Law enforcement officers issue traffic tickets in Illinois for a wide range of infractions. Drivers can either dispute traffic tickets through the state courts or pay the fine. If you do not settle your traffic citation by the date displayed on the ticket, you will be subject to further fines and penalties. Motorists wondering how to pay a traffic ticket in IL can generally complete the procedure via several methods, such as online, in person or by mail. Note that the available traffic tickets payment methods may vary based on the county where the ticket was incurred and whether or not the driver committed a traffic violation that requires a court appearance. Learn how to resolve an Illinois traffic ticket issue by reading the following sections:
- Fighting an Illinois ticket.
- Paying an Illinois ticket.
- Lost tickets in Illinois.
- Illinois fines and penalties.
- Points in Illinois.
- How tickets affect an Illinois driver's license.
- Illinois car insurance fines and violations.
Fighting an Illinois Ticket
Drivers who would like to fight traffic tickets in Illinois can request a hearing date with the court that is processing their citation. Depending on the county where the traffic violation was committed, motorists may be able to inform the court of their decision via several methods. Note that IL traffic citations issued as a result of misdemeanor offenses can also lead to jail sentences, as opposed to tickets issued for minor offenses which only result in specific traffic fines.
After presenting your traffic ticket case, the judge will make his or her ruling. If you are found guilty, you will be required to provide the ticket violation payment, as well as payments for any additional fees and costs. In such cases, the traffic offense will also be reported to your driving record, which may lead to the accumulation of a certain number of demerit points. Motorists found innocent of the traffic violation will not be subject to any adverse actions against their driving privileges, and they will not be required to pay the IL ticket fine.
Paying an Illinois Ticket
The process of paying driving fines in Illinois can generally be completed online, by mail, in person or by phone. Drivers who are able to pay traffic ticket online, for instance, can complete the procedure by providing their ticket's information through the website of the court handling their case. However, if your IL traffic citation is designated as a "must appear" ticket, you will be able to pay your ticket only in person on the date and time indicated on the citation. Learn more about the process of paying a speeding ticket in IL, as well as other types of citations, by visiting the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page.
Lost Tickets in Illinois
Regardless of whether drivers choose to pay driving tickets in Illinois or contest the issue in court, they generally initiate either procedure by utilizing the information contained within the traffic citation. Therefore, if you lose your IL traffic ticket, you may encounter certain difficulties when settling the issue. The methods available to retrieve the data from a lost ticket may vary based on factors such as the county where the ticket was committed and whether or not you are required to appear in court. Certain county courts, for instance, offer an online option to search for traffic citation information by providing your driver's license number and your birth date. If you are unable to access your traffic violation data via the internet, you can still do so by contacting the court that is handling the ticket.
Illinois Fines and Penalties
Motorists who elect to pay traffic citations in Illinois and plead guilty can successfully complete the procedure by providing a payment in the amount stated on their traffic tickets. Note that, the base IL traffic fine and the additional court costs and/or surcharges generally vary based on the type of offense and the county where it was committed.
Illinois traffic violations committed within Cook County, for instance, result in a $120 fine, unless the traffic citation was issued for failure to wear a seat belt or speeding 21 to 30 mph over the posted speed limit. In such circumstances, drivers will be required to pay a $60 and a $140 fine, respectively. Also, drivers who would like to attend a state-approved traffic school to avoid a conviction on their driver's records may be required to pay a higher fine.
Note: Motorists who were issued a ticket for a misdemeanor offense may also be punished with a jail sentence, in addition to a fine penalty.
Points in Illinois
When drivers commit traffic violations in Illinois, they generally accumulate a specific number of points on their records. However, not all traffic tickets result in a point-related penalty, regardless of whether the conviction is reported on the driver's record or not. For instance, minor offenses such as crossing a fire hose or driving with damaged headlights are non-point assigned infractions.
Review several IL traffic violations and their corresponding point penalties in the following list:
- Driving below the minimum speed limit: 5 points.
- Negligent driving: 10 points.
- Disregarding traffic lights and signals: 20 points.
- Following too closely: 25 points.
- Driving more than 25 mph over the posted limit: 50 points.
Note: Certain types of offenses will result in an immediate suspension or revocation of the motorist's driving privileges. In such cases, the IL Secretary of State (SOS) will not assign any points to the driver's record.
How Tickets Affect an Illinois Drivers License
In addition to paying driving fines in Illinois, motorists who were issued traffic tickets within the state may also be subject to other adverse effects. Per the rules and regulations of the state point system, for example, adult motorists who receive three or more tickets within a 12-month period are at risk of a license suspension or revocation. Based on the nature of the traffic violation and the resulting IL traffic citation, the severity of the SOS penalty varies. Certain county courts may offer the option of completing an approved traffic safety school program for purposes of avoiding a conviction.
Illinois Car Insurance Fines and Violations
Illinois traffic tickets can also be incurred by operating a vehicle without car liability insurance coverage. Note that no-insurance traffic violations in IL may also result in driver's license suspensions, which can be lifted once the affected driver reestablishes his or her mandatory coverage and provides the necessary proof to the SOS. Traffic citations are also issued for failure to provide proof of insurance upon request from a police officer.
Note: Since IL car insurance providers generally review the driving record of applicants prior to negotiating the terms of a policy, motorists who receive tickets on a regular basis may also inadvertently increase their insurance rates.