September 18, 2018

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Traffic Division

Welcome to the Traffic Division of The Superior Court of California, County of Stanislaus. Traffic Court deals with violations of traffic laws and other minor offenses of State and County ordinances. 

Court Locations: 

Adult and Juvenile Traffic infraction matters:
2260 Floyd Avenue, Modesto, CA (209) 530-3100, option 1

Juvenile Court Clerk’s Office (other than traffic infractions):
2215 Blue Gum Ave., Modesto, CA (209) 530-3100, option 8

Visit our our online payment portal at:   https://portal.stanct.org/Portal/

Please note that Online Sign-up for Traffic School is unavialable at this time.  If you would like to sign-up for Traffic School at this time, you will need to contact the Superior Court Traffic Division's Clerk's Office. 

 

 

Hours of Operation:

Adult and Juvenile Traffic Clerk's Office Hours

Monday - Friday 8:15 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Thursday 8:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. only

Phone Hours:

Monday - Friday,  10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
(209) 530-3100, select option #1 for Traffic

Please note, payment by phone is no longer an option.  Payment must be made by online, in-person, mail, or drop box. 
  

Email Contacts

Email is an easy way to ask questions without waiting in line or calling on the phone. So that we are able to help you in a more efficient manner, please try to ask as many questions as you can on the first email that you send to the clerk.  Please also include your case number, citation number, your full name, date of birth and your driver's license number (if you have one) in your email so we are able to quickly refer to your specific case(s).  This will help the clerk serve you timely, as well as to help the clerk be able to effectively serve others who also have questions/need assistance. The clerk's office staff will respond and provide assistance in the order of receipt.  The Traffic Court Clerk’s Office email address is:  traffic.requests@stanct.org 

 

Where and When Do I Need to Take Care of My Traffic Ticket?

When you received your traffic citation, the officer wrote your date to appear (the due date) underneath your signature on the citation. This is the due date for resolving your citation and you must either pay or resolve your ticket or you must appear in Court by the due date on your citation.

Do not ignore your citation. When you received the citation from the law enforcement officer, you signed your name and made a promise to appear for Court. If you fail to appear as directed, additional penalties will be imposed for your failure to appear and your license will be suspended. Failure to resolve your citation on or before the date listed at the bottom of your citation will also result in additional penalties, which may include an additional $300.00 civil assessment.  It's important to contact the Court to avoid additional sanctions if you are unable to appear at the hearing listed on your citation.  A one-time 30-day extension can be requested, as long as it's on or before your first hearing date. 

In addition, failure to appear will result in a Trial In Absentia conviction, which will report on your DMV record and could result in additional civil assessment fees for failure to pay (per Local Rule 4.29).  For more information on this subject, please see our Frequently Asked Question #14 - "What if I don't go to Court or pay my ticket?"  If you receive a Notice of Decision on Trial in Absentia, and still wish to contest it, you have only 20 days to file a Trial De Novo (Request for New Trial).  If you do not file within this timeframe, your options are very limited. 

If your citation involves a mandatory appearance you must appear in Court.   Mandatory appearances will be noted on your Courtesy Notice.   If you do not have a mandatory appearance noted or you do not want to appear you may pay the full bail amount to the Court and do nothing further. The bail will then be accepted as a guilty plea and the case will be closed.

If you have a violation for which proof of correction can be shown, the fine may be reduced if proof of correction is provided to the Court by your due date. In addition, there is a $25.00 proof of correction fee that must be included for each violation that requires proof of correction.  An additional $10.00 administrative fee may also be required.  Specific case information is available on-line, including bail amounts, case numbers and instructions for how to pay your bail in full using the automated system. You may also email the Traffic Division Clerk’s Office at traffic.requests@stanct.org for additional information on questions you might have.  Payments can be mailed in along with the proof of correction (signed off citation or other documentation), or you can use the Drop Box located on the Traffic Division's southern exit door.  Please note that the sign-off of the proof of correction must be done on the back of your original citation.  If you have lost your original, you must either obtain a certified copy from the Court (at a cost) or obtain a copy from the agency that cited you.  An agency copy must have a controlled document stamp or other identifying mark of authenticity from the agency.  You may also have a document that serves as a proof of correction, such as an insurance card or vehicle registration, which may also be accepted.

Pursuant to California Rule of Court 4.105(b), you have the option to appear in court for arraignment and trial without posting bail.  Under rule of Court 4.105(c), bail is required to be deposited if you elect to proceed with trial by written declaration without appearing in court (VC 40902) and/or written not guilty plea (VC40519(a-b)), or elect to pay bail and not contest the citation or appear in court (VC 40510 and 40521). 

Your options are listed below per the California Rules of Court. You have the right to request one or all of the following, depending on the status of your case:

  1. Petition to Reduce or Vacate Civil Assessment – California Rules of Court, Rule 4.106
    • If you received a notice that a civil assessment was added to your citation, you may petition the court to reduce or vacate the assessment.
    • A petition to reduce or vacate an assessment does not stay (stop) any order requiring payment of bail, fines, penalties, fees, or assessments unless specifically ordered by a judicial officer.
    • If you do not establish good cause as to why you didn’t appear or did not pay, the court can still impose the civil assessment.
    • The court may consider such factors as your due diligence in appearing or paying after notice of the assessment has been given.
    • If you wish to file a Request for Order to address your petition to vacate a civil assessment, there is a form that will allow you to address this. Look for the “Defendant’s Request for Order Packet – Traffic” that is available on the website, under Traffic Forms: http://stanct.org/sites/default/files/Request%20For%20Order%20Packet%20f... .
    • Packets are also available at the Traffic Clerks’ Office at 2260 Floyd Avenue, Modesto, CA 95355. This is where it will need to be submitted for filing and review by a Judicial Officer.
  2. Petition for Ability-to-Pay Determination – California Rules of Court, Rule 4.335
    • You may request an ability-to-pay determination at sentencing if you are currently on an installment plan, or while your judgment remains unpaid, including when your case is delinquent or in collections.
    • You have the right to a review by a judicial officer. When you submit your request in writing, include any information you want the court to consider, including any attachment(s) that would help support your request.
    • The court will make a decision based on the information and supporting documentation that you provide in your written request. Specific documentation as to your financial status will be required for the court to make a determination.
    • If an ability-to-pay determination has already occurred, a subsequent ability-to-pay determination can be requested only in the event of a change in your financial circumstances. The change in circumstances must be supported (proof provided) with written documentation in order for the court to consider your request.
    • If you wish to file a Request for Order, there is a “Defendant’s Request for Order Packet – Traffic” that is available on the website, under Traffic Forms: http://stanct.org/sites/default/files/Request%20For%20Order%20Packet%20for Traffic%20Cases.pdf .
    • Packets are also available at the Traffic Clerks’ Office at 2260 Floyd Avenue, Modesto, CA 95355. This is where it will need to be submitted for filing and review by a Judicial Officer.
  3. Right to Appear in Court for Arraignment and Trial without Deposit of Bail – California Rules of Court, Rule 4.105
    • If you have not already been arraigned or previously waived formal arraignment, which resulted in a conviction:
      • You have the right to appear in court for arraignment and trial without deposit of bail.
      • If you have already been convicted, your options include:
        • Submitting a Request for Order (considered on your paperwork and written statements and documentation).
        • Filing a motion to schedule a hearing date (considered on your paperwork and verbal statements).
    • If you have been convicted “in absentia” (in your absence), you have only 21 days to file a Request for Trial De Novo in order to appear in court to contest your case from the date of mailing on your Notice of Decision on Trial in Absentia.
  4. If you need additional information regarding your options, or other self-help information, you can visit the Judicial Branch of California’s self-help website at: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-traffic.htm
  5. Packets are also available at the Traffic Clerks’ Office at 2260 Floyd Avenue, Modesto, CA 95355. This is where it will need to be submitted for review by a Judicial Officer.

  

Adult Traffic - First Appearance in Court 

If you choose to appear in Court prior to your first hearing date, the Court will hear your case on Monday or Tuesday at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. or Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. for Adult Traffic cases. Please plan to arrive early enough to get checked in for the session. You may also watch our traffic arraignment video on-line, for more information about your options prior to arriving at Court:

Online Traffic Arraignment Video
Traffic Arraignment Script (English)
Traffic Arraignment Script (Spanish)
Traffic Arraignment Script Addendums (English/Spanish)

 

Juvenile Traffic Infractions

Juvenile cases are heard only on Wednesday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. and are handled at the same location as Adult Traffic.  Juveniles must have a parent or guardian with them in order for them to appear in Court, unless they have turned 18 by the date of their appearance in Court. 

 

Unable To Make Your Court Appearance?

If you are unable to appear in Court, you must contact the Modesto Traffic Division on or prior to your Court date. You are eligible for a one-time 30 day extension as long as it is submitted on or before your hearing date. This extension can be made by mail, by speaking with a clerk or by emailing your request to traffic.requests@stanct.org. Please include your Court case number or citation number so the clerk is able to quickly assist you with your request.  Your case number is located on the top left hand corner of your Courtesy Notice that the Court mailed to you and the citation number is located on the top right hand corner of the ticket that was issued to you by the officer. If you do not have either, you can search the Court’s online case index to find your case number. If you do not have a case or a citation number please include your full name, your date of birth and driver’s license number so the clerk is able to locate your case.

 

Appearing In Person

Your first appearance or hearing in Traffic Court is called an arraignment. At the arraignment you will hear important information regarding your rights, an overview of what happens at the arraignment and you will be informed of your options for handling your case. You can view the online traffic arraignment video for more information.

You do not have to wait until the appearance date listed on your citation to take care of your traffic matter. If the Court's online case index lists your citation or information regarding your ticket, the Court will likely have your case ready for you to either pay or appear in Court. If you want to appear in Court before your scheduled date, you can appear at the Traffic Court on a "walk-in" basis.  You must appear on one of the Court dates listed below, based on your status:

  • Adult cases that are timely (NOT in "Failure to Appear/FTA" status) can attend walk-in court: appear on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. 
  • Adults with a case in Failure to Appear status, where a DMV hold has been placed on the license are only eligible to appear in Court on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. 

To sign up for walk-in Court, you must appear on or before your Court date on your citation at the Traffic Court Clerk’s office and take a number to wait for a clerk to assist you. You will hear announcements giving priority check-ins for those who are going to Court, followed by clerk assistance with questions and payment options when Court check-ins are completed.   

Please note that the clerk cannot advise you on whether or not you should go to Court, so if you are unsure of what your options might be, wait for the clerk to call your number to provide you with additional information to help you with your choices. If you are able to watch the online video, you can receive in-depth information regarding your options and have a better idea of what you might like to do when you come to Court. If you simply prefer to pay your citation and not go to Court and your case is not considered a “mandatory appearance”, you can pay online, by phone or on-site at the Traffic Division Office without having to appear in the courtroom. 

You may be able to handle your matter and pay for your traffic citation online or as well as sign up for traffic school. Please click on this line (http://trafficfines.stanct.org:8080/LocateFines/) to determine if you qualify.

At the arraignment, the Judicial Officer will ask how you want to plead. If you plead "Not Guilty" you will be given an option to set a Court Trial with the officer present or you may choose to have a Trial by Written Declaration. A Trial by Written Declaration (TBD) process is when you and the officer both submit your testimony on a written form. If you choose to have a Trial by Written Declaration, you can also submit a written request for this type of trial to the Court, rather than appearing to request it in Court. Information will be sent to you explaining how to proceed. If you choose to have a Trial by Written Declaration, bail is required to be posted at the time the written forms are filed. Juveniles also have the option of requesting a trial by written declaration.

 

Paying the Citation

You may pay in person, by Drop Box, by mail, or online at https://portal.stanct.org/Portal/.

Please note, payment by phone is no longer an option.  Payment must be made by online, in-person, mail, or drop box. 

 

Please do not send cash through the mail or through the Drop Box. If you are paying by check, please make sure to write the docket number (located on the left-hand corner of your Reminder Notice) on the left-hand corner of your check.  

 

Paying By Phone

Please note, payment by phone is no longer an option.  Payment must be made by online, in-person, mail, or drop box.

 

Paying On-Line

Click here to pay your citation online. Please note that the online system requires at least two days to process your payment. Your payment must be posted two business days prior to your due date to avoid further penalties and assessments

 

Request a Payment Plan and Payment Plan Payment Options

The Payment Plan is a program which allows you to make monthly payments on your citation (ticket). If you are interested, you must appear in Court on or before your arraignment date to request a payment plan or go to "Payment Plan Contract" on this website. A one-time processing fee of $35.00 will be added to your bail and must be paid when setting up your account. Payment plans are set up for completion of payments to occur within 12 months. 

 

Payment Plan Responsibilities and Requirements

It is your responsibility to make payments as agreed. If payments are not made by the agreed date, there may be further penalties added in the amount of $310.00 or more per case.

It is your responsibility to notify the Court if you have a change of address, financial status or if you cannot make your payment by the agreed upon date.

 

Options for Paying Monthly Payment Plan Payments

  • In Person:   You can pay in person at the Traffic Court Clerk’s office (see hours of operation and location at the top of this page). Methods of payment include cash and credit card (Visa or MasterCard).  If your case has gone into collections status, you may only make full payment in cash or by cashier’s check.
  • Drop Box:   You can pay using the Drop Box at our Traffic Court Clerk’s office (see hours of operation and location at the top of this page). Payments received after 4:00 p.m. will be processed on the next business day.  Payments must be by check, money order or cashier's check. Please do not place cash in the Drop Box.
  • Online:   You can pay online at https://portal.stanct.org/Portal/, by Visa or MasterCard or online check.A small fee applies for online payment.
  • Mail:   You can pay by check, money order or cashier’s check, payable to Superior Court of California, by mailing payment to the Traffic Division at the location listed above.  Please include your case number(s) that so we are able to apply your payment properly.
  • Please note, payment by phone is no longer an option.  Payment must be made by online, in-person, mail, or drop box.

 

Requesting Traffic School

Important: Please refer to our “SIGN UP FOR TRAFFIC SCHOOL” webpage at http://www.stanct.org/sign-traffic-school

You may be eligible to attend traffic school if you have not attended in the past 18 months (from violation date to violation date).  If you are eligible and you register for traffic school, there is a $52.00 non-refundable fee that is required to be paid along with your bail, as a required State fee. You will be required to pay additional costs directly to your selected traffic school provider as their cost for providing you with traffic school. 

Attending traffic school may keep points off of your driving record, as long as your violation is considered eligible for traffic school. If you do not attend traffic school, and choose to pay your citation, it is reported as a conviction to DMV, which may result in points being applied to your DMV record.   Be sure to refer to our “SIGN UP FOR TRAFFIC SCHOOL” webpage at http://www.stanct.org/sign-traffic-school. You may register for traffic school at the same time you pay your fine online (see “PAY YOUR TRAFFIC CITATION” above), as long as your case is eligible for online sign-up.  IMPORTANT:  Only case numbers beginning with the letters "TR-" are eligible to sign up for Traffic School online.  If your case doesn't begin with a "TR", you must sign-up either by mail, in person, or by drop box request with payment included.

After signing up for the traffic school option online, you will not receive any additional notifications regarding which traffic schools to use, or due dates.  You will have 90 days from your sign up date (or hearing date if ordered in Court) to complete your course. You must use the approved list of Traffic School providers on DMV's website.  To access DMV’s list of approved Traffic Violator Schools please go to the 'Traffic School List' section at http://www.dmv.ca.gov./olinq2/welcome.do.  Be sure to see our "SIGN UP FOR TRAFFIC SCHOOL" webpage at http://www.stanct.org/sign-traffic-school for more information.   

Once you complete your traffic school course, the school will send your completion information directly to DMV and the Court will receive notification from DMV that you have completed traffic school.  For additional important information, including information on determining your new “due by” date, please refer to our “SIGN UP FOR TRAFFIC SCHOOL” webpage at http://www.stanct.org/sign-traffic-school. If you do not complete traffic school, or fail to complete any requirements for traffic school completion, the $52.00 Traffic School fee will NOT be refunded to you. 

If you sign up for Traffic School by mail, please be sure to include a note that you would like to attend Traffic School in with your payment, along with the additional fees required to sign up. 

Traffic Tickets - Other Self Help Links

There are frequently asked questions and other traffic-related topics on our website.  If you would like some additional information on traffic ticket basics, including common topics such as "how to pay a traffic ticket", "how to ask for a Trial By Written Declaration", "traffic school", or other general or frequently asked questions, you can find them in the Traffic Self Help portion of the Judicial Council's website at:  http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-traffic.htm.   

If Your Case Is Not Listed Online - Information

If you cannot locate a case on file for your citation at this time, you can contact the Traffic Court Clerk to assist you with searching for your case number.  It may be possible that your citation has not yet been filed by the agency, as they have up to one year to file the citation with the Court.  If your court date is approaching, and you cannot locate your name on the online portal, contact the Traffic Court Clerk's Office to confirm whether the citation has been filed or not.  If it hasn't been filed, you can contact the law enforcement agency that cited you for additional information, especially if your address changes.  Any notices sent from the law enforcement agency or from the Court will be sent to the address listed on your citation, so if you have an address change it is important to contact the court and the law enforcement agency to ensure that you receive notices timely. 

The Traffic Court Clerk's office will send you a Traffic Court Reminder Notice to your address on the citation as soon as your citation is filed with the Court.  Because you signed a citation, or a "Promise To Appear" in Court, you are responsible for continuing to check to see if you have a case on file, in the event the agency files it at any point during the year after you were cited (date of violation). 

THE INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE ASSISTANCE OF COMPETENT LEGAL COUNSEL. YOU SHOULD SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY OF YOUR CHOICE FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE FACTS OF YOUR CASE AND YOUR RIGHTS. 

Last updated: August 16, 2018 11:57 AM