Dec 22, 2014

Traffic Division (Adult)

Location: Hall of Justice, 600 Administration Drive, Room 109J, Santa Rosa CA 95403
Office Hours: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM Mon-Fri
Court Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Mon-Fri
(707) 521-6680 8:00 AM to Noon Mon-Fri
(707) 521-6587 8:00 AM to Noon Mon-Fri Traffic School Referrals

traffic Division Home Page

For Juvenile Traffic Related Issues click here

The Traffic Division processes moving violations, as well as a variety of other infraction vehicle code violations and some city and county ordinance violations. If you have received a traffic citation, a Courtesy Notice will be mailed to you at the address on the citation. The Courtesy Notice includes the bail amount for this citation, the due date when payment must be made, eligibility for Traffic Violator School (TVS), information on clearing a "fix-it" violation with proof of correction, how to pay by credit card, and where and when to report if you would like to appear in Court.

If you do not receive a Courtesy Notice within 6 weeks of receiving the citation, please call the Traffic Court at 521-6680. Court telephone operators are available to assist you 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM noon, Monday through Friday. Automated attendant information is available 24 hours a day. You must have your citation or courtesy notice with the citation number to use the automated 24 hour attendant.

Clearing A Ticket

If the citation doesn’t require a mandatory appearance in Court you may follow the instructions on the Court’s Courtesy Notice to clear a citation. Options generally available to all citations are as follows:

  1. Pay (forfeit) the bail amount. This will close the citation and report the conviction to your driver’s license record.
  2. Submit the signed "Certificate of Correction" with appropriate fee to the Court. Any police officer may sign-off most correctable violations. Violations of 16028 VC (automobile liability insurance) will only be dismissed upon: (1) showing or mailing evidence of financial responsibility (to the Court) which was valid at the time this notice to appear was issued, and (2) payment of a transaction fee. The California Department of Motor Vehicles may sign-off vehicle registration and driver license violations.
  3. Sign-up with the Court and attend Traffic Violator School (TVS), if eligible. Classroom, home study, and online internet classes are available throughout California. NOTE: If you are eligible and decide not to attend Traffic Violator School, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. One conviction in any 18-month period will be held confidential and not show on your driving record if you complete a Traffic Violator School. See below for further information regarding Traffic Violator School.
  4. Request a Court trial. Please refer to the section below entitled "To contest Your Citation" for more information.

Traffic Court

Most citations are cleared with the Court without appearing before the Judge. Walk-In Court is Traffic Court’s arraignment process. Individuals who have a citation that requires a mandatory appearance or who are requesting a trial date must appear in Walk-In Court. You must also appear in Traffic Court if you wish to contest your citation or if your Courtesy Notice indicates a mandatory appearance is required.

Generally when the officer issues a citation to appear in Traffic Court the violation is an infraction and the citation will include an appearance date. You must clear your citation with the Court on or before this date, or any Court issued extension of this date. The court will mail a Courtesy Notice to you at the address on the citation. The Courtesy Notice will explain how to clear the citation with the Court (See Clearing A Ticket). If you do not receive a Courtesy Notice within six weeks of receiving your citation contact the Traffic Division immediately at 521-6680.

If you are unable to clear your citation before the due date, you can receive an extension for most citations. You can receive an extensions by visiting the Court’s website at sonoma.courts.ca.gov and clicking on the “Pay Online” link. You may also obtain an extension by calling 521-6680 between 8:00 AM and 12:00 Noon – Monday through Friday. Failure to clear your citation, or appear by the due date, will result in the addition of a civil assessment late fee. All signed citations will be assigned to collections for processing. If your citation goes to collections, you must call Court Collections at (707)521-6659 to clear your citation. If your citation is in collections, Traffic Court staff cannot assist you. Go to Court Collections Division page

Walk-In Traffic Court is held Monday through Friday. You must arrive and check in at the Traffic Division, 600 Administration Drive, Room 109-J at 8:00 AM on the day you wish to appear in Court, on or before the due date indicated on your citation. A limited number of cases are heard each day and are on a first come first served basis. Court begins at 9:00 AM. Walk-In Court can not be prescheduled. Shorts and tank tops are not appropriate attire for the courtroom.

Traffic Violator School

You may attend Traffic Violator School (TVS) if you meet the following guidelines:

  1. You have not attended TVS in the last 18 months plus one day since date of last violation
  2. You have a valid California Driver License (Non-Commercial)
  3. Your speeding violation is not more than 25 miles per hour over the speed limit
  4. Your violation did not occur in a commercial vehicle

The Courtesy Notice identifies the fees that must be paid to the Court before you may sign-up for TVS. These fees are the Bail Amount (varies by violation) and a State/Court Administrative fee. An additional fee, usually $25 – $35 will be charged by the TVS provider when you enroll in their class. You may send check or money order for the total amount due plus an Administrative Fee. TVS forms will be mailed to you. ALL TVS FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. If you are eligible, and decide not to attend TVS your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.

If you fail to complete Traffic Violator School, or fail to return your Certificate of Completion to the Court by the due date, your bail will be forfeited, and your case will be closed and reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles as a conviction.

Return TVS Certificate Of Completion To:

SUPERIOR COURT TRAFFIC DIVISION
600 ADMINISTRATION DRIVE ROOM 109-J
SANTA ROSA, CA 95403-2878

»Sign up & pay for Traffic School on the web

To Contest Your Citation

If you wish to contest your citation, you may plead NOT GUILTY by using one of the following methods:

  1. Post the amount of bail stated on your courtesy notice with the Declaration of Intent to Plead NOT Guilty and Request a Trial Date with the Court before the citation due date. You will be notified by the Court of a Court Trial date with the officer present.
    Please note that bail may not be posted over the Internet or through the Court’s IVR phone system.
  2. Request a written Trial by Declaration by posting the bail amount stated on your courtesy notice with the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (TR-205). Please read the instructions before filling out the form and filing it with the Court. The bail and the declaration must be submitted before the due date listed on your courtesy notice.
    Please note that bail may not be posted over the Internet or through the Court’s IVR phone system.
  3. Request a Court Trial by appearing in Walk-in Court.

Payment Options

For Payment on the Web (Credit Card, E-Check), click here.
Payments in Person: You may pay your traffic citation in person at the address listed below by using VISA or MasterCard, check, money order or cash.
Payment by Mail Information: DO NOT MAIL CASH TO THE COURT.

You may pay your traffic citation by mailing a check or money order to the address listed below. Partial payments are not accepted. To clear a correctable violation, submit the signed-off "Certificate of Correction" and the correction fee. Please write your citation number on your check or money order and include your Courtesy Notice with your payment. Paying your citation is considered a forfeiture of bail and will close your case. A bail forfeiture is the same as a conviction and will report to your driver license record. If you are eligible and wish to attend Traffic Violator School (TVS), please read the Traffic School section regarding sign-up prior to mailing of payment. If you are eligible for Traffic School and choose not to attend, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected. Using the pre-addressed Courtesy Notice return envelope will expedite the processing of your payment. Mail payments to:

SUPERIOR COURT TRAFFIC DIVISION
600 ADMINISTRATION DRIVE ROOM 109-J
SANTA ROSA, CA 95403-2878

failure to respond to citation

You must complete one of the following actions on or before the due date on the Courtesy Notice, or any court approved extension of this due date:

  1. Appear,
  2. Submit payment,
  3. Submit your "Certificate of Correction" and correction fee,
  4. Submit your completed “Trial By Declaration” (TR-205), or
  5. Have your case scheduled for a “Court Trial” by the Court,

If you fail to complete one of the above options by your due date the court may take the following actions:

  1. Add a civil assessment late fee.
  2. Transfer your citation to a collection agency.
  3. Place a hold on your driver license with the Department of Motor Vehicles which may result in suspension of your driving privileges.
  4. Issue a warrant for your arrest.

Frequently Asked Questions

I just got a traffic citation a few hours ago; What is my bail amount?

Court staff is unable to provide the bail amount on an unentered citation. Once entered, your citation's bail amount is calculated by a computer program which uses the court's violation bail schedule and your Driver License Record to calculate the bail amount due.

Why isn’t my citation on the Traffic Court’s computer?

Many factors can affect the issuing agency's filing of a citation with the court, and its subsequent entry into the court's computer by the Court's Data Entry staff.

Generally, a citation will not be entered into the courts computer in less than two weeks from the violation date on your citation.

The appearance date on an infraction citation should be at least 60 days from the violation date.

This should provide adequate time for both the enforcement agency and the court to process your citation.

Once your citation is entered into the court's computer system a computerized courtesy notice will be mailed to your address, as listed on the citation, explaining how you may clear the citation with the court.

You may clear your citation with the court anytime after you receive the courtesy notice from the court.

If you do not receive the courtesy notice within a week of your appearance date please contact the court for further information by calling 707-521-6680.

Errors, or omissions of information from the citation, can delay the processing of a citation. Generally, the Court's Traffic Division only processes citations issued for infraction and less serious misdemeanors which may be heard as infractions, referred to as 'Wobblettes'. Although traffic in nature, serious violations including those listed below, when issued to an adult are filed with the District Attorney's Office and are heard by the Court's Criminal Division.

  • 12500a VC – Unlicensed Driver ( Vehicle impounded for 30 days )
  • 14601a VC – Driver License Suspended – Negligent Operator
  • 14601.1a VC – Driver License Suspended – All other, except Failure To Appear (Vehicle impounded for 30 days)
  • 23103a VC – Reckless Driving
  • 23109a VC – Speed Contest
  • 23152a VC – Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of Alcohol or Drugs
Can I get an extension of the appearance or fine due date?

After your citation has been entered into the court computer most citations are eligible for an extension.

You may call (707) 521-6680 to request an extension of your citation's due date or visit the Court's website at sonomasuperiorcourt.com and click on the "Pay Online" link.

Why is my bail amount so high, how is my bail amount calculated?

Bail amounts for infraction violations of the Vehicle Code are established by the Judicial Council of California in accordance with Penal Code Section 1269(c), Vehicle Code Section 40310, and Judicial Council of California Rule of Court 4.102 (Uniform bail and penalty schedule).

The 'Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule is established in order to achieve a State-wide standard of uniformity for setting bail on these violations.

Additional factors which may affect your 'Total Bail Amount Due' include:

  1. The number of violations on your citation.
  2. The number of "Priors" on your California Driver License being charged.
What is the ‘STATE MANDATED SECURITY FEE’?

In 2003 The California State Legislature enacted Penal Code Section 1465.8, “To ensure and maintain adequate funding for court security, a fee of forty dollars ($40) shall be imposed on every violation and upon conviction for a criminal offense, including a traffic offense...”.

What is the ‘Priors’ fee listed on my Courtesy Notice?

Pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 42004 the Superior Court of Sonoma County considers your California Driver License record when determining the total bail amount for your citation. Any conviction, for which the Department of Motor Vehicles assesses one or more 'points' in accordance with Vehicle Code Section 12810, with a violation date within 36 months of the violation date shown on your courtesy notice is considered a 'Prior'. Priors are charged at the following rate:

Number
of priors
Amount Charged
One $ 50.00
Two $ 90.00
Three $130.00
Four $170.00
Five $210.00
Six $250.00
Can I make monthly payments to pay the bail or fine amount due on my citation?

If you are paying (forfeiting) the bail or fine amount due to close your case, the entire amount must be paid at one time.

If you need more time to pay your ticket you may request an extension of your due date by calling (707) 521-6680.

If you would like a monthly payment plan, you must appear in 'Walk-in Court' and request the payment plan from the Traffic Commissioner.

There is an additional fee of $35.00 charged when your case is assigned to a monthly payment plan.

If your case is assigned to a monthly payment plan you will not be able to attend Traffic Violator School (TVS) on this citation. If you wish to attend TVS to keep the conviction from appearing on your driver license record you may wish to request an extension of your bail fine due date rather than seek the payment plan option.

Walk-in Court is heard Monday – Friday. Sign-up for Walk-in Court begins at 8:00 AM. There are a limited number of cases heard each court day on a first come basis. Walk-in Court typically begins at 9:00 AM.

Can I attend Traffic Violator School (TVS) on my citation?

Generally, the Courtesy Notice mailed to you by the court will indicate if your citation is eligible for assignment to Traffic Violator School (TVS).

If eligible, you must first pay the "Total amount due with Traffic School" amount, as indicated on the Courtesy Notice, before your citation will be assigned to Traffic Violator School status.

This amount includes a non-refundable Court Administrative fee.

After the court receives your payment you may sign-up and attend any CLASSROOM Traffic Violator School on the DMV approved Traffic School list.

If you wish to attend a 'Home Study' (Internet, Video, or Book) course you are limited to attending a course currently on the Sonoma County Superior Court's approved Home Study List.

A copy of this Home Study List will be mailed to you after you pay the indicated TVS amount due.

Your citation may be eligible for Traffic School if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You must have a valid California Driver License.
  2. If your citation violation date occurred on or after September 20, 2005 and you hold a class A, B, or C commercial driver license, or you were driving a commercial vehicle, your citation is not eligible for traffic school.
  3. Your citation must be reportable to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  4. Your violation must not carry a negligent operator point in excess of the following:
    CLASS 'C' or 'M' = 1 point
  5. You must not have received a citation within the last eighteen months for which you have attended traffic school, or are currently assigned to attend traffic school.
  6. Your violation must be an infraction, not related to the use or possession of alcohol or drugs.
  7. Your citation includes a speeding violation and your alleged speed is 25 MPH or less in excess of the posted limit.
How can I contest my citation?

If you wish to contest your citation, you may plead NOT GUILTY by using one of the following methods.

© 2014 Superior Court of Sonoma County