Courtesy Notice: This is not a Ticket

courtesy notice

I received one by mail, it was related to a Failure to Stop on a Turn Right at Red Light. I was not driving the car although is my car and I am the registered owner. The ticket says it's a Courtesy Notice: This is not a Ticket. 

What is a courtesy notice?

You will get a courtesy notice 45 - 60 days after you get your citation (ticket). This notice tells you about your options. If you do not get a courtesy notice by the date written at the bottom of your ticket, you must contact the court by phone, in person, or by mail. See the Traffic Courthouse locations page.

Before contacting the court, please check traffic records on the Case Info website. (You can not take care of your citation until it is in the Court's computer system.)

A courtesy notice is a computer-generated document sent to recipients of a traffic violation. Generally speaking, they are sent out for other minor violations and misdemeanors. However, in this case, they will be discussed in the context of traffic violations.

Courtesy notices are sent as a way to inform the recipient about what is expected of them as a consequence of the violation. It could be detailed on the fine or bail payable, court dates if any, and other out-of-court settlement arrangements are available. In a nutshell, they are basically a how-to letter to help you get past this legal glitch in your record.

1. Court appearance details

Here the notice will let you know whether a court appearance is mandatory or not. If it is, you also get details on the date, time, and location of your court session.

2. Information on fines and bail

In this case, the notice contains information on how much is owed as well as procedures to be followed in the payout process.

3. Whether Trial by Declaration is a viable option

Trial by declaration is an option that allows you to challenge traffic citations without having to go to court. Courtesy Notices will let you know whether or not you qualify for this option. And if you do qualify for trial by declaration, there should be information on how to start filing and what you need to do.

4. Consequences of failure to comply

A Courtesy Notice also serves as a warning letter to those who plan on ignoring citations and court dates. In this case, the notice lets you know how much you risk should you decide to not comply with the court’s requirements.

5. Additional options including traffic school

If traffic school is a correctional option for your type of traffic violation, details will also be included on the notice.

When do I have to respond to the Courtesy Notice?

Your courtesy notice will have a due date. You must exercise your options on that date. If you do not get a courtesy notice by the date at the bottom of your ticket, you must contact the court by phone or in person. See the Traffic Courthouse locations page.

Before contacting the court, please check the Case Info website to be sure your citation is in the Court's computer system.

When will you receive your courtesy notice?

The next important thing is to understand when to look out for it. The notices are generally sent out within 30 days after the traffic ticket is issued. This gives the departments involved time to review your case and compile relevant content for your individualized notice. They use your physical address details surrendered during the roadside citation. So once you get your ticket give it 30 days and you will have all the information you need and what to do about it.

Bottom line

It goes without saying that Courtesy Notices are not to be ignored. They could be what saves you a lot of money and helps keep your legal record spotless. So in the unfortunate event that you end up cited for some traffic violation or other, keep an eye out for these notices for information on the way forward.