How to Pay Your Traffic Ticket in Los Angeles Superior Court
Pay in Person or Online
One this page, will learn about the following:
- Paying your ticket to GC Services when you have a Failure to Appear (FTA)
- Alternative methods of paying GC Services
- Paying your traffic ticket when you have a Failure to Appear (FTA) or Matter Set for Compliance
- Paying your traffic ticket when you have not missed the scheduled court date
- Paying your traffic ticket online, at the courthouse, or by mail
- Why it is always better to fight your traffic ticket than to pay
Paying the Fine on Your Traffic Ticket When You Have a Failure to Appear (FTA)
If you did not handle your traffic ticket by the due date and never appeared in court, the Los Angeles Superior Court will charge you with a Failure to Appear (FTA) and place a Vehicle Code (VC) 40509.5 Hold on your driver’s license. More than likely, this will cause your license to be suspended for six months.
Due to the Failure to Appear (VC 40509.5 Hold), the fine on your ticket will increase dramatically. To collect this fine, the Los Angeles Superior Court will refer your ticket to GC Services, a collection agency. If you contact the Los Angeles Superior Court to handle the ticket issue, you will be advised that GC Services is now in charge. Therefore, the court no longer has anything to do with the ticket.
If you are in this situation and want to clear up the ticket issue and prevent your driver’s license from being suspended, you should pay the demanded fine from GC Services in person at the courthouse (using the GC Services window) noted on the bottom of the ticket or pay online. To make a payment to GC Services online, visit www.courtpay.gcserv.com. Be aware of the risks associated with paying your ticket fine with GC Services.
Ricks When Paying GC Services
Keep in mind, these risks only apply if you have not gone to court to see a judge pertaining to your ticket. If you have already been before a judge, then please read the explanation of Failure to Appear (FTP).
- Risk One – If you have not yet seen a judge and you decide to pay the fine with GC Services, you will be paying an extremely large fine and pleading guilty to all charges according to the ticket. The charges on the ticket will then be added to your license record with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If the ticket was issued for speeding and you pay the fine to GC Services, a speeding ticket will be recorded on your DMV record. As a result, one point will be added to your license. If you get four points within a 12-month period, you will be considered a Negligent Operator by the DMV. At that time, the DMV will attempt to suspend your driving privileges for a period of six months.
- Risk Two – If you pay the fine to GC Services to clear up a suspended driver’s license, there is no guarantee when your record will actually be cleared. Typically, after paying GC Services, the issue with your license is corrected with a few days. Unfortunately, we have worked with people who have paid GC Services and are still fighting to get their license issued resolved. Therefore, if you choose to pay the fine to GC Services, always make sure that you get a guarantee as to when the Hold on your license will be released.
Matter Set for Compliance
Paying a Traffic Ticket Fine After Having Already Seen a Judge and a Failure to Pay (FTP)
IF you have gone before a judge and pled guilty or no contest, and that judge has ordered you to pay a fine or perform community services, but you failed to do either one by the due date, you will be formally charged with a Failure to Pay (FTP). More than likely, a DMV Hold will be placed on your driver’s license, putting it in suspended status.
With a Failure to Appear (FTP), the amount of the fine will increase significantly. At that time, your case will be referred to GC Services by the Los Angeles Superior Court. In this situation, we cannot help. The only time we can provide assistance is if you have not yet seen a judge.
After seeing a judge, you will be prohibited from seeing a judge again. We have no options available to get the DMV Hold taken off your license. The only solution is for you to pay the outrageous GC Services fine. The best option is to pay the fine in full. If necessary, you can set up payment arrangements with GC Services. However, until the fine is completely paid off, your license will remain suspended.
With a Matter Set for Compliance, you have seen a judge and are ordered to pay the GC Services’ fine in order to clear up the suspension on your driver’s license because of having a Failure to Pay (FTP). For a Matter Set for Compliance, we cannot help.
When the ticket fine is not paid according to the due date or you fail to perform community service after having seen a judge, you are in a really bad situation, especially if your driver’s license is suspended. You will not be offered a second chance to pay the initial fine or complete the community service. Your only viable option at that point is to pay the hefty fine to GC Services to get your license issue cleared up.
Paying a Traffic Ticket off if You Have Not Missed a Court Date
Paying Your Ticket Online
As long as you have not missed the court date shown on the ticket, you can usually pay the fine online.
Remember, if you choose to pay your ticket off without fighting, you are essentially pleading guilty to the charges imposed on the ticket. Therefore, if the ticket was issued for speeding or a failure to stop violation, because these are moving violations, one point will be added to your license record. In addition, there is a good chance that your insurance rate will increase.
Paying Your Ticket by Mail
Although paying your ticket by mail is an option, we strongly discourage this action.
In fact, at no time do we recommend that you pay a traffic ticket by mail. Because of budget cuts, the courts in Los Angeles County are extremely short staffed. Therefore, it can take an extremely long time for the mail to be processed, including your payment. All too often, people will mail a payment into the court and end up getting charged with a Failure to Pay (FTP) because of slow processing. Ultimately, they are charged, fined, and face suspended driving privileges.
Now, if you live outside of Los Angeles County and cannot pay the ticket online for one reason or another, mailing the payment in is your only real option. In this case, we strongly recommend you:
- Make a photocopy of everything being mailed
- Add the citation number on the memo line of the check
- Mail the payment via express mail or Federal Express and request a proof of delivery date
After the Ticket Due Date
In most cases, the court will not accept a fine that is mailed in after the due date. Instead, there is a good chance of being charged a Failure to Pay (FTP).
Paying Your Ticket at Court
If you are a resident of Los Angeles County, one of the best methods for paying the fine on a traffic ticket is by physically going to the courthouse. The exact court location is clearly listed on the bottom portion of the ticket. By paying this way, you are 100% confident that the payment was made and processed. In addition, you can get a receipt in hand for the payment.
Remember, you must pay the fine for your ticket at the appropriate courthouse. Locations for the various Los Angeles Superior Courts in Los Angeles County are available at www.lacourt.org/courthouse.
- How to Check If your License is Suspended
- Check the Status of Your Traffic Ticket Online