Frequently Asked Questions


General Information | Traffic FAQ's

To obtain information on a Traffic case, search our online records.

WHAT IS A CIVIL TRAFFIC INFRACTION?
A civil traffic infraction is a non-criminal charge that can usually be disposed of by the payment of a civil penalty or an election to attend a defensive driving course. A court appearance is required when the violation involves serious bodily injury, a fatality, or leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle.

Charges include pedestrian violations, bicycle violations, Non-moving violations such as; not wearing your seat belt, not carrying your driver’s license, registration, or insurance card, expired registration less than 6 months, or expired driver’s license less than 4 months, moving violations such as; speeding, running a red light or stop sign, careless driving, child restraint violations, or failing to maintain a single lane, and parking citations.

OPTIONS FOR DISPOSING OF CITATIONS
You have 3 basic options. The Clerk’s office must receive your option with payment, when applicable, within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation. Once you choose an option, you cannot change your mind. Please click on the option below for more information:

PAY THE CITATION
If you choose to pay the civil penalty, you are admitting guilt and D.H.S.M.V. will assess points on your driving record for moving violations. For Driver License, Registration, or Insurance violations, proof of compliance is also required. See Driver’s License, Registration, and Insurance Citations for more information on these violations. The Clerk's office must receive payment and proof within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation.

You may make payment in person or by mail. If paying by mail, please remember that the Clerk’s office must receive the payment within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation. We are not responsible for lost or delayed mail. Enclose the yellow copy of the citation and the Traffic School Affidavit with payment so that we can match the payment to the correct case file.

Payment can be made with checks or money orders drawn on a United States Bank.

NOTE: ONCE YOU HAVE PAID IN FULL, YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR OPTION TO A SCHOOL ELECTION.

ELECTING DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL
You may elect defensive driving school on any non-mandatory case that has points assessed. These are typically your moving violations such as, speeding, running a red light, fail to maintain a single lane, child restraint.

If you elect the defensive driving school option, no judication is withheld, you must pay the full amount of the citation and DHSMV will not assess points against your driving record.

You are eligible to elect the defensive driving school once every 12 months and five times in your lifetime.

To elect this option, you must fill out the Traffic School Affidavit Form and pay the fine amount within 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation. The forms are available from the officer at the time they issue the citation, or from the Clerk’s office.

If you lost your form, click here to print a new one in English or Spanish

You must attend a defensive driving course in the State of Florida. Courses offered in other states are not acceptable.

Once you have completed the school, you must return the school completion certificate to the Clerk’s office within 90 days from the date you paid the school election fine.

It is your responsibility to enroll in a traffic school. For information concerning traffic school enrollment, locations, and fees, please contact a traffic school. Traffic schools are located in your local yellow pages under Driving Instruction. Some driving school brochures are available in the Traffic Division lobby.

NOTE: ONCE YOU ELECT SCHOOL, YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR ELECTION TO PAYING THE CIVIL PENALTY.

ELECTING A COURT HEARING
You can enter a written plea of not guilty and request a court hearing. The Clerk’s office must receive your request in writing 30 calendar days of the date the officer issued the citation.

If you appear in court, you waive your right to paying the civil penalty amount. The Judge can fine you up to $1,000.00 in some cases. The Judge can also order you to attend driver improvement school and/or pay a penalty. If you fail to attend a requested hearing, it will result in a driver's license suspension.

If it is impossible or impractical for you to appear in court in person, you can elect a court hearing by mail. The Clerk’s office will give you an Affidavit of Defense to complete. This form must be notarized. The Judge will read the affidavit in the courtroom. The officer and any witnesses will testify and the Judge will render a verdict. The Clerk’s office will notify you by mail of the disposition of your citation.

If you fail to appear for your court hearing, the Judge can hear your case without you being present. The Clerk’s office will notify you of the Judge’s decision.

DRIVER'S LICENSE, REGISTRATION AND LICENSE TAG
If the officer charged you with failure to carry or display a valid driver's license, registration or license tag, and you have proof that it was valid at the time the officer issued the citation, you may send a photocopy of your valid document, a $15.00 dismissal fee and the yellow copy of your citation to the Clerk's Office. Clerk's Office personnel will dismiss the charge.

IN ORDER TO ELECT THIS OPTION, YOU MUST ALSO COMPLETE THE “AFFIDAVIT / PLEA” FORM (PROOF OF VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE, REGISTRATION OR INSURANCE). This form is available on our website under “Forms”. Sign, notarize and return the form with your dismissal fee and copy of citation.

DRIVER'S INSURANCE CITATION
If the officer charged you with failure to carry valid insurance, and you have proof that it was valid at the time the officer issued the citation, you may send a photocopy of your valid document, a $18.00 dismissal fee and the yellow copy of your citation to the Clerk's Office. Clerk's Office personnel will dismiss the charge.

IN ORDER TO ELECT THIS OPTION, YOU MUST ALSO COMPLETE THE “AFFIDAVIT / PLEA” FORM (PROOF OF VALID DRIVER’S LICENSE, REGISTRATION OR INSURANCE). This form is available on our website under “Forms”. Sign, notarize and return the form with your dismissal fee and copy of citation.

IMPROPER OR UNSAFE EQUIPMENT VIOLATIONS
If you received a citation for improper or unsafe equipment, under Florida Statute 316.610, you have the opportunity to elect a reduced fine payment.

In order to obtain this option you must have a law enforcement agency inspect the vehicle and sign the back of the yellow copy of the citation. The law enforcement agency must sign the citation within 30 calendar days of the date they issued the citation. The agency will charge you a $4.00 inspection fee.

Bring or mail the signed yellow citation with a reduced payment of $96.00 to the Clerk’s office within 30 calendar days of receiving the citation.

If you choose not to have the equipment repaired, you must pay the regular fine amount.

HANDICAPPED PARKING TICKETS
If you submit proof that you had a valid handicapped parking permit at the time the officer issued the ticket, we will dismiss your case for a fee of $27.00. You must sign an Affidavit (disabled parking permit violation) at the Clerk’s office.

MANDATORY COURT APPEARANCE
The following charges require a mandatory court hearing:

  • Leaving a child in an unattended vehicle
  • An accident involving a serious personal injury
  • An accident involving a fatality

PENALTY AMOUNTS
These "penalty amounts" can and often do change as a result of the Florida Legislature enactment of laws. If you want to know the exact amount that you owe on a citation, contact the Traffic Department or visit the service counter at one of our office locations.

The officer who wrote and served you with your citation usually indicates a fine amount on the back of the citation. Occasionally, the officer might write the wrong fine amount. This error is not grounds to have the citation dismissed or the correct fine amount altered. Should this error occur, you will be charged the amount mandated by current law.

It is your right to contest the citation in court before a judge. Should you choose to exercise this right, the Court will determine the fine and fee amounts, which could be up to $1000.00.

If you want to elect Defensive Driving School, see the school election schedule amounts.

PAYABLE TRAFFIC FINE AMOUNTS
MOVING VIOLATIONS $166.00
CHILD RESTRAINT VIOLATIONS $166.00
NON-MOVING VIOLATIONS $116.00
SEAT BELT VIOLATIONS $116.00
BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN VIOLATIONS $64.50
PASSING SCHOOLBUS ON LEFT VIOLATIONS $206.00

PAYABLE SPEEDING FINE AMOUNTS
1-9 MPH OVER $131.00
10-14 MPH OVER $206.00
15-19 MPH OVER $256.00
20-29 MPH OVER $281.00
30 MPH OVER AND UP $Court Mandatory
Construction/School Zones
1-9 MPH OVER $156.00
10-14 MPH OVER $306.00
15-19 MPH OVER $406.00
20-29 MPH OVER $456.00
30 MPH OVER AND UP Court Mandatory

PARKING FINE AMOUNTS
COUNTY PARKING VIOLATIONS VARIES
COUNTY FIRE LANE VIOLATIONS VARIES
COUNTY HANDICAP VIOLATIONS VARIES
CITY PARKING VIOLATIONS VARIES

You will be assessed an additional $7.00 clerk's fee if you sign your affidavit in front of a deputy clerk.

EXTENSIONS TO PAY, ELECT SCHOOL, COMPLETE SCHOOL OR PROVIDE PROOF
If you need an extension to pay your fine, provide proof, elect school, or complete school, you must fill out a request for an extension. The request must state why you need an extension. The request must also contain your address and telephone number. Your request must be made before the original due date.

COURT CONTINUANCES
If your court date has been set the Clerk's office does not have the authority to change the court date. If there is a problem you should contact the office of the Judge or Hearing Officer assigned to your case and/or file the appropriate "Motion".

DRIVER LICENSE REINSTATEMENT
If your driving privilege has been suspended as a result of non-compliance for a violation in Monroe County, the Clerk’s office can reinstate your license as long as the Monroe County suspension is the only open suspension on your driver’s license record. You must have your physical driver’s license for the Clerk’s office to reinstate. The cost for this reinstatement is $47.50.

The Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicle can also reinstate your license for a fee of $47.50. You must have proof that all outstanding suspensions in every county have been satisfied.

30 DAY PRINTOUTS FOR HARDSHIP LICENSES
The D.H.S.M.V. may require you to furnish them a letter from the Clerk’s office reflecting any violations or charges you have incurred or had disposed of in the last 30 days. The Clerk’s office will charge you $7.00 for this service.
Clerk of Court
500 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL  33040
305-294-4641
FAX: 305-295-3615
Clerk of Court
3117 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL  33050
305-289-6027
FAX: 305-289-1745
Clerk of Court
88820 Overseas Highway
Plantation Key, FL  33070
305-872-7145
FAX: 305-852-7146
Clerk of Court
50 High Point Road
Plantation Key, FL  33070

OUT OF COUNTY CITATIONS
You must pay your citation in the county in which you received it. Some counties have Out of County Defensive Driving School Affidavits. You can fill them out and send them to the correct county. You may attend a school in another county. However, you must first take care of the citation in the county that issued the citation.

BRANCH LOCATIONS
For your convenience, the Clerk’s office has several branch locations. You can make payment in person at one of the satellite locations.
Clerk of Court
500 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL  33040
305-294-4641
FAX: 305-295-3615
Clerk of Court
3117 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL  33050
305-289-6027
FAX: 305-289-1745
Clerk of Court
88820 Overseas Highway
Plantation Key, FL  33070
305-872-7145
FAX: 305-852-7146
Clerk of Court
50 High Point Road
Plantation Key, FL  33070

CHANGE OF ADDRESS
If you have changed your address and you have a pending case, it is imperative that you notify the court, in writing, of your new address so that you receive all future notices and correspondence.

Please include the following information in your correspondence:

  • Your change of address
  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your telephone number
  • Your case or ticket number

WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT ARE ACCEPTABLE?
You may pay with cash, money order, or a personal check drawn on a United States bank.

HOW SOON AFTER ISSUANCE MUST I PAY THE TICKET?
The Clerk’s office must receive payment within 30 calendar days from the date the officer issues the citation.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DO NOT PAY MY CITATION WITHIN 30 DAYS OR COMPLETE SCHOOL WITHIN THE TIME FRAME?
If the Clerk’s office does not receive payment within 30 calendar days or your completion certificate within 60 days from the payment date, we will notify D.H.S.M.V. of your failure to pay. D.H.S.M.V. will begin the process of suspending your driving privilege.

The Clerk’s office will not suspend your driving privilege for failing to pay a parking ticket. However, the Tax Collectors Office may not let you renew your registration if you have certain outstanding parking tickets.

CAN MONROE COUNTY ACCEPT PAYMENT FOR CITATIONS ISSUED IN OTHER COUNTIES?
No. Monroe County can only accept payments on citations issued in Monroe County.

CAN I PAY MY CITY PARKING VIOLATION AT THE CLERK OF COURTS OFFICE?
No. You must pay your city parking ticket at Key West City Hall, located at 3106 Flagler Ave., Key West, Florida

CAN I OBTAIN AN AFFIDAVIT TO GO TO DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL IN MONROE COUNTY IF MY TICKET WAS ISSUED IN ANOTHER COUNTY?
Yes. You can come to any Monroe County Courthouse, or any satellite office, and obtain an Out of County Affidavit. The charge for the affidavit is $7.00.

DOES GOING TO DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL KEEP THE CITATION OFF MY DRIVING RECORD?
No. The citation will show on your full driving record, but will show adjudication withheld. This means no points will be assessed. The citation will not show on your 3 year driving record.

CAN I ELECT TO ATTEND DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL AFTER I HAVE PAID MY CITATION?
No. Once you pay your citation, you have made your one election for that violation. If you wish to attend school, you must make that election at the time you pay the citation.

DOES ATTENDING DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL KEEP MY INSURANCE RATES DOWN?
It is up to the individual insurance company as to whether or not going to school will keep your rates down. It is best to contact your insurance company if you are unsure.

WHERE CAN I FIND A LIST OF DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOLS?
To find a list of Defensive Driving Schools, look in your local yellow pages under Driving Instruction. Some school brochures are also available in the Clerk’s office lobby.

WILL THE SCHOOL NOTIFY THE CLERK’S OFFICE WHEN I HAVE COMPLETED THE CLASS?
No. You must send your completion certificate to the Clerk’s office. We must receive the completion certificate within 60 days of the date you elected driving school.

DRIVER IMPROVEMENT SCHOOLS
For your convenience, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle has provided information regarding appropriate driver improvement courses and approved schools on their website. See List

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