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How do I know if I have outstanding tickets?

Updated April 17, 2017

Unpaid, outstanding tickets can be a huge nuisance if left unchecked. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, outstanding tickets can lead to increased fines and sometimes license suspension. The sooner you take action, the more likely these fines will not become outrageous and your license will not be suspended. If you are unsure whether you have outstanding tickets on your record, obtain a driving record from the state.

Track Down Your State's DMV

Obtain your driving record from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. A simple web search will provide the contact information for your state’s DMV. One helpful resource is DMV.org, a comprehensive third-party website with information on all things DMV-related.

Request Your Driving Record

There are several methods for obtaining your driving record. Every state now has a mail order, phone request line, and an online system for ordering your driving record. Online ordering typically requires a credit or debit card.

Information on Your Driving Record

Examine your driving record. You will notice that your driving record will list every violation, suspension, Failure to Appear (FTA) or Failure to Pay (FTP) from any state that you have had a violation in. It will list every outstanding or paid violation on your record.

Now What?

According to CarInsurance.com, if you have an outstanding ticket and fine that has eclipsed its due date (FTP) or court date (FTA), that conviction and offence will appear on your driving record. The court that has filed this offence with the state will be listed on the record.

Contact the Court

Contact the court that filed the offence against you to see what your options are. In most cases, if you pay the fine, the court will forgive the charge, and you will be free to drive.

Other Tips

If you wish to have your driving record expedited (the DMV can take two to three weeks to provide your record), there are a number of third-party organisations that you can contact for a fee, such as 4safedrivers.com and DrivingRecord.net.

Another quick way to find out if you have any tickets on your record is to contact your local police department, which can quickly run your driver’s license number and let you know on the spot what your status is. Be aware that if there is an offence on your record that could suspend your license, the police have the power to take it.

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About the Author

Steve Miller was a journalism major at Texas A&M University and has worked as a film production assistant, music and media supervisor, freelance writer and assistant editor for an online publication. He has written for publications like "Relevant Magazine," "Greater Than Magazine" and eHow, as well as Web copy for non-profits, businesses and websites alike.