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11 May2022

Can you just pay a fix it ticket?

It can be frustrating when you’re pulled over for some kind of equipment related issue that you didn’t know was a problem or knew and regretted not getting it fixed earlier.   It’s not a situation where you disagree with the officer or are worried about points and insurance (most typical equipment violations will not be an issue) so you think – what if I just pay it?

What is a “Fix-It” Ticket?

A “fix-it” ticket is what many people casually call what the DMV would refer to as an equipment violation.  Article 9 of the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law covers the rules regarding “equipment of motor vehicles and motorcycles”.  There are many obvious and more common ones related to brake lights and window tints and some a little more obscure such as “no lamp shall be used on a motor vehicle having a light source greater than thirty-two candle power”.  

These are violations that are not related to actions taken while actually driving the vehicle but are related to the vehicle’s equipment instead.  As such, the law and courts will typically look favorably upon those who “fix” the issue quickly and can produce proof of the repair(s).

Is a fix-it ticket Bad?  Is it Serious?

Fix-it tickets are not too bad.  These equipment violations do not carry points and generally will not appear on a driving record.  

They can however add up as far as the fines are concerned.  Avoiding or minimizing these fines, plus the fact that you’ll need to fix the issue anyway (or risk an unsafe condition or getting more tickets) means it’s often worth getting a quick repair made and submitting the proof of repair to the court.

Remember though that any ticket, no matter how minor, can escalate into a bigger problem like license suspension or credit issues if it is not handled one way or the other in a timely manner.  Driving with a suspended license is the same serious misdemeanor whether the suspension was caused by failure to answer a ticket for a broken signal light or failure to answer a ticket for a very high speed.  Make sure you stay on top of any equipment violation you receive.

Can you just pay a fix-it ticket?

Yes, you can pay a fix-it ticket. This means that you will pay the fine to the court, as is stated on the ticket you received or you would submit a guilty plea and then get notification of the specific fine amount due.  

In theory, you can pay almost any ticket you are issued.  The question is usually more of whether paying it is the best decision when considering your driving record and the potential expense.  If you agree that you’ll need to repair the equipment eventually anyway then you probably should avoid just paying the ticket and work on getting the equipment issue fixed.

How to fix a fix-it ticket?

As you might expect, taking it to a mechanic or purchasing the equipment needed is a good start.

The Vehicle and Traffic Law states that repairable equipment violations fixed “not later than sunset on the first full business day after the issuance of the summons” shall be dismissed upon submission of proof to the court.  The types of proof accepted are listed in Sec 376-a(5) of the NYS VTL.  

Basically, the quicker you get it done and the more legitimate your proof of repair is then the more likely you are to get the ticket dismissed.  If the repair is done a little later or perhaps the proof a little less acceptable then it’s up to the individual court, judge or prosecutor to determine whether to accept it in full or perhaps lower the fines due.  

Traffic courts, counties, police departments want you to get it fixed and are likely to err on the side of rewarding those who do with dismissals or reductions of the fine.  Suffolk County NY recently rolled out a program where they will actually give vouchers to pay for certain fixes when you are pulled over.  

What about Commercial Drivers and Trucking Tickets?

These tickets are often based on federal transportation or local tax laws and deal with issues (axle leaks, fire extinguishers, certain taxes and labels, etc) that will have different rules and procedures than the typical equipment violation on a personal vehicle.  While the idea will ultimately be the same on these (get things fixed as quickly as possible), it is often not that simple.  Any individual or corporate owner issued tickets after an inspection of their commercial vehicle should contact an attorney to review.

We handle hundreds of such commercial vehicle violations every year throughout NYS and are happy to offer a free consult to anyone with questions about these.  

Call Us Today!

If you are a CDL holder or a corporation with equipment tickets pending or an individual with a situation that goes beyond the typical fix-it equipment situation or have had a simple ticket escalate into a bigger issue for some reason, reach out and give us a call.   lost your fix-it ticket, can’t afford to repair your vehicle, or can’t make the necessary repairs before your court date, call TicketHelp today!

Let an NYC traffic violation lawyer help you figure out what your options may be.  Call or contact us through our website at your convenience.