Traffic Ticket – Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do on this website?

Depending on the violation cited and your compliance or court date, you may be able to make a payment on a ticket or a payment plan, submit proof of compliance, request a court hearing or check the date and time for an upcoming court hearing. For specific information about your ticket, click the “Pay Ticket Online” button on the right side of this page and follow the prompts.

What happens if I miss my compliance date or don’t pay the ticket on or before the compliance date?

According to T.C.A. §7-3-502, failure to satisfy your citation by the compliance date will result in a default judgment which will increase the amount you owe and can result in a civil fine/penalty, court costs, litigation taxes to the Metro Government; the issuance of an execution and garnishment to collect the fine/penalty, costs and taxes; and the issuance of a bench warrant for your arrest for contempt of court, with a penalty of up to five (5) days in jail and/or a fine of up to ten (10) dollars. In addition, the Clerk’s Office is required to report the failure to comply to the Department of Safety which can result in the suspension of your driver’s license and T.C.A. 20-12-144 allows the Clerk’s Office to retain the services of a collection agency if any portion of the fine or costs have not been paid within six (6) months of the date of default.

What is the $44.00 Administrative Court Cost for?

Pursuant to T.C.A. §8-21-401, the Clerk’s Office is required to collect a civil filing fee of $44.00, which is collected for each violation cited on your ticket that results in a conviction or guilty plea. This fee is not due on any violations that are nullified.

What is the $13.75 fee for?

Effective July 1, 2011 and pursuant to T.C.A. §38-6-103, the Clerk’s Office is required to collect $13.75 on each violation paid prior to the compliance date. In accordance with the statute, the fees shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the Court to the State Treasurer for deposit into a fund for use by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

If I receive a ticket for failure to have proof of insurance and I just pay the fine, what happens?

Paying the fine will result in the suspension of your driving privileges. Please visit our Insurance Violations page for specific information.

What happens if I sign up for Traffic School but don’t pay the fines and fees I owe to the Traffic Violation Bureau?

Only moving violations can be satisfied by attending Traffic School and paying the $44.00 Administrative Court Cost due on each violation. Failure to pay the $44.00 Administrative Court Cost and the fines or fees for any non-moving violations on or before your compliance date will result in the assessment of additional fees and possible suspension of your driver’s license.

When is my court date?

Only Metropolitan Citations written for misdemeanors are given a court date at the time the ticket is issued. If you have been issued a Metro Traffic ticket, you will only be given a court date if you wish to plead not guilty. For specific information on your options for satisfying your ticket, or to submit a request for court hearing prior to your compliance date, click the “Pay Ticket Online” button on the right side of this page or select “Pay Citations Online” from the Traffic Violations Bureau drop down menu and follow the prompts.

The information on my ticket says I have 45 days to pay my ticket. Does this include weekends?

Yes. Only if the 45th day falls on a weekend or holiday observed by the Traffic Violation Bureau does your compliance date move to the next business day. To see the compliance date on your case, click the “Pay Ticket Online” button on the right side of this page or select “Pay Citations Online” from the Traffic Violations Bureau drop down menu and follow the prompts.

How do I know if I’m eligible for Traffic School?

Once your request for Traffic School has been received, the Traffic School Office will determine if you are eligible to attend based on your driving history and on which Traffic School classes you may have already attended. For additional information on the Traffic School or to register online, please visit their web site.

Note: Only moving violations can be satisfied by attending Traffic School. If you have also been cited for non-moving violations, you must satisfy those violations with the Traffic Violation Bureau by your compliance date.

I have a question about Traffic School. How do I contact the Traffic School office?

The Traffic School is operated by the Davidson County General Sessions Court, not the Traffic Violation Bureau, and may be contacted at (615) 862-8345. If you have questions about eligibility, scheduling or rescheduling an online or in-person class, directions to class locations or general Traffic School inquiries, please contact the Traffic School office.

I lost my ticket but I want to apply for Traffic School. What can I do?

You may call the Traffic Violation Bureau to get your ticket number and issue date. Click the “Pay Ticket Online” button on the right side of this page or select “Pay Citations Online” from the Traffic Violations Bureau drop down menu and pay the $44 Administrative Court Cost for each school eligible violation. If you have been cited for both Moving and Non-Moving violations, you must satisfy the Non-Moving violations by paying the fine/fee (Option A) or pleading not guilty and requesting a court hearing (Option B) by your compliance date. Once the $44 Administrative Court Cost has been paid, you can apply for school on the Traffic School web site.

You may also download and complete the Traffic School application printed on the Traffic Court Information Sheet and mail or deliver it to the Traffic Violation Bureau along with a check, money order or cashier’s check payable to the Traffic Violation Bureau. Payment to the Traffic Violation Bureau should include the $44.00 Administrative Court Cost for each moving violation, the $90.00 Traffic School fee, and any fines or fees owed for non-moving violations cited on your ticket.

How much time do I have to pay my ticket after the compliance date?

Once your compliance date has passed, a default judgment is entered against you, increasing the amount you must pay to satisfy your ticket. You have 10 calendar days after your compliance date to pay the increased amount before the judgment is reported to the Department of Safety and your ticket is referred to the Traffic Warrant Division for collection.

My ticket doesn’t have a lot of the information that this web site talks about. A Tennessee State Trooper wrote the ticket. Does that matter?

It certainly does. It sounds like you got a “State Citation” and those tickets are not handled by the Traffic Violation Bureau. State Citations are handled by the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office. If you received a State Citation for driving on a suspended license and have not yet been booked, you can call (615) 880-3781 for information. For all other State Citations, call (615) 862-5653.

Can I pay my traffic ticket or submit proof of compliance online?

Depending on the violation cited and your compliance or court date, you may be able to make a payment on a ticket or a payment plan, submit proof of compliance, request a court hearing or check the date and time for an upcoming court hearing. For specific information about your ticket and available options, click the “Pay Ticket Online” button on the right side of this page and follow the prompts.

If I plead “not guilty” and request a hearing, what happens in court?

You should bring any documentation that supports your plea of “not guilty” to court with you. Arrive early at the Justice A. A. Birch Building as you must go through security before proceeding to the courtroom. Please enter the courtroom and take a seat. You must wait for your name to be called on the docket. The Judge may review any documentation and ask you or the issuing officer to testify about the specifics of your case. If your case is not continued, the Judge will make a ruling on each violation charged on your ticket(s).

When I go to court, will I have to pay any money on my ticket?

Depending on the ruling of the Judge, you may have to pay litigation tax, costs and a fine.

Can I request a court date on the Traffic Information Sheet after the compliance date?

No. The Court’s orders only allow for a court hearing to be requested on or before the compliance date.

What are the pros and cons of attending Traffic School rather than paying my citation?

Attending School:
In accordance with T.C.A. §55-10-301, upon certification to the Court Clerk that a Court-ordered Driver Education or Improvement Course has been completed, the Court Clerk shall report the completion to the Department of Safety.

Paying Citation:
In accordance with T.C.A. §55-10-306, if you pay the citation, the Court Clerk shall report the conviction or forfeit to the Department of Safety.

Department of Safety Rule on Point System:
Rule 1340-1-4-2.02(3) of the Tennessee Department of Safety states “upon receipt of a moving traffic conviction notice, the Department shall charge points to the driver’s record.” Please contact the Department of Safety if you have further questions.

When I pay my ticket, how many points are assessed to my driving history?

The Tennessee Department of Safety is the agency responsible for assigning point values to driving histories. You may visit their website by clicking on https://www.tn.gov/safety/driver-services/reinstatements/values.html

Violation/Offense Definitions

General Information