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How to Pay a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee

Citations or traffic tickets are issued in the State of Tennessee for various violations of traffic law. You must respond to a citation, usually by paying a fine or appearing in court, or else a warrant may be issued for your arrest and your driving license may be suspended.

If you wish to dispute the citation, you must appear in court personally on the scheduled date, and enter a "not guilty" plea. Appearing in court gives you an opportunity to fight the traffic ticket in front of a judge or jury, and most people prefer to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to defend them in court. For more information on how to dispute a traffic ticket in Tennessee, see our general section on Traffic Tickets and Violations.


When you pay a ticket, you are essentially pleading guilty to a traffic offense. Motorists should be aware that receiving and paying a traffic citation could result in higher car insurance rates and points on your driving record. Your license may be suspended if you accumulate too many points on your driving record.


If you decide to plead guilty to a traffic violation, there are several ways to pay the ticket. Generally, the back of the citation will clearly indicate the deadlines and options for answering the ticket. Usually, you must act within fifteen days of receiving a traffic ticket to avoid additional fines and possible suspension of your license.

  1. Pay online. Some county courts in Tennessee allow you to pay traffic tickets online. Payment options are usually given on the ticket. If not, you can call the contact number provided on the ticket for more information.
  2. Pay by mail. Read the instructions on the back of the ticket carefully, then check the "Guilty" box and sign the ticket. Enclose a check or money order for the amount indicated on the ticket and mail to the court where your ticket is answerable. Remember to include your citation number with the payment. Be sure to retain a copy of the citation for your personal records.
  3. Pay in person. You can pay your traffic tickets at the court where your ticket is answerable. Bring the citation with you along with cash, check, money order or credit card.


If you decide to plead not guilty and dispute the ticket, read the instructions on the back of the ticket carefully. The instructions will generally indicate when and how to plead not guilty, and information about appearing in court to dispute your ticket. See our general section on Traffic Tickets and Violations for more information about how to dispute a traffic ticket in Tennessee State.


Remember that you cannot be found guilty of committing a traffic offense unless there is clear, accurate and convincing evidence that you committed the violation. Charges may be dismissed in court if the citation includes vague or incorrect information. For instance, vehicle information, time, location and circumstances must all be indicated correctly on the ticket. Many motorists choose to consult with a traffic ticket attorney to help them evaluate the validity of the ticket, and whether or not it is likely to be dismissed in court.


If you lost a traffic ticket after receiving it, you must contact the court where the ticket is answerable. If you do not know the name of the appropriate court, contact the local Department of Safety (DOS) office or call DOS at (615) 741-3954.


Reviews of How to Pay a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee

It would be helpful to have an online payment system that let you enter international addresses for online traffic ticket violations payments. I received a ticket while visiting family and shortly thereafter moved out of the country. Due to this I could not attend the court date and I was also unable to pay my ticket online because only U.S. addresses are accepted in the address form for online payment. Please consider adding this option/functionality to the state's system.

It would be helpful if payment options for out-of-town visitors are printed on the traffic citations issued by the Greeneville Police Dept. I have now been on hold with the number listed on the speeding ticket for more than 30 minutes in an effort to determine HOW IN THE WORLD a California resident handles this type of citation in a timely & responsible manner!

So true about TN!!!! I was in Nashville this weekend for the NCAA tournament, I spend an INSANE amount of money in that town, and what do I leave with?? The dumbest ticket ever!! I was leaving the Green something or other mall and turning left onto I have no idea road as I have never been there before in my life, I was following the GREEN LIGHT when all traffic stopped suddenly. I had no where to go at that point therefore I was left blocking one lane of traffic coming right at me. Incidently, if about three cars in front of me would have pulled forward just a little, then I would have been fine. The older gentleman in the car I was blocking (not on purpose for heaven's sake) was not only rude but, obnoxious as well. So much for Sourthern Hospitality!! Well Mr. Officer whips down the center turning lane, jumps out of his car, HAND ON GUN no less, and proceeds to SCREAM at me to move. I had nowhere to go!!! He belittled me and was far beyond rude. Worst part was that within those 60 seconds I could have been more than out of the way. He caused more chaos than I did!!!! Well, low and behold he gives me a MOVING VIOLATION ticket that will go on my 30 year CLEAN RECORD!!!! I just spend $2,000 in your fair mall ALONE!!!!! Thanks for nothing NASHVILLE!!! I'll never spend a dime in that town again. If I were blocking traffic on purpose sure, hand me the ticket I deserve but, all I was doing was following the traffic lights!!! How was I to know that apparently in the south no one knows how to time traffic lights to coincide with each other!!!! Stupid, stupid ticket. And being 600 miles away I have no choice, but to pay the fine.

Sorry you had such a rediculous incident while you were in Tennessee. Please don't let the stupid "Rednecks" and dumb "Hillibillies" give southerners a bad name, trust me, we hate them as much as the next guy...and unfortunately for whatever reason we have, are stuck living with them everywhere!!!

P.S. Yes, somehow some of the dumbest idiots in the entire world can get a license to be a cop here, it's all in who you know usually.

the move over law in tennessee being a class b misdemeanor is totally ridiculous, especially if there wasn't any place to go. I received a citation while visiting sick in-laws in Warren county, on SR 70. there was a flatbed red semi next to me and i did not have any place to move over, unless I stopped traffic. the deputy said he didn't see the semi, only my car(with out of state tags). I don't live in tennessee, i live in florida, i contacted an attorney in florida who put me in touch with an attorney in Tn.

I was coming from an intersection with a red light, two lane road and there were cars in both lanes. The 2 deputies had someone else pulled over up ahead, but coming from the red light and the semi next to me, there was no where to go. I am fully aware of the pull over law, put it being a class b misdemeanor is not logical when i could not prevent the incident. As I passed the 2 deputies, the one in front(they were in 2 separate vehicles)didn't even turn his lights off, just pulled in behind me, while i was stopped about 8-10 other vehicles, with local tags, passed in the same lane and did not pull over. the other deputy made no attempt to stop any of those vehicles. the second deputy only got out of his vehicle 1 time and got right back in. Since I live in Florida and it is almost impossible for me to drive back up there for a court hearing, I am not saying that I did not pass, see, or was not aware of the law, it is in Fla, too, but it is only a moving violation. I have not had any tickets, accidents, or anything on my record and am very upset about this whole incident. It may be detrimental to by business and I feel it whole thing was unfair, out of state tags seemed to have something with the matter. SR 70 is only a 2 lane road(in each direction) and there is hardly anywhere to move over to when other traffic is beside you. I have hired an attorney for this matter, since I can not be in court. Seems the state of Tennessee doesn't like out of state visitors!