In some cases drivers are allowed to pre-pay their traffic ticket online or by phone. Generally speaking, tickets issued for traffic infractions are pre-payable.
How to Determine If Your Ticket Is Pre-Payable
One way to determine whether or not your traffic ticket is pre-payable is to look to your summons (the
piece of paper given to you by the officer) to see whether or not the box stating: YOU MAY AVOID COMING TO COURT ONLY IF THIS BLOCK IS CHECKED AND ALL INSTRUCTIONS ON DEFENDANT'S COPY ARE FOLLOWED is checked. This box can be found towards the center of the summons. If it is checked your ticket is likely pre-payable. If it is not checked or the officer drew a line through the statement that you could avoid coming to court, this means the ticket is not pre-payable.
Ways to Pre-Pay
Most courts allow you to prepay three ways. (1) Coming down to the court to pay the ticket, (2) Calling the clerk's office to pay over the phone, or (3) Going online to pay through the online court system.
Pre-Paying is an Admission of Guilt
It is important to note that if you pre-pay your ticket you are admitting guilt to the charge. Your pre-payment of the ticket will result in a conviction against you. Therefore, it is important to understand the nature of the charge against you and the possible consequences of that charge.
Paying Online Pre and Post Court
You can pay your ticket online prior to your court date provided that you do so before 3:30 PM of the last business day before your court date. To pay your ticket online go to: https://eapps.courts.state.va.us/gdcourts. Find the court that you are to appear before (listed on your summons) in the left hand section of the page. Search for your case either by entering in your name, entering the court case number, or entering in your hearing date and scrolling to find your name. Once you find your name, if your ticket is prepayable you will see a "mark for payment" button on the left hand side by your case. Click this button, and then click the process payment button towards the bottom of the page, and then the "continue payment process" button. If the "mark for payment" button is not listed by your name, your ticket is not prepayable. Reckless driving tickets are not prepayable.
Paying After Court
By statute drivers convicted of a traffic infraction or crime have 30 days to pay the fine and any associated court costs. Generally speaking, if the driver does not come to court and is found guilty, the court will mail the bill for the fines and court costs to the defendant's address listed on the summons. It is however always a good idea to call the court to verify the bill will be sent and that the address is correct. Court's policies will vary from court to court. If you fail to pay your court costs within 30 days, or within the time period specified by the court, your privilege to drive in Virginia will be suspended. A conviction for driving with a suspended license is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.
Paying by Mail
Either go online to the Virginia Courts Website and find your case using the steps outlined above in the paying online section of this page. Locate the amount you are to pay in fines and court costs and the reference number. Write a check for the total amount (fines and court costs) to the court to which you were summoned to appear. This court is listed towards the top left of your summons. Include the reference number on your check. The address of the court is also listed on your summons below the court you were summoned to appear at. Alternatively, call the clerk's office of the applicable court and ask for the amount owed, reference number, and the court's mailing address.