A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal charge issued by a law enforcement officer in the form of a citation, or traffic ticket. In most instances, a civil traffic infraction may be disposed of in one of three ways:
- The payment of a civil penalty, otherwise known as a fine;
- The election and completion of an authorized driver improvement course;
- A hearing before the Court.
You may request any of the above options by completing the Traffic Citation Option Form, then returning it to the Clerk of the Circuit Court within the time allowed.
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Civil traffic infractions must be paid within 30 calendar days from the date the citation was issued. Failure to pay may result in Driver License suspension. Late fees and reinstatement fees may be assessed.
You have three options to choose from.
Option 1 - Pay the Fine
- You must make payment to the Clerk of the Circuit Court within 30 calendar days of the date the citation or ticket was issued.
Choose your method of payment:
- Online using Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express
- In person using cash, personal or cashier's check, money order, credit or debit card.
- By mail, using a personal or cashier's check, money order or credit card.
Mail payments to:
Sarasota Clerk of the Circuit Court
Traffic Violations Bureau
P.O. Box 3079
Sarasota, Florida 34230-3079
- By phone using e-Check, credit or debit card: 941-861-7400.
Please have your traffic citation number ready when calling. All credit/debit card transactions are subject to a convenience fee, assessed by a third-party payment processor. Credit card payments also require billing zip code and the three or four digit CVV code located on the back of the credit card.
You may verify the correct amount of the civil penalty through the Clerk's fee schedule, available in the Clerk's office locations or on the Fee Schedule page.
Failure to pay within the required time period may result in suspension of your license, an assessment of reinstatement fees, and late fees.
Option 2 - Attend Driver Improvement or Child Restraint School
- You may choose this option no more than once every 12 months.
- You must complete and return the Traffic Citation Option Form along with the fine payment and additional $7.00 School election fee to the Clerk of the Circuit Court within 30 calendar days from the date the citation or ticket was issued.
- School must be elected and fine paid within 30 calendar days from the date of your citation.
School must be completed and the certificate of completion returned to the Clerk of the Circuit Court within 90 days from the date of your citation.
- Failure to attend school timely and return your certificate of completion to the Clerk of the Circuit Court will result in points being assessed to your Driver License, additional penalties of $23.00, and possible suspension of your driving privilege.
- You may attend any driver improvement course approved by the State of Florida in any county in Florida. For a list of approved driver improvement schools, visit the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's Basic Driver Improvement Course Providers webpage.
- You may be contacted by private driver improvement schools through the mail, or you may contact local schools for additional information. You may find schools listed in the phone directory under "Traffic School" or "Driving Instruction".
Option 3 - Request a Court Hearing - Deny the Violation
- You must notify the Clerk of the Circuit Court in writing within 30 days of the date the citation was issued to request a civil hearing be scheduled. You may use the Traffic Citation Option Form.
- You will receive a notice from the Clerk of the Circuit Court advising you of the date and time of your hearing.
- The law enforcement officer that issued the citation will be present at your hearing, as well as any witnesses listed by the officer.
- You are responsible for ensuring that any witnesses you want to testify appear at your hearing.
- If the Court finds that you committed the offense, you may be ordered to pay a fine and/or attend driver improvement school.
If You Have Been Charged With The Following Violations:
- Vehicle Tag F.S. 320.07(3)(a) and 320.07(3)(b)
- Vehicle Registration F.S. 320.0605(1)
- No Driver's License F.S. 322.03(1)
- Failed to Exhibit or Carry Driver's License F.S. 322.15(1)
- Insurance F.S. 316.646(1)
You may have the violation dismissed by providing proof of valid registration, driver's license, or insurance along with payment of the $10.00 fee to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, within 30 days of the date the citation or ticket was issued. This option is only available in cases in which your registration, driver's license or insurance was valid at the time the citation or ticket was issued.
Dismissal for Disabled Parking Permit or License Tag Violation
You may have the violation dismissed by providing proof of valid disabled parking permit or disabled license plate with your payment of the $7.50 fee to the Clerk of the Circuit Court within 30 days of the date the citation or ticket was issued. This option is only available in cases in which your disabled parking permit or disabled license plate was valid at the time the citation or ticket was issued.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court cannot offer any information on the number of points assessed against an individual's driver history record, or how points will affect insurance. Please address these concerns and questions with the Bureau of Driver Licenses and/or insurance agent.
Check Your Driver License Status
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers a website where you can verify the status of your license by entering your license number. If your license is not valid, a brief explanation and some instructions will display. Check your driver license status on the DHSMV website.