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Traffic/Minor Offenses

Please note that clerks are prohibited by law from giving you legal advice about your case. If you have received a ticket for a traffic violation or other minor offense (infractions), you may find the following general information helpful. Pay your traffic ticket here. MasterCard and Visa only.

About Traffic Infractions and Misdemeanors

There are three levels of severity of traffic violations: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Most traffic violations are infractions, but some, like vehicular manslaughter, are felonies. 

Infractions are not punishable by jail or prison and are not subject to trial by jury; the punishment is a fine. The more common traffic infractions include speeding and running a red light or stop sign. Total penalties for infractions can be as much as $200 or more.

Misdemeanors, such as driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, can carry penalties of as much as $2,000 or more and/or confinement in a city or county jail. The maximum penalty allowed in California for a misdemeanor is one year in county jail and/or a fine.

Felonies are punishable by fines and/or confinement in county jail or state prison.

How to Pay Your Traffic Ticket

If you received a traffic citation and were given a mailer by the officer, you must contact the court for bail information by calling the number on the mailer. When you call, you will receive information about the bail amount and how to take care of your citation. Please wait 10 working days for your citation to be processed with the court before calling.

If you did not receive a mailer, a courtesy notice may be mailed to you at the address on your citation. The courtesy notice tells you how to take care of your citation.

You must contact the court if: you have not received a courtesy notice within three weeks of receiving your citation, you have changed your address, or the address on the citation is incorrect.

You may pay the bail amount by mail, use the court's phone-in credit card payment system or you may pay your traffic ticket online. If you pay by mail, please send a check or money order payable to "Clerk of the Court" for the full amount due.

NOTICE: If you fail to appear or pay the full bail by the due date, a warrant for your arrest could be issued, you could be subject to increased penalties of at least $230.00, and the court may pursue collection through the Franchise Tax Board, the State Board of Equalization, and collection agencies. In addition, your driver’s license may be suspended through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Online: Citation recipients will be able to pay their bail, extend their court appearance date, or if eligible sign-up for Traffic school. Click here to pay your citation. MasterCard or Visa only.

Automated Telephone Information: Note: in order to use this service, you must have your citation number. The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in both English and Spanish.

Santa Barbara  (805) 568-3959
Santa Maria (805) 346-7550
Lompoc (805) 737-7789
Solvang (805) 686-5040


Your credit card will be charged a convenience fee for the use of this system.Types of information provided by the automated system are:
  • Fine and bail amounts.
  • Traffic school information and costs.
  • Bail forfeiture, bail posting, and fine payments by credit card.
  • One time only date extensions for traffic cases.
  • The automated system accepts VISA and MasterCard card only.

In the event that the Web and phone payment systems are down for maintenance:

If you would like to pay your fine, please use the envelope provided with your courtesy notice. Otherwise, please visit our office during regular business hours to make your payment or use the drop box.

PLEASE NOTE: Parking citations are processed by local law enforcement agencies. Please direct inquiries and payments to the Santa Barbara Police Department or theSanta Barbara Sheriff's Department. Please check your citation for contact information.

Fine payment drop box for after hours payments

Due to the budget crisis, our courts now close at 3:00 p.m. A drop box is provided for traffic/criminal payments between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Payments (no cash please) placed in the drop box will be processed the next day. For information on how to pay your traffic ticket, see "How to pay your traffic ticket" on this page. You may also pay your traffic ticket online. MasterCard or Visa only. For criminal fine payments click here.

If you wish to pay a parking ticket, you may do so by clicking here 

Clearing Correctable Citations

Proof of correction can be obtained by having an authorized representative of a law enforcement agency fill out the Certificate of Correction located on the reverse side of your citation. A Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) clerk may certify registration and/or driver's license violations. All registration violations must be corrected and proof submitted to the court. Your courtesy notice will contain the correct amount of money you must pay along with your proof of corrections.

Contact the court for information regarding the correct fine amount for insurance violations. The proof for insurance violations must be provided directly to the court. 

Extensions on Traffic Citations

The clerks are authorized to grant one 30-day extension on most traffic citations. For extensions beyond the authorized 30 days, you must appear in court and speak with the Judicial Officer. You may now pay your traffic ticket online. MasterCard or Visa only.  

Juvenile Misdemeanor Traffic Citations

If your citation was marked "to be notified," you will receive a Notice to Appear giving you a court date and time to appear. A parent or guardian will be required to appear with you. If you do not receive the notice within 60 days from the date the citation was issued, contact the court. If the Court has suspended your license, you may request a restricted license.

Review the Restricted License instructions, complete the Restricted License form, and return it to Court. You will be notified of the Judicial Officer’s decision.

Traffic Court Appearance and Trial Information

All appearances must be scheduled prior to your due date.
You must check in during the week prior with the court to schedule an appearance.

For Lompoc and Solvang Divisions, you may also check in the morning you wish to appear, on the day and time as indicated below. Please arrive early for processing. Night court is available for Santa Barbara and Santa Maria traffic cases only. Night court must be scheduled in advance. Cases involving alcohol/drugs, misdemeanors, felonies and warranted cases DO NOT qualify for night court.

You must appear in court if your courtesy notice indicates a MANDATORY APPEARANCE is required.

To schedule an appearance call:

Santa Barbara  (805) 568-3959
Santa Maria (805) 614-6590
Lompoc (805) 737-5390
Solvang (805) 686-5040

Requesting a Traffic Court Trial

If you wish to plead not guilty to a vehicle code infraction and have a court trial with the officer present, you may complete the Plea and Notice of Court Trial form or appear at the clerk's office. The court trial will be set within 30 days. The bail or fine must be posted when you enter your plea. You or your attorney and the officer who issued the citation must be present in court on the date of trial.

If you disagree with the court's decision, you must file an appeal within 30 days of the judgment date. See the Traffic Appeals section below.

Requesting a Trial by Declaration (Written Statement):

If you plead not guilty and want to complete a written Trial by Declaration, you must submit:

a. "Request for Trial by Declaration" form (Judicial Council Form TR-205).
b. The total amount of bail owed on your case.

The officer who issued the citation will submit a statement of the facts. The judge will take the case under submission and you will be notified of the judge's decision. 

If you disagree with the decision of the court, Request for New Trial (Judicial Council Form TR-220) must be filed within 20 days of the date the judgment was mailed.

Traffic Warrants and DMV Holds

To clear a traffic warrant or release a DMV hold, you may pay cash, money order, cashier's check or credit card (Visa or MasterCard only). No checks are accepted.

Contact the clerk's office to verify the amount due and request a release abstract for DMV. 

Traffic School Information

Eligibility:

  1. You may attend traffic school to dismiss a citation once every 18 months, from violation date to violation date.
  2. If there are any correctable violations on your citation, these corrections must be received along with any fees before permission will be granted.
  3. If you sign up for traffic school on the website, you may or may not receive an assignment form.
  4. You must pay the fine plus a $66.00 administrative fee. When the court receives the fees, you will receive an assignment form granting you permission to attend traffic school and indicating the completion date.
  5. You will be required to pay an additional fee to the school.
  6. If you are eligible and decide not to attend traffic school, your automobile  insurance may be adversely affected.
  7. You may sign up for traffic school through the mail or by using the Court's automated telephone system.
California Traffic Safety Institute
Traffic School Clerks:
Santa Barbara   (805) 882-4784
Santa Maria (805) 614-6590
Lompoc (805) 737-5449
Solvang (805) 686-5040

Click the link below to view the Santa Barbara County Superior Court list of approved traffic schools:

Traffic School List 

Certificates:

Please complete the class at least two weeks prior to your due date. This will allow the school or program provider time to automatically send an electronic completion certificate to the Court.


Installment Bail Information:

If you are requesting to make payments without appearing in court, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Your case must be a Vehicle Code infraction with a date to appear in the future.
  2.  A $35 administrative fee will be added to the total bail owed.
  3. The total bail plus any penalties and fees must be paid in four equal monthly payments.
  4. You must contact the Court to set up this type of a payment plan.

Owner's Responsibility

If your citation is past due, a hold has been placed on the vehicle's registration at DMV. Failure to clear this citation could result in your inability to register your vehicle.

If you have corrected the violations, you may appear in Court.

If the citation was mechanical and issued to the driver, and your company wants to assume responsibility, mail in the amount of the citation, include proof of corrections as required, and a letter on company letterhead requesting the responsibility be transferred to the company.

Traffic Appeals

Any party may appeal an unfavorable decision. In an appeal, a higher court reviews the judgment of a lower court. There is no fee for filing an appeal on a traffic, criminal, or juvenile case. Forms for an appeal are available from the clerk's office (Judicial Council Forms TR-150TR-155TR-160TR-165) or online on the Judicial Council website at http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms.htm . Choose "Traffic Infractions" from the "Category" drop down menu then click the "search" button.

To appeal a Trial by Declaration decision, complete and file a Request for New Trial (Trial De Novo) (Judicial Council Form TR-220) with the Court within 20 days of the mailing of judgment. The Notice of Appeal from a Court Trial must be filed within 30 days of the judgment date. 

Filing a Notice of Appeal does not stop enforcement of the judgment. You must still comply with all terms and conditions of the court order.

Contact Information:

CONTACT TRAFFIC BY EMAIL



Figueroa Division
118 E. Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 568-3959

Counter Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Court day/time:
Wednesday - Friday: 8:00am

Night Court:
2nd Tuesday each Month at 5:30pm



Santa Maria Division
312-M East Cook Street
Santa Maria, CA 93456-5165
(805) 346-7550

Counter Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Switchboard Hours:
8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Court day/time:
Tuesday: 10:00am and 1:30pm

Night Court:
1st & 3rd Mondays: 5:00pm

Juvenile Court:
Tuesday: 2:30pm



Lompoc Division
115 Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA 93436-6967 
(805) 737-5390 or 737-7789

Counter Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am -3:00 pm

Court day/time:
Monday: 8:30am
Check-in 8:00am



Solvang Division
1745 Mission Drive, Suite C
Solvang, CA 93463-3605 
(805) 686-5040

Counter Hours:
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Court day/time:
2nd & 4th Wednesdays: 8:30am
Check-in at 8:00am
 
© 2014 Superior Court of the County of Santa Barbara