If you received a ticket or a traffic citation, you may receive a Courtesy Notice from the court in the mail. If this is your first contact with the Traffic Court process, most of your questions will be answered by information provided on the Courtesy Notice.
The "bail" on a traffic ticket is the amount of money required to guarantee your appearance. Your courtesy notice will show the amount required. If you choose to forfeit the bail on the citation, the violation is considered paid, and the resulting conviction will be placed on your driving record, if it is a reportable offense.
Credit card payments are accepted online, or you can pay by mail, by phone, or in person at the Courthouse.
Please click on the link above to use your credit card with our automated online payment system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Clearlake Traffic Division:
The Superior court is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., except for court holidays. The office is located at 7000A South Center Drive in Clearlake, CA 95422.
From Highway 20, take Highway 53 south. Continue to Dam Road. Turn left on Dam Road and take an immediate left again on Dam Road Extension. Continue on Dam Road Extension to South Center Drive. Turn left at South Center Drive and continue to court facility located at 7000 A South Center Drive, which is the last building on the right.
From Highway 29, take Highway 53 north. Continue to Dam Road. Turn Right on Dam Road and take an immediate left on Dam Road Extension. Continue on Dam Road Extension to South Center Drive. Turn left at South Center Drive and continue to court facility located at 7000 A South Center Drive, which is the last building on the right.
Paying By Mail:
If you would like to pay by check or money order, send your payment in full to the Court at the address indicated on your courtesy notice. Please write your case number on your check or money order. Do not mail cash. Partial payments are not accepted.
Please note that there is a $25 fee added for checks returned unpaid by the bank. You will be mailed a notice approximately 30 days after the check is returned.
Failure to pay by the due date may result in further action and additional costs. No extensions will be granted.
To arrange a payment plan, please visit or call the Division of the Superior Court at 7000A South Center Drive in Clearlake.
The amount of the fine for some proof-correctible violations may be reduced if proof is promptly obtained and shown to the Court.
Proof of correction can be obtained by visiting a law enforcement agency or DMV, depending on the type of violation, and having an agent fill out the certificate of correction located on the reverse side of your citation. Please note that some agencies will charge a fee to sign off your citation.
If you were cited for expired vehicle registration, expired license or no license in possession, you may have a representative from the Department of Motor Vehicles fill out the certificate of correction.
Proof of insurance cannot be signed-off by a law enforcement officer or agent from the DMV. It must be sent directly to the court clerk. If you did not have insurance at the time of the violation, and have now purchased insurance, you may be eligible for a reduced fine. Please contact a court clerk for more information.
Proof of correction must be received by the court along with a fee of $25 for each correctible violation on or before the due date indicated on your courtesy notice.
You may be eligible for traffic school if you have not attended traffic school within the last 18 months. To sign up for traffic school, you must pay your fine plus a $52 administrative fee, either by mail, in person, or using this system.
Upon payment, you will be given 90 days to complete a DMV-approved or approved on-line traffic school and return proof of completion to the court. Extensions will not be granted. If you fail to submit proof by the due date, a conviction will be reported to the DMV and a point will be added to your driving record. The school will charge a fee that is in addition to the amount paid to the court. Please contact a Lake County approved traffic school for times and locations of classes. To find a DMV licensed Internet, Home Study or Classroom traffic violator school acceptable by the court, simply search the DMV’s Traffic School Provider look-up system at: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/olinq2/welcome.do . If you are a minor or are cited with a misdemeanor you must appear in court. At the hearing you may request traffic school. The judge will determine whether or not you may attend.
Holders of commercial drivers licenses are prohibited from attending traffic school, pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 42005, even if they were driving a non-commercial vehicle at the time of the violation.
You are also not eligible for traffic school if you are charged with an alcohol or drug-related offense. You are not eligible for traffic school if you are charged with a two-point violation.
For more information, you may call the court and speak with a clerk at 707-994-6598.
1. When traffic bail is not required:
You have the right to appear in court for arraignment to contest the alleged traffic infraction without prior deposit of bail. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.105.) If you choose NOT to post bail under the options described under #2, below, you must appear as instructed on the citation, even if you do not receive a courtesy notice. When you appear for an arraignment hearing, you will enter a plea. If you plead not guilty at arraignment, you may ask for a court trial on a separate date.
The court may require payment of bail at arraignment before trial if:
- you do not sign a promise to appear as ordered by the court, or
- the court finds (and states the reasons for the findings) that, based on the circumstances of your particular case, you are unlikely to appear without a deposit of bail.
(Cal. Rules of Court, rule 4.105(c).)
2. When traffic bail is required:
A. Post (pay) and forfeit bail:
If you do not wish to challenge your traffic citation and there is no mandatory court appearance, you must pay the bail for noncorrectable violations and provide proof of correction and pay the fees for any correctable violations by the due date on the citation. The court will report a conviction for any noncorrectable violations to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
B. State your intention to plead not guilty and request a trial date:
If you want to plead not guilty and schedule a court trial, you may tell the court, in person or in writing, that you intend to plead not guilty. Your case will be set for an arraignment and trial date on the same day, unless you request arraignment and trial on separate days. To take advantage of this convenience, deposit of traffic bail is required. (See Vehicle Code section 40519(a).) If you are found not guilty at trial, your bail will be returned.
C. Plead not guilty in writing and request a trial date:
If you want to plead not guilty in writing and schedule a court trial, you may do so by mail or in person with the clerk. Your case will be set for an arraignment and trial date on the same day, unless you request arraignment and trial on separate days. To take advantage of this convenience, deposit of traffic bail is required. (See Vehicle Code section 40519(b).) If you are found not guilty at trial, your bail will be returned.
D. Trial by written declaration:
You may avoid all court appearances by choosing to have a trial by written declaration. This means that that instead of going to court to contest your case, you and the citing officer provide testimony and any evidence in writing. (See Vehicle Code section 40902.) You must post the bail amount to use this procedure. If you are found not guilty, your bail will be returned.
Your options to challenge your infraction ticket include:
- Request an arraignment (no bail required) and request a trial at your arraignment;
- Exercise your option to notify the court of your intent to plead not guilty and set court appearances under Vehicle Code section 40519(a) (bail required);
- Exercise your option to submit a not guilty plea in writing and schedule appearance in court under Vehicle Code section 40519(b) (bail required); or
- Request a trial by written declaration under Vehicle Code section 40902 (bail required).
You may request an arraignment and court trial in person or in writing to contest your ticket for a traffic infraction. You have a right to an arraignment without payment of bail, but in some circumstances the court can require you to deposit bail before your trial.
1. In-person request for a trial
2. Written request for trial
- You may ask the clerk in person at the court to appear for an arraignment in court and court trial, consisting of multiple appearances.
- Your arraignment may happen on the same day that you make your request. If not, you may be required to sign a promise to appear for the arraignment date.
- You will not need to deposit traffic bail for a trial unless:
- you elect a statutory procedure that requires the deposit of bail;
- you refuse to sign a promise to appear as required by the court; or
- the court finds and states the reasons for the findings at arraignment that, based on your particular case, you are unlikely to appear for trial without a deposit of bail.
- You may ask the clerk in person at the court to schedule a court trial, consisting of either a single appearance (arraignment and trial on the same day) or multiple appearances (arraignment and trial on separate days). This option is a convenience to you that requires deposit of traffic bail when you make this request. (Vehicle Code section 40519(a).)
You may choose to ask in writing for a court trial, consisting of either a single appearance (arraignment and trial on the same day) or multiple appearances (arraignment and trial on separate days). This option is a convenience to you that requires deposit of traffic bail with your written request (Vehicle Code section 40519(b).)