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Traffic/Minor Offenses
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Traffic Court - General Information

Resolve your citations online or by phone. It’s easy and convenient!

Individuals with traffic or minor infraction citations can resolve these cases any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Online access is available here . Phone access is available by calling (805) 568-3959.

These systems are user-friendly and will prompt an individual making an inquiry to enter a case number, citation number or driver’s license number plus his or her date of birth to retrieve information about infraction cases pending before the court. The public can use these systems to:

  • Locate and review basic information about citations
  • Pay infraction fines and fees
  • Set up payment plans and view future payment dates
  • Sign up and pay for traffic violator school
  • Post bail when setting up a contested court trial date
  • Get a one-time 30-day extension to resolve your citation
Citations and Notices

The Court files citations received from all Santa Barbara County law enforcement agencies including local police departments, animal control, parks, and fish and game agencies, as well as Santa Barbara County citations from the California Highway Patrol. When an individual is cited by a law enforcement officer for a traffic, local ordinance, animal control or other violation, the original citation is delivered to the Court for processing.

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

Once the Court receives the original citation from the law enforcement agency, a courtesy notice is generated and mailed to the person who was cited. This courtesy notice will contain the amount due (called the 'bail'); the deadline to appear in court without additional penalties; information regarding traffic violator school eligibility; and, for any correctable citation (sometimes called a 'fix it' ticket), the requirements needed to clear the citation. For more information on traffic violator school eligibility, attendance and procedures for showing proof of completion, please click here. For more information on the procedures to resolve correctable citations for vehicle registration, insurance or equipment repairs, please click here.

Most citations can be resolved without ever appearing in court, by paying the bail or paying the bail along with requesting traffic violator school or providing proof of correction. A small number of citations require individuals to appear in court. The courtesy notices for these citations will have the words "Mandatory Appearance" on them. Individuals with these citations must appear in court. For information on the requirements for mandatory appearances, please click here.

It can take from a few days to several weeks for the courtesy notice to be mailed. This is because some law enforcement agencies deliver their citations to the Court frequently (more often than once a week) while others deliver them only a few times per month. The Court cannot quote bail or give you information regarding your citation until it is received from the police agency.

The law enforcement officer enters a date, called the 'promise to appear' date, on the citation, approximately three weeks from the date of the citation. This date is very important, as individuals who fail to contact the Court by that date may be subject to penalties in excess of the amount they would owe on their citations and their driving privileges may be affected.

Individuals are responsible for contacting the Court, by phone or in person, by the promise to appear date on their citations, whether or not they have received their courtesy notices in the mail.

For individuals who disregard all notices from the Court or who make arrangements to pay the bail or appear in court but do not fulfill these requirements, the Court will impose additional monetary penalties. In addition to significant increases in the bail amount, such as a $300 civil assessment, individuals may also have their drivers' licenses and registrations placed on hold with the Department of Motor Vehicles and will be referred to a collection agency. For information about the collection agency that handles delinquent citations, please click here. For more information about the additional penalties that may result from failing to resolve citations by the deadline, please click here.

Options to Resolve Citations

There are five ways to take care of citations:

  1. Pay the full amount on the courtesy notice on or before the due date (unless the courtesy notice stated that a mandatory appearance is required.) Payments, and payments with requests for traffic violator school, may be made via the web, by phone, by mail or in person. If individuals must show proof of vehicle registration or insurance or proof that an equipment violation has been fixed, these issues can be handled by mail or in person. More information on payment options is available by clicking here.

  2. Pay the full amount on the courtesy in installments of up to 12 months, with a minimum monthly payment of up to $75 depending on the total amount due, plus a $35 administrative fee to set up an installment plan. To set up an installment payment plan you may fill out a payment plan form in the Clerk’s office or click here to print out and mail in.

  3. Request that bail be converted to community service work. The Court has a community service work program for individuals who cannot afford to pay the bail on their citations. Community service work converts your bail or fine at a rate of $10 for every hour worked. Please contact the Court to inquire about community service work.  

  4. Appear at the Clerk’s Office and plead not guilty by the due date indicated on the citation or courtesy notice. Individuals who wish to contest their citations may schedule a court trial at the Traffic Clerk's Office. The law enforcement officer who wrote the citation will be subpoenaed to appear at the trial. For more information about scheduling a court trial, please click here.

  5. Request a trial by written declaration and plead not guilty by appearing in person at the Traffic Clerk's Office or by writing to the Court to request this type of a trial. Individuals often choose this option if they live far away from the Court. For more information on this option, please click here.

Court Penalties for Failing to Appear, Failing to Pay, or Failing to Comply with Court Processes or Orders

The Court will impose significant monetary penalties on individuals who do not:

  • Pay the bail or appear in court by the due date;
  • Make monthly installment payments, as promised by the individual at the time a payment plan agreement is granted;
  • Perform community service work by the deadline, as directed by the Court and as promised by the individual;
  • Comply with all court orders, such as paying the fine in one amount or in installments by a due date established by the Court, completing community service work by the due date established by the Court, providing proof of correctable violations, and other orders as determined by the Court;

When individuals are cited for California Vehicle Code violations, the Court will notify Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to place a hold on the drivers' licenses and vehicle registrations of individuals who fail to comply with court processes and orders. These holds will not be removed until violators resolve their underlying traffic cases.

  • For those individuals who fail to pay or appear by the due date, the Court will impose a failure to appear charge and notify DMV to issue holds on license and/or registration. For more information, please click here.
  • For those violators who have pled guilty or been found guilty after a court trial or trial by written declaration and have failed to pay or comply with court orders, the Court will add failure to pay or comply charges and notify DMV to issue holds on license and/or registration. For more information, please click here.
  • The Court will also add a $300 civil assessment and other monetary penalties to the amount due and refer delinquent traffic cases to a collection agency, Enhanced Court Collections (ECC). ECC will contact individuals to enforce the Court's orders. ECC has many tools available to collect delinquent fines including setting up payment plans with significant consequences to individuals if they do not comply with these arrangements such as negative credit reporting, wage garnishment and seizure of assets like money in bank accounts. For more information about ECC, please click here.
Legal Assistance with cases filed in the Traffic Clerk's Office

There are resources available to help individuals in understanding traffic court processes or preparing to go to court. Some of these resources include:

California Courts Online Self Help Center. This resource is available to all Californians who are representing themselves in court. To access this website, please click here

Traffic Court - Traffic Violator School

To request traffic violator school, individuals must sign up with the Court on or before the due date on the citation or courtesy notice. In addition to the educational benefits of attending traffic violator school, one of the primary reasons so many individuals choose this option is to avoid having their violations appear on their driving records, which often results in increased insurance rates. Those electing to attend traffic violator school will be required to pay the full bail amount, or sign up for a installation payment plan, plus a $66 administrative fee and meet ALL of the following requirements:

  1. Have a valid driver's license.
  2. The current violation(s) did not occur in a commercial vehicle as defined in Vehicle Code section 15210(b).
  3. Must not have attended traffic violator school for the previous violation within the past 18 months (Vehicle Code section 1808.7 and 1808.10).
  4. The citation must be an infraction that is reportable to DMV.
  5. The citation must not carry a negligent operator point count of more than one point, involve alcohol or drugs, involve exceeding a speed limit by more than 25 miles per hour, or require a mandatory court appearance.
  6. The citation must not have a violation of Vehicle Code section 22406.5 (tank vehicles) and must not occur in a commercial vehicle as defined in Vehicle Code section 15210(b). PLEASE NOTE: If you sign up for a installation payment plan, traffic school completion will not be sent to DMV until your fine has been paid in full.

Follow the directions on the back of the courtesy notice and sign up on the Court website here, by telephone at (805) 568-3959, or in person at the Traffic Clerk's Office during office hours. A clerk cannot grant a request to attend traffic violator school unless the individual meets all of the requirements stated above.

More information about traffic violator schools is available through the California DMV by clicking here and selecting Classroom, Home Study, or Internet course. Then follow the steps to locate a provider. In addition to the fee paid to the Court, each traffic violator school charges a fee, paid directly to the school at the time of registration for the program. The amount of this fee varies for each school.

NOTICE: If individuals are eligible and decide not to attend traffic violator school their automobile insurance may be adversely affected. If individuals complete a traffic violator school program, one conviction in any 18-month period will be held confidential and not show on their driving records.

An individual who has a second violation on the same citation which requires proof of correction, must submit the signed proof of correction plus a $25 transaction fee for each correctable violation at the same time traffic violator school is requested.   When registering for traffic violator school with the Court, individuals will be given sixty (60) calendar days from the date the payment is received to complete it. Upon successful completion of traffic violator school, the DMV will notify the Court and a confidential conviction will be sent to the DMV pursuant to Vehicle Code section 1803.5. Failure to complete traffic violator school by the due date provided will result in the reporting of the citation as a conviction to DMV.

The Court may grant one 30-day extension of time to complete traffic violator school as long as the request for extension is made prior to the due date of the certificate. No further extensions will be granted.

Violators who complete their traffic violator school late, but within sixty (60) calendar days of the due date and, after the Court has already reported their convictions to DMV, may request that the Court accept their late certificates and send updated notifications of completion to DMV. There may be an administrative fee of up to $50 for this service.

Requests from violators to accept traffic violator school certificates after sixty (60) calendar days has passed from the due date will not be granted.

Violators who did not sign up for traffic violator school with the Court, but subsequently complete traffic violator school within sixty (60) calendar days of the date a conviction was reported to DMV, may request to register for traffic violator school at this time. However, they must pay the $66 traffic violator school fee and an administrative fee of up to $50 for this late sign up and notification to DMV.

Traffic Court - Correctable (fix it) Citations

Correctable (Fix It) Citations, Proof of Correction and Reduced Bail

Proof of Correction and Reduced Bail

The courtesy notice will indicate whether a violation can be resolved by presenting proof of correction and paying a $25 fee for each correctable violation by the due date. This fee is a bail reduction available only to individuals who provide the Court with proof that the underlying violation has been corrected. If such proof is not provided to the Court, the full bail shown on the courtesy notice is due and payable by the due date.

Individuals cited for multiple violations on the same citation, with one or more correctable violations may provide the Court with proof that the violation has been corrected and pay a $25 transaction fee for each correctable violation for processing that portion of the citation only.

If proof of correction is accepted, the transaction fee will be processed and the correctable violation(s) on the citation will be dismissed. The reduced bail amount shown on the courtesy notice reflects the transaction fee and is required, along with other bail payments to clear the remaining violation(s) on the citation.

Acceptable proof of correction consists of certification to the Court on the form provided on the reverse side of the citation, received in the Traffic Clerk's Office by the due date. Violators may also complete a court form by clicking here. Certification must be obtained from an authorized representative of one of the following agencies:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles, California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies for driver's license and registration violations.
  • California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies for violations such as brake, lamp, smog device, window tint, etc.

For insurance violations, individuals may provide proof of correction of their insurance by submitting copies of their policy or insurance card to the Court.

The Court will grant one 30-day extension of time to provide proof of correction, as long as the request for the extension is made by the due date on the courtesy notice.

Once a violator has paid full bail on a correctable violation, the Court will not refund bail if a violator subsequently submits proof of correction.

Individuals electing to attend traffic violator school for other violations on a citation that includes a correctable violation must sign up for traffic violator school and pay the full bail or set up a payment plan. If proof of correction has been provided to the Court, the total amount due will be the bail for the traffic violator school-eligible violations plus the $25 transaction fee for each correctable violation. If no proof of correction has been provided, the total amount due will be the full bail on the courtesy notice.

Correctable Citations for Mechanical, Registration, Driver's License or Insurance violations

Below are the options available to individuals cited for correctable violations. For each of these options, proof of correction may be presented to the Court in person or by mail.

Mechanical Violations

When a mechanical violation is eligible for correction, the courtesy notice will indicate two bail amounts; the higher amount is to be paid if the violator does not correct the underlying mechanical problem and the lower amount is the amount owed if the violator corrects the problem and submits that proof to the Court by the due date.

  1. If the individual has corrected mechanical problem, obtain a police officer's signature on the back of the citation and return it to the Court on or before the due date with a $25 proof of correction fee for each violation. These violations will then be dismissed by the Court.

  2. If the individual has not corrected, or cannot correct, the mechanical problem, the full bail is payable by the due date.

Registration Violations

  1. If the registration is current but was not in the vehicle when cited, present the registration, or a copy if by mail, to the Court, along with a $25 proof of correction fee, on or before the due date on the citation or courtesy notice. Then the Court will dismiss the violation.

  2. If the vehicle was not registered at the time of the citation, the registration must be paid at the DMV and the DMV can sign the citation. Present the registration, or a copy if by mail, or the signed citation to the Court, along with a $25 proof of correction fee, on or before the due date on the citation or courtesy notice. Then the Court will dismiss the violation.

Driver's License Violations

  1. If the individual had a valid driver's license but was not carrying it when cited, present the driver's license, or a copy if by mail, to the Court, along with a $25 proof of correction fee, on or before the due date on the citation or courtesy notice. Then the Court will dismiss the violation.

  2. If the individual did not have a driver's license, or the license was expired, the license must be obtained from the DMV and the DMV can sign the citation. Present the license, or a copy if by mail or the signed citation to the Court, along with a $25 proof of correction fee, on or before the due date on the citation or courtesy notice. Then the Court will dismiss the violation. Please note: Individuals who cannot obtain driver's licenses must pay the full amount of the bail on the courtesy notice.

Insurance Violations

  1. If the insurance is current but was not in the vehicle when cited, present the insurance certificate or policy, or copy if by mail, to the Court, along with a $25 proof of correction fee, on or before the due date on the citation or courtesy notice. Proof of insurance must include the effective date, expiration date, policy number, make and description of the vehicle insured. Then the Court will dismiss the violation. Please note that insurance violations cannot be signed off by police officers.

  2. If the vehicle was not insured at the time of the citation, but the violator obtained insurance, the violator may submit proof of insurance to the Traffic Clerk’s Office, or mail proof to the Court, on or before the due date to receive a reduced fine of $300

  3. If the vehicle was not insured at the time of the citation and the violator has not obtained insurance by the due date, the violator must pay the full bail amount.

Traffic Court - Mandatory Appearances

Individuals who receive courtesy notices marked "Mandatory Appearance" are directed by the Court to appear on a date specified on the courtesy notice.

Traffic Court - Enhanced Court Collections (ECC)

Enhanced Court Collections (ECC) is a collection agency and is responsible for collecting delinquent court fines and fees. Once payment of a fine or bail becomes delinquent, the Court will add a $300 civil assessment and other monetary penalties to the amount still owed and forward the delinquent account to ECC. Once cases have been referred to ECC, violators lose the opportunity to work with the Court directly to resolve their outstanding cases, attend traffic violator school, perform community service work, or request any other relief from the Court. ECC will contact individuals to pursue collection efforts. Individuals will receive correspondence from ECC regarding their outstanding balances. ECC will also explain the collection methods that it may use to enforce court orders if fines or bail are not paid in full.

Individuals may pay delinquent fines or bail in full directly to ECC. They may also make these payments at the Traffic Clerk's Office. Payments may be made by cash, check, cashier's check, money order, Visa, or MasterCard. The Court does not accept Discover Card and American Express.

Please note that a payment by personal check will delay DMV release of a hold on driver's license and/or registration for 10 calendar days. To ensure that the hold on driver's license and/or registration is released within 2 business days, individuals must pay by cash, cashier's check, money order, credit card or debit card.

Please be advised that ECC cannot change the terms of any court order. ECC staff will work with individuals to establish payment plans, if necessary, to satisfy the court obligation.

ECC uses a variety of collection tools to collect delinquent bail and fines. As long as violators make payments according to payment plans established by the Court or ECC, ECC will manage these collection cases. If, however, ECC’s collection efforts are unsuccessful, ECC will refer delinquent cases to the State of California Franchise Tax Board Court Ordered Debt Program for assistance. FTB exercises its authority to garnish wages, seize funds in bank accounts and attach personal property to collect outstanding debt. These collection methods are very successful. ECC may also refer collection cases to another private collection agency for additional assistance. This agency will report delinquent payers to credit reporting agencies, which will have negative consequences on delinquent payers’ credit scores.

Traffic Court - Failure to Appear Holds and Penalties

An individual who disregards the citation or courtesy notice and fails to pay the bail or appear in court by the due date is subject to immediate penalties by the Court, as follows:

  • The Court will notify Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to place a HOLD on the issuance or renewal of the driver's license and/or vehicle registration;
  • Driving privilege suspension;
  • Transfer to the Enhanced Court Collection (ECC) program which will take responsibility for collection of this debt. For more information about ECC, please click here.
  • The Court will add a $300 civil assessment and other monetary penalties to the amount owed.

Receipt of a notice from the DMV regarding a hold or suspension of driver's license or registration due to a violation of Vehicle Code section 40508 indicates that the Court has reported the violator's failure to appear in court to DMV.

Once these violations have been reported to DMV, individuals must pay the increased amount of bail, which will include the civil assessment and other penalties.

Traffic Court - Payment Options

Traffic Payments - Online or by Phone

Customer Automated Support is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone or over the Internet to pay or make an inquiry. Online access is available here. Phone access is available by calling (805) 568-3959.

The court accepts debit/credit Visa, and MasterCard.

Express Service Drop Box

The Court provides an Express Service Drop Box at the Clerk’s Office for those individuals who do not want to wait in line to make a payment. For more information, please see below.

  • Cash payments may only be paid in person at the Clerk’s Office between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
  • Checks, cashiers checks or money orders, payable to: Clerk of the Court, may be sent by mail, or paid in person at the Clerk’s Office. Please note: When making a payment by mail, individuals must write the citation number and name of the person who received the citation on the check, cashier's check or money order to ensure that it is applied to the correct citation.
  • Credit card payments may be sent by mail, using the stub provided on the courtesy notice, paid by phone at (805) 568-3959, or paid in person at the Clerk’s Office between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Please note that a payment by personal check will delay DMV release of a hold on driver’s license and/or registration for ten (10) calendar days. To ensure that the hold on driver's license and/or registration is released within 2 business days, individuals must pay by cash, cashier's check, money order or credit or debit card.

The Court will grant a 30-day extension of time to pay, as long as the request for the extension was received before the due date.

To avoid waiting in line, individuals may drop off payments in our secure Express Service Drop Box, located at the Clerk’s Office. This locked box is emptied daily.

The public is encouraged to use our Express Service for the following kinds of transactions. PLEASE PRINT name and citation number on the envelope provided.

  • Payment of bail or fine
  • Request to attend traffic violator school along with full bail plus a $66 traffic violator school fee
  • Proof of registration, insurance or equipment correction along with a $25 transaction fee for each correctable violation
Traffic Court - Frequently Asked Questions

Traffic Citation Basics

I have been cited for a traffic violation or minor offense. What do I do now?

By signing the citation in the officer’s presence you have agreed to appear or resolve the issue by the indicated date. The Court will send a courtesy notice to the address on the citation once the citation has been filed with the Court, typically within one month from the date of the citation. The courtesy notice will provide more information regarding your specific options to resolve the citation.

Please note:

  • Santa Barbara County Superior Court can only resolve citations issued within the Santa Barbara County jurisdiction.
  • Traffic Court handles all infractions including traffic, animal, fishing, boating and infractions of local municipal codes.
  • Parking Citations are not handled by the Superior Court, parking citations are processed by local law enforcement agencies. Please direct inquiries and payments to the Santa Barbara Police Department or the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department. Please check your citation for contact information.

What if I do not receive a courtesy notice?

If you do not receive a courtesy notice by the date written at the bottom of your citation, you are still responsible to take action on or before the date listed on the citation. Please wait two to three weeks from the time you are cited before calling the Court to allow time for the citation to be processed.

Do I need to appear in Court to resolve this?

The date at the bottom of your ticket is the "promise to appear" date. It is not a court date but rather a ‘due’ date to resolve the citation in some way, either by paying it or setting up a contested court date.

Only a small number of citations require individuals to appear in court. The courtesy notices for these citations will have the words "Mandatory Appearance" on them.

My Courtesy Notice does not say "Mandatory Appearance". What are my options for resolving this matter?

If you do not need to appear in person to resolve your matter, you have several options:

Pay the full amount on the courtesy or final notice on or before the due date.

  • Payments, and payments with requests for traffic violator school, may be made online, by phone, by mail or in person. For more information on traffic violator school please click here.
  • If your citation requires a proof of correction you may need to provide appropriate documentation or have your citation signed off by a law enforcement officer or DMV representative and mail it to or appear at the Traffic Clerk’s Office with your documentation to resolve your issue. For more information on correctable violations please click here.

Request a payment plan.

The Court offers a payment plan that can be set up at the Traffic Clerk’s Office without appearing in Court. There is a $35 administrative fee to set up a payment plan. Your monthly payment amounts is based on your total bail amount. The payment plan cannot exceed 12 months in duration. For more information on how to make payments, please click here.

Request that the bail be converted to community service work.

The Court has a community service work program for individuals who cannot afford to pay the bail on their citations converted at a rate of $10 per hour worked. For more information on community service work, please click here.

Plead 'not guilty' by the due date and set a trial date.

Individuals who wish to contest their citations may schedule a court trial at the Traffic Clerk's Office. Court trials are scheduled throughout the week at various times. For more information on court trials, please click here.

Plead “not guilty” by the due date and request a trial by written declaration.

Individuals may request a trial by written declaration by appearing in person at the Traffic Clerk's Office or by writing to the Court to request this type of a trial. For more information on trials by written declaration, please click here.

What if I need more time to pay or appear?

You can request a thirty (30) day extension from the Traffic Clerk’s Office.

What happens if I do not appear or resolve my citation?

If you fail to pay the bail or appear in court, you will be charged with a failure to appear violation, the case will be sent to court collections, the amount owed will be increased by a $300 civil assessment and other monetary penalties, and your driving privileges may be affected.

Proof of Correction

What do I do if I receive a courtesy notice for a "fix-it" ticket? How do I show proof of correction?

For more information on how to resolve a “fix-it” ticket, please click here.

What do I do if I was cited for not having a driver’s license, registration or insurance?

For information on how to resolve a citation when you did not have a driver’s license, registration or insurance with you in the vehicle at the time you were cited, please click here.

What if I did not have registration, insurance or a drivers’ license when I got the ticket but I have it now?

For information on how to show proof and possibly qualify for a reduction in your bail, please click here.

What if I was cited for no registration but the vehicle was not mine?

If you were the driver, and you signed the citation, you are responsible for taking care of the citation.

Traffic Violator School

In addition to the bail, you must pay a non-refundable administrative fee of $66 when requesting traffic violator school. The Court accepts certificates of completion from classroom and online traffic violator schools accredited by the Department of Motor Vehicles. You will also be required to pay the fee at the traffic violator school you select. You must submit satisfactory proof of completion to the Court by your due date. If you do so, your citation will not be reported on your driving record. If you sign up for traffic violator school and fail to submit the certificate of completion to the Court by the due date, the Court will notify DMV of your conviction and this conviction will be added to your driving record.

If I go to Traffic Violator School do I still have to pay my full bail?

Yes, you must pay full bail to attend traffic violator school. The benefit you will get from completing traffic violator school is greater awareness of the traffic laws in California and the violation will not be reported on your driving record. This will help keep your insurance rates from increasing.

By completing traffic violator school, will the violation be taken off my driving record?

No, the violation remains on your driving record with the DMV. The Court reports to the DMV that you have attended traffic violator school. DMV will suppress this information from being reported on your public driving record and your insurance company will not have access to your violation.

Who is eligible for Traffic Violator School and how do I register?

For information on traffic violator school, please click here.

Can I attend Traffic Violator School if I am on a payment plan?

Yes, if you are eligible for traffic violator school, you may attend while on a payment plan. However, you will be required to pay the $66 administrative fee to sign up for traffic violator school and you will have to pay a fee at the school you attend.

What happens if I don't make my payments on time but I complete Traffic Violator School?

If you do not pay your full bail or make your monthly payments on time, the court will notify DMV of your failure to pay. Once this has happened, even if you complete traffic violator school and make late payment to fully pay off your bail, the DMV will not accept your proof of completion of traffic violator school and the conviction will be reported on your driving record. Please be aware of the importance of timely payments in order to ensure that the violation does not appear on your record.

Traffic Appeals

What is an appeal?

If you are found guilty at your court trial, you may appeal the judicial officer’s decision to the Court’s Appellate Division.

An appeal is NOT a new trial. The Appellate Division will review the evidence (testimony and exhibits) presented at the original trial.

The fact sheet Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions (CR-141-INFO) is available by clicking here

Is there a deadline to file an appeal?

Yes. You must file a Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (CR-142) within thirty (30) calendar days of entry of judgment or court order. If you miss the deadline, you lose your right to appeal.

Does the appeal stop the judge's sentence?

No. An appeal does not postpone the deadline for you to pay your fine or complete any part of your sentence. To postpone your sentence, you must ask the trial court for a "stay" of the judgment.

Do I have to file any other papers after the Notice of Appeal?

Yes. You must file a Proposed Statement on Appeal (CR-143) within twenty (20) calendar days after you file the notice of appeal. Or, you can file this document at the same time as the Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (CR-142)

Your Proposed Statement on Appeal (CR-143) must state why you are appealing.

Traffic and Infractions Online and by Phone

Can I access the automated system if I do not have the citation or driver's license number?

No, you must have one of the following in order to access the automated system: citation number or driver's license number.

Can I use the automated system to request an extension?

Yes, you can access the court's automated system to request a one-time 30 day extension.

Can I sign up for traffic violator school by the automated system?

Yes, you can access the court's automated system to sign up and pay for traffic violator school.

I want to plead not guilty and contest the citation; can I set a court trial date without posting the bail by the automated system?

No, you must post the required bail in order to set a contested hearing date by the automated system.

Can I change my court trial date by the automated system?

No, you must request to change your court trial date by mail or in person at least ten (10) calendar days before the hearing date.

Can I pay a reduced bail now and send in the proof of correction by mail?

No, you must mail or bring your proof of correction to the court along with your payment.

Can I use the automated system to set up a payment plan?

Yes, you can use the automated system to set up a payment plan. The $35 installment fee will automatically add to the total bail. Your monthly payment amount will be determined by the total amount due.

Traffic Court - Plead Not Guilty – Court Trial

Individuals who wish to plead 'not guilty' on a citation may schedule a court trial date by appearing in the Traffic Clerk's Office on or before the due date.

Court trials are scheduled throughout the week at various times. The Traffic Court clerk will schedule court trials. When requesting a court trial, an individual is assigned a trial date and the officer who issued the citation will be subpoenaed to appear at the trial.

The Court authorizes a trial date to be reset one time only. Requests for second and subsequent resets of the trial date will not be granted.

Court trials cannot be rescheduled for any reason when a request to reset the trial date is received by the Court within ten (10) calendar days of the trial date. The reason this cannot be done is because the Court will have insufficient time to call off the testifying officer.

Traffic Court - Plead Not Guilty – Trial by Written Declaration

Individuals may plead 'not guilty' and contest their citations without having to make a court appearance by submitting a written declaration to the Court. These trials are given the same consideration as any other trials heard in court.

An individual may request a trial by written declaration in person at the Traffic Clerk's Office or by mail by submitting a written request to the Court on or before the due date. Be sure to include current address and citation number with the request.

Individuals are required to post the full bail when requesting a Trial by Written Declaration. At that time the Court will direct the individual and the citing officer to submit a written declaration and will give a due date to return the declaration. Once the judicial officer has reviewed both declarations, the Court will issue the decision by mail.

Pursuant to Vehicle Code section 40902, defendants are required to post full bail when requesting a Trial by Written Declaration. If defendants fail to remit full bail at the time of the Request for Trial by Written Declaration, the Court will not grant these requests and will return requests to the defendants.

Below are links to the required forms for requesting trials by written declarations:

TR-200 - Instructions to Defendant

TR-205 - Request for Trial by Written Declaration

TR-220 - Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo)

Traffic Court - Community Work Service

Community service work is volunteer work performed at non-profit agencies in Santa Barbara County. Individuals who cannot afford to pay the bail on a citation may be eligible to perform community service work instead of paying the bail.
The bail amount is converted to community service work at a rate of $10 per hour.

For example, a $250 citation can be converted to 25 hours of community service work ($250 divided by $10 per hour equals 25 hours). To inquire about eligibility for community service work, individuals must come to the Traffic Clerk’s Office or contact the Court by phone. The clerk will provide information on how to get started.

Traffic Court - Failure to Pay Fines or Failure to Complete Community Service Work

Once the Court has adjudicated an individual's case and has ordered that individual to pay a fine, perform community service or comply with other sentencing requirements, failure to comply with these orders will result in immediate penalties by the Court, as follows:

  • The Court will notify Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to place a HOLD on the issuance or renewal of the driver's license and/or vehicle registration;
  • Driving privilege suspension;
  • Transfer to the Enhanced Court Collection (ECC) program which will take responsibility for collection of this debt. For more information about ECC, please click here#3;
  • The Court will add a $300 civil assessment and other penalties to the amount owed.

Receipt of a notice from the DMV regarding a hold or suspension of driver's license or registration due to a violation of Vehicle Code section 40508 indicates that the Court has reported the delinquent citation to DMV.

Violators may resolve delinquent violations by paying the increased amount of bail, which will include the civil assessment and other penalties.

Last updated: 05/27/2015
Disclaimer: The Santa Barbara County Superior Court has made every effort to provide accurate information on this website; however, inaccuracies and outdated information may be found here on occasion. External sites are responsible for their own content; the Santa Barbara County Superior Court accepts no responsibility for information found at other sites to which we are linked.

Contact Information:

CONTACT TRAFFIC BY EMAIL



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

Phone Hours:
Monday - Friday: 9:00am - 2:00pm


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

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

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




Spanish Language Services
The Traffic Clerk's Office has several Spanish speaking clerks to assist the public and some forms are also available for review in Spanish. In court hearings, there is usually a Spanish language interpreter in the courtroom to assist non-English speakers at these hearings.

Servicios en Español
La Oficina del Secretario de Tráfico tiene varios empleados que hablan español para ayudar al público y algunos formularios también están disponibles para su revisión en español. En las audiencias del tribunal, por lo general hay un intérprete en la sala del tribunal para ayudar a personas que no hablan inglés en estas audiencias.

 
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