Florida Court Records
What are Florida Traffic Tickets?
Florida Traffic tickets are penalty forms issued by law enforcement officers to drivers or other road users for violating the state’s traffic laws. Common traffic violations include speeding, running a red light, following too closely, drunk driving, wrong directions, and unsafe lane changes. For failing to observe crosswalk rules, pedestrians in Florida also get traffic tickets.
Tickets contain information about an offense as well as details of its severity and resulting fines and penalties. The various trial court clerks and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) keep and release records of traffic tickets and citations generated.
Records of traffic violations and all other public records may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, 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 of the document and violator
- The city, county, or state that the person resides in or was accused at.
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 Florida?
A traffic citation is a document issued by a law enforcement agency following a traffic violation. In Florida, law enforcement agencies and courts follow a uniform traffic citation protocol provided by the State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). There are four types of traffic citations recognized in the state, including:
- The standard uniform traffic citation
- Driving under the influence (DUI) uniform traffic citation
- Red light camera violation
- Toll violation
Generally, drivers who get standard uniform traffic citations can pay stipulated fines, challenge the traffic citation in court, or take a driver’s improvement course. Failure to elect a choice and identify with the clerk of the court indicated on the ticket can lead to additional fines or even suspension of driving privilege.
A DUI uniform traffic citation is a special ticket issued to drunk drivers with a breath alcohol concentration of over 0.08, or those who refuse a lawful request for a blood, breath, or urine sample. This citation automatically relieves recipients of their driving rights for up to 12–18 months for second-time offenders.
Red light camera violation citations are notices sent to motorists based on images captured by automated cameras.
Florida toll violations are tickets mailed to persons that drove through freeways or toll roads without paying. These are infractions that do not affect credit ratings or add points on records.
How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Florida?
Florida road defaulters have 30 days to pay for standard traffic citations issued by on-site patrol officers. Failure to pay can attract additional fines of up to $500.
Citations associated with civil traffic infractions and criminal traffic misdemeanors can be disposed of in three ways—in person, by mail, or online. Details of this process can be obtained by contacting the office of the clerk of the court located in the county of the violation. Although the acceptable payment methods may vary, most clerks collect fines in cash, check, ATM debit cards, and credit cards.
Completing payments for civil traffic offenses are regarded as convictions. As such, other penalties like points on driving records and suspension of a license may follow. Drivers that received citations or tickets may choose to dispute the citation in court. If the offender loses in court, additional court fees and penalties and a mandatory driver improvement course may be imposed. Violators may seek legal advice to weigh the possible outcomes of hearings in similar cases.
How To Pay For A Red Light Camera Violation In Florida:
Red light camera violations tickets are paid to the transportation departments of the ticketing city. Most departments offer in-person, mail-in, and online payment services. Notwithstanding the request method of choice, the following information will be needed:
- Notice of violation (NOV) Pins
- Driver’s license plate number
How To Pay Toll Road Fines In Florida:
Toll enforcement notices can be paid through Florida’s prepaid program. Offenders who fail to pay their respective fines will be issued a second notice and an additional $2.50 administrative fee. Other consequences of ignoring toll fines include a citation and license registration hold.
Can You Pay Florida Traffic Tickets Online?
Most counties in Florida provide online portals through which interested persons can pay their tickets. It is also possible to electronically accept traffic court summons online, elect to attend a traffic school, or fight traffic tickets for hearings. Also, some online independent companies can help pay and respond to customers’ tickets. However, not all tickets can be cleared via this method. Fines of cases turned over to collection agencies and toll violations less than 75 days past due dates may not be available online.
How do I Pay a Ticket online in Florida?
There are several ways through which defaulting road users can pay off traffic tickets and citations online. Defaulters may check their driving history status using the Driver License Check Page provided by the FLHSMV. While some county court clerks maintain separate e-payment portals, others generally use a single state-endorsed third party site known as MyFloridaCounty. Even then, the requirements for paying tickets are similar and can include:
- Case or citation number
- Driver’s license number
- A traffic ticket or citation number
Acceptable methods of payment include credit/debit cards and other electronic funds transfer methods. Usually, there is a convenience fee attached to credit card payments. Note that paying online may not be possible until the information is sent and uploaded on the system.
What is the Florida Traffic Ticketing System?
Florida employs a traffic ticketing system to identify and punish habitually negligent drivers in the state. The state’s point system represents a vital part of the state’s road safety policies. Usually, every driver starts with zero points. Getting tickets and citations from law enforcement agencies adds 3, 4, or 6 points to the ticket. Accumulating a specified number of points over some time usually leads to license suspension or even permanent termination of driving privilege. The FLHSMV established a point suspension chart based on conviction types, and the following are how they are allocated:
- Accumulating 12 points within 12 months results in a 30-day suspension.
- Accruing 18-points within a span of 18 months leads to three months suspension of license.
- Getting 24 points within 36 months may lead to a driving suspension of up to one year.
Depending on the circumstances, some offenses attract more points than others. For instance, leaving the crash scene without giving information gets 6 points, aggressive driving fetches 4 points, while speeding adds 3 points. Associated fines, penalties, and surcharges also vary from one moving violation to another. The State of Florida fines speeding tickets massively. Going about 30 MPH over the standard speed limit draws a fine of up to $367 in some counties and a mandatory court appearance in others. Such criminal traffic citations requiring mandatory traffic court appearances may end with about ten days to 9 months jail time, community service, points on driver’s record, court-ordered fines, and a compulsory driver improvement course. Below is a list of typical and detrimental traffic violations and their point infractions.
3-Point Traffic Infractions:
This is the lowest and least severe ticket point that can be handled with an elective driver improvement course for first offenders. They include:
Speeding less than 15MPH above limits
Too fast for conditions
Failure to yield
- Running stop signs
- Child seat belt violations
- Improper backing
4- Point Traffic Infractions:
More serious driving violations that immediately endanger other people’s lives add 4 points to a motorist’s driving history. Such violation includes:
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Speeding over 50 MPH
- Failure to stop at a steady red signal, one-way street, or before making a left turn
- Reckless/aggressive driving
6-Point Traffic Infractions are criminal misdemeanors due to negligent and careless driving. The points include:
- Leaving the scene of an auto-crash
- Speeding resulting in injury or death
- The crash that caused damage to property
How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Florida?
It is possible to have a ticket and not be aware of it. Running red lights, failing to yield to stop signs, violating toll roads, and speeding above limits may not be ticketed right away. Provided a traffic offense is caught on surveillance camera, the driver will be located and sent a ticket via mail. Sometimes, these are not successfully delivered. As such, looking up driving history records lets road users determine if they have any demerit points on their licenses.
The FLHSMV hosts an online Driver History Check where road users can check their driver licenses’ current statuses free of charge. This online database is especially important to persons who receive erroneous notices after they have cleared their tickets. Searching the driver history check portal is simple and requires only the querying party’s driver license number.
Interested persons can also request copies of their own or another person’s driving records in person or by mail.
To purchase in person, visit any Driver License Service Center during regular business hours. In-person queries can also be directed to the office of the court clerk where the requester resides. The requirements needed to process each request depends on the authority of the requestor. Persons requesting their records are required to bring along their drivers’ license identification numbers and copy fees.
To submit a request for another person’s driving record in person, start by completing the Driver License Record Request Form. Make sure to provide the individuals:
- Full name
- Date of birth or age at last birthday
- Social security number
- Driver license number
The cost of obtaining driver history records in Florida depends on the volume or the records requested. 3-year driver history costs $8 while 7-year or complete driver history costs $10.
By mail, print and complete the Driver License Record Request Form. Send this form along with a check or money order made payable to the Division of Motorist Services to:
Bureau of Records
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 52
Tallahassee, Florida 32399–0575
Note that a $6.25 surcharge applies for mail-in services.
The FLHSMV authorized selected private vendors to issue abstracts of driving record history and motor vehicle records. These non-certified abstracts typically contain the driver’s name, physical description, license information, infractions, and current or previous driver’s license numbers.
How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Florida?
Florida road offenders who misplaced their tickets can get replacements online, in person, or by calling the county’s circuit clerk where the violation took place. First, get the information needed to track the ticket by checking the Driver’s License Checking Tool offered by the State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. If no information is found using this search function, the ticket may not have been uploaded to the online database yet. Some county clerks also provide traffic ticket finding tools on their websites. Alternatively, visit or call the clerk’s office and provide them with the offender’s name and driver’s license number.
How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Florida?
According to the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, the time-span of a citation or ticket depends on its severity. While minor moving violations last for about 3 to 5 years, more severe moving offenses may stay for up to 10 years. License suspensions remain on records for up to 7–10 years, serious commercial driver license violations for up to 55 years, and DUI and other alcohol-related offenses have a 75-year retention period.
Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in Florida?
A court summons or citation is similar to a Florida ticket, which is why both words are used interchangeably. On receiving a subpoena, the offender must appear at the Traffic Court indicated on the ticket. Traffic tickets, which are also legal summons, can be resolved by only making appropriate payments online, via mail, or in-person.