Every city and county government has its own procedures for paying speeding tickets but your ticket normally becomes past due if you fail to pay it within a month of the issuance date. In many municipalities, you cannot pay a past due ticket online. Instead, you have to make an in-person visit to the courthouse or make a payment to a collections firm. A court can assess penalty fees and even suspend your license if you pay your speeding ticket late, all of which adds to the cost of settling the debt.
Locate your speeding ticket and contact the city or county court listed on the ticket. Provide a clerk at the courthouse with your name, speeding ticket number, vehicle registration number and any other relevant information that the clerk requests. Ask the clerk whether your ticket has been sent to a collection firm or remains with the record keeping division at the courthouse.
Go to the courthouse in person to make your payment if the record keeping department still holds the debt. In cases of late payments, many courthouses only accept payment in the form of credit cards, debit cards, official checks, money orders or cash. Personal checks are not typically accepted for late payments.
Ask the clerk how much you owe including any late fees and fees necessary to reinstate your license if the state suspended it on account of your failure to settle the debt. Pay the ticket and ask for a receipt. If the court turned the debt over to a collection firm, then you must obtain payment information from the courthouse but make the payment to the collection firm directly. Remember to ask for a receipt from the collection firm and take your receipt to the courthouse to have your license reinstated.
In many states, when you get a speeding ticket you are given a choice between paying the fine, or enrolling in driving school and paying a reduced fine. When you pay a past due ticket, driving school may remain an option even though you have to pay penalty fees on top of the original amount of the debt. Some states limit the number of times that you can go through driving school so you if you have been involved in an accident within the last few years you must check if you are eligible to re-enroll before you pay for new classes.
If you fail to pay your ticket, the court may suspend your license and issue a warrant for your arrest. Depending on your state's laws, you could end up in jail if you fail to pay your speeding tickets on time. Furthermore, most courthouses and collection firms report past due tickets to credit reporting bureaus. An unpaid ticket will appear on your credit report as a bad debt for up to seven years. Bad debts cause a drop in your credit score and make it difficult for you to obtain credit.