What are Missouri Traffic Tickets?
Traffic tickets are official forms generated by law enforcement agencies and issued to motorists and other road users that have violated the state’s traffic laws. In Missouri, violations that result in a traffic ticket range from running a red light and following too closely to severe crimes such as DUI. Tickets are also issued for non-moving violations such as illegal parking. These tickets contain details of a motorist’s offense and associated fines and penalties. The Missouri Department of Revenue, the local Traffic Violations Bureaus, the Traffic Courts, and the Missouri Highway Patrol maintain records of tickets and citations issued within their respective jurisdiction.
Records that are considered public 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 or assumed location of the document or 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 Missouri?
In Missouri, a traffic citation is issued when a driver defies the state’s road laws. While traffic tickets and traffic citations are synonymous, traffic citations are more often used by Missourians. The state law enforcement agencies maintain a uniform database of traffic citations, and each form typically features the following information:
- The name of the issuing police department
- The ticket/citation number and affiliate court location
- The date, location, and time the citation was issued
- Biodata of the individual responsible for the traffic such as full name, address, age, date of birth, race, sex, driver’s license number, and more
- Type of violation (moving or non-moving)
- Details of the vehicle used or being cited, such as the vehicle model, style, color, number, and weight
- The reason why the citation was issued
- Information of the office issuing the traffic citation, including the name of the citing officer
- The potential court date and time
- The signature of the individual responsible for the traffic citation (if applicable)
Upon receiving a traffic citation, violators must appear before the court no later than the date listed on the notice. Missouri allows delinquent motorists and pedestrians to dispose of their tickets by contesting the charges, paying the stipulated fines, or taking a driving improvement course.
How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Missouri?
While defaulting motorists are not obligated to pay a ticket, they may plead guilty and pay the ticket. The municipal courts and the circuit courts’ traffic divisions in some counties serve as Missouri’s traffic courts. The clerks of these courts are in charge of collecting payments for traffic violations occurring within their geographic area of authority. Typically, the municipal courts and the applicable traffic departments of circuit courts allow interested persons to pay their tickets in the following ways:
- By personally appearing in the court
- By mail
- By paying through the statewide or locally-managed online services
- By paying over the phone
- By paying through Dropbox
How to Pay Missouri Traffic Ticket In Person
Interested persons can make in-person traffic ticket payments by taking a trip to the courthouse listed on the citation before the scheduled court date. Visitors must provide their case or ticket number, full name and date of birth, and a photo ID. If the case number is unknown, contact the applicable court or search online through Missouri’s Case.Net. Typically, the associated fees vary from one jurisdiction to another. Also, most courts charge court costs that must be covered along with the ticket. As such, offenders are advised to contact the court beforehand to ascertain the total amount to be paid. Acceptable payment methods for paying Missouri traffic tickets in person include cash, certified or cashier’s check, and money order. Some courts also accept attorney-client trust account (IOLTA) checks and major credit cards or debit cards such as Visa/Master cards. Missouri traffic courts do not accept personal checks, gift cards, bitcoins, and other informal payment methods.
How to Pay Missouri Traffic Ticket by Mail
To complete a traffic ticket payment by mail, start by calling the court to ensure the traffic ticket can be cleared without a court appearance. The court staff will request the traffic citation(s) number to determine the fine and court costs owed. The citation number is 9-digit long and can be found on the upper right-hand corner of the citation’s front page. If the citation number is not known, find it using the online search tool featured by the Missouri Courts or the county municipal website. Usually, there is a form at the bottom of the reverse side of the citation. This form—Appearance, Plea Of Guilty and Waiver - Only for Offenses Not Requiring a Court Appearance—must be signed by the applicant. Also include the driver’s license number and address. Post these along with a money order or certified check to the municipal court’s address.
Note that cash and personal checks are not accepted. It is also recommended to write the citation number on the money order or certified check to ensure the payment is credited to the appropriate case.
How to Pay Missouri Traffic Ticket by DropBox
Some courts have red locked drop boxes outside their courthouses. To pay using the dropbox service, interested persons must enclose the signed citation, signature, address, driver license number, and appropriate payment in a sealed envelope and submitted at the box. Only certified checks and money orders are accepted for drop off payments. The citation number must be included on the check or money order to ensure the amount is credited to the appropriate case.
Can You Pay Missouri Traffic Tickets Online?
Yes, interested persons can remotely clear their traffic tickets using credit and debit cards. Payments can be made through the unified online services provided by Missouri Courts or via the payment portals hosted by specific courts.
How Do I Pay a Ticket Online in Missouri?
Interested persons may pay tickets online using the Case.net tool featured by Missouri Courts. To get started, search and find the case by citation number (case number) or litigant name. After seeing the case, select Plead and Pay to be able to view the fines and associated court costs. Users are required to follow the instructions to receive a final confirmation of the guilty plea and payment. A convenience fee is also charged per transaction for all credit cards, debit cards, and e-check payments.
Those who plead or were found guilty after going to court may pay balances through the Pay By Web portal hosted by Missouri Courts. Details needed to successfully utilize this portal include litigant name, filing date, case number, or hearing date.
Some municipal courts in Missouri also host independent online services for paying traffic fines. Interested persons may contact the appropriate court to determine if they offer remote assistance. Use the Court Directory to find physical addresses and contact information of all courts in the state.
What is the Missouri Traffic Ticketing System
The Missouri Department of Revenue is the official department tasked with accessing demerit points or penalty points to the driving records of persons convicted of moving violations. These penalty points are usually in addition to fines and other associated consequences imposed for a particular traffic infringement. A motorist’s driving license may be revoked or suspended in Missouri, depending on the points accumulate over a prescribed period. Typically, the highest number of points accessed at a time is 12, while the least number is 3 points. The points received for a traffic conviction is based on the type of violation that resulted in the sentence. The arresting agency and the place where the violation occured may also affect the number of points prescribed to an individual. The following are some traffic violations and their point values, as indicated in Form 899 of the Missouri Department of Revenue:
- Careless and Imprudent Driving—2 points
- Driving while Impaired—2 points
- Speeding—3 points
- Careless and imprudent driving as defined under Section 304.016 of Missouri Revised Statutes—4 points
- Failure to produce insurance—4 points
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs—8 points for first offenders and 12 points for subsequent offenders
- Felony Driving With Influence—12 points
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident—12 points
Accumulating 4 points in 12 months typically results in an advisory letter from the Department of Revenue. Accruing eight or more points in 18 months leads to suspension of driving privilege. Failure to appear in court for a traffic ticket may also lead to automatic suspension of driving license. Note that license suspension is not the same as the revocation of a license. In fact, revocation is worse and is attained when a motorist accumulates:
- 12 or more points within a 12-month span
- 18 or more points in two years
- 24 points or more points within a period of 36 months
How Do I Know If I Have a Traffic Ticket in Missouri?
The easiest and most effective way of knowing if an existing traffic ticket is on a person’s driving record is by calling the Missouri Department of Revenue at (573) 526–2407. Callers must provide their names and driver license numbers. Those that lost their tickets may also contact their local court clerk’s office.
The DOR also allows querying parties to request their complete driver records by mail, fax, or in-person. All in-person queries may be made at any License Office in the various cities in Missouri. Usually, these offices require the requester’s government-issued ID and appropriate fees. This service’s standard fee is $2.82, payable by cash, check, money order, credit card, or debit card. Note a $2 processing fee applies to driver records purchased from any of the Missouri license offices. Payments made using credit or debit cards also attract additional charges.
To request a Missouri driver record by mail or fax, requesters may start by sending a completed Request from Driver Record Holder (Form 4681) and the Driver Records Center’s appropriate fees in Jefferson City. Below is the mail and fax addresses of this center:
Driver License Record Center
301 West High Street - Room 470
PO Box 2167
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Fax: (573) 526–7367
For additional queries, call the center staff at (573) 526–3669 or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal information contained in Missouri driver records is deemed confidential information. They are only accessible to the record owners and those exempted by the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act under Public Law 106–69, Section 350. Driver records without personal information are considered public records in Missouri. Thus, anyone can request such documents in person, by mail, or fax through the processes explained above. Typically, picture identification is not required when requesting driver records without personal information.
How can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Missouri?
In Missouri, persons looking to find information on a lost traffic citation may do so by searching Case.net by name (exactly as seen on the driver’s license.)
Call the Records Division of the Missouri Highway Patrol at (573) 526–6185 to get a copy of a citation issued by the Missouri State Highway Patrol agents.
Most Missouri counties also feature searchable databases on their websites where querying parties may find their existing citations and court dates.
How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Missouri?
According to Missouri state laws, a traffic ticket can remain on an offender’s record for up to 3 years. However, certain felony traffic crimes such as felony driving with influence may permanently stay on a driver’s record.
Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in Missouri?
Yes, a summons is worse than a ticket in Missouri. A traffic summons is a citation issued to a motorist and requires a mandatory court appearance. However, recipients of a traffic ticket don’t need to make a court appearance. Such individuals may decide to pay or contest the ticket in a court of competent jurisdiction.