How to Pay a Ticket (non-TVB)

by Adam Rosenblum

The Traffic Violations Bureau, an administrative court that covers NYC and Rochester, offers a convenient online payment link. For all other courts, there is no uniform method for paying a ticket fine.

Methods of Payment

Most courts accept cash payments in person. However, many will not accept personal checks, but rather require you to pay via certified banker’s check or money order. For online payments, courts may contract with third-party websites such as paycourtonline which allow you to pay your ticket fine via the web but typically tack on a processing fee.

Paying the Fine If You Will Not Be Appearing In Court

Once you plead guilty, either to the original or a reduced offense, the court will mail you a fine notice with a list of acceptable payment methods. If you hired an attorney to appear in court on your behalf, he or she is responsible for conveying fine payment information to you after the court appearance date. Note that at times the court will send the fine notice directly to you, as opposed to mailing it to your attorney’s office. It is never a good idea to disregard court correspondence unless your attorney has told you to do so.

Paying the Fine If You Will Be Appearing in Court

When you appear in court on the plea date listed on your ticket, or at a pretrial conference where you may end up pleading guilty, the judge will determine the fine and direct you to the payment window. If you are unable to pay on the court date, you may ask the judge for additional time. However, some courts will not accept a plea for a reduced offense unless you are paying on the spot. Therefore, it is always a good idea to get an advance estimate of your fine if possible so you know how much money to bring to court. You can also call ahead and find out if the court accepts card payments and then bring a credit or debit card with enough funds available to cover any fines.

Driver Responsibility Assessment (DRA)

If you accumulate 6 points or more within an 18 month period (calculated by date of violation), you will be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Assessment, which can be done on the New York DMV website. This penalty is paid directly to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and is in addition to any fines payable to the court handling your ticket.