles and will be referred to a collection agency. For information about the collection agency that handles delinquent citations, please click here. For more information about the additional penalties and court sanctions that may result from failing to resolve citations by the deadline, please click here.

Options to Resolve Citations

There are five ways to take care of citations:

  1. Pay the full amount on the courtesy or final notice on or before the due date (unless the courtesy notice stated that a mandatory appearance is required.) Payments, and payments with requests for traffic violator school, may be made in person, by phone or by mail. If individuals must show proof of vehicle registration or insurance or proof that an equipment violation has been fixed, these issues can be handled by mail or in person. More information on payment options is available by clicking here.

  2. Pay the full amount on the courtesy or final notice in installments of up to 12 months, with a minimum monthly payment of $50. There is a $35 administrative fee to set up an installment plan. These installment plans do not require individuals to go to court to request time to pay; they can be set up by court staff in the Clerk’s Office.

  3. Request that all or a portion of 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. To be eligible to perform community service work, individuals must meet certain financial qualifications. To inquire about community service work, individuals must come to the court to complete a declaration regarding their household income and expenses. The court will then determine eligibility for community service work. Court staff can provide timesheets and information on community service work agencies. For those individuals who do not meet the financial qualifications to perform community service work, they may opt to set up a payment plan to pay the bail in monthly installments. For more information on this option, please click here.

  4. Appear in court and plead not guilty by the deadline indicated on the citation or courtesy notice. Individuals who wish to contest their citations may schedule a court trial at the Traffic Clerk's Office. The law enforcement officer who wrote the citation will be subpoenaed to appear at the trial. For more information about scheduling a court trial, please click here.

  5. Request a trial by written declaration and plead not guilty by appearing in person at the Traffic Clerk's Office or by writing to the Court to request this kind of a trial. Individuals often choose this option if they live far away from the Court. For more information on this option, please click here.


Court Penalties and Sanctions for Failing to Appear, Failing to Pay, or Failing to Comply with Court Processes or Orders

The Court will impose significant monetary penalties and court sanctions on individuals who do not:

  • Pay the bail or appear in court by the deadline on the courtesy and final notices;
  • Make monthly installment payments, as promised by the individual at the time a payment plan agreement is signed;
  • Perform community service work by the deadline, as directed by the Court and as promised by the individual;
  • Comply with all court orders after going to court, such as paying the fine in one amount or in installments by a due date established by the Court, completing community service work by the due date established by the Court, providing proof of correctable violations, and other orders as determined by the Court;

When individuals are cited for California Vehicle Code violations, the Court will notify Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to place a hold on the drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations of individuals who fail to comply with court processes and orders. These holds will not be removed until violators resolve their underlying traffic cases.

  • For those individuals who fail to pay or appear by the deadline on the notices, the Court will impose a failure to appear charge and notify DMV to issue holds on license and/or registration. For more information, please click here.
  • For those violators who have pled guilty or been found guilty after a court trial or trial by written declaration and have failed to pay or comply with court orders, the Court will add failure to pay or comply charges and notify DMV to issue holds on license and/or registration. For more information, please click here.
  • The Court will also add a $300 civil assessment and other monetary sanctions to the amount due and refer delinquent traffic cases to a collection agency, Enhanced Court Collections (ECC). ECC will contact individuals to enforce the Court's orders. ECC has many tools available to collect delinquent fines including setting up payment plans with significant consequences to individuals if they do not comply with these arrangements such as negative credit reporting, wage garnishment and seizure of assets like money in bank accounts.
  • For more information about ECC, please click here.

Legal Assistance with cases filed in the Traffic Clerk's Office

There are resources available to help individuals in understanding traffic court processes or preparing to go to court. Some of these resources include:

  • California Courts Online Self Help Center. This resource is available to all Californians who are representing themselves in court. To access this website, please click here.

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