What should you do if you’ve lost your NY traffic ticket, can’t find it and know that a deadline of some sort to respond or show in court is approaching or has passed? The answer depends on where the ticket was issued and what information you may have available concerning the charge.
In some situations you’ll be able to find information online. In others you may need to contact a court directly or obtain a copy of your driving record. In certain situations you may just need to wait to receive a notice from the court or the DMV.
If you are having any issues with an old or lost traffic ticket and you aren’t sure where it was issued or what to do, we may be able to help. Feel free to give our NYC traffic ticket lawyers a call (888) 842-5384 or contact us online. The advice and discussion is always free.
What to Do If You Lost Your Traffic Ticket
If you know you have a traffic ticket issued in your name but aren’t sure where you received it or what the ticket number is or what you need to do next then you need to find out. Ignoring it will only lead to an eventual suspension of your driver license.
The following are some tips if you are trying to deal with a ticket you lost or don’t have the details necessary to take the next action.
Replacing or Finding Information on a Lost Ticket in NYC / TVB
If your traffic ticket was issued in Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan or Staten Island then you’ll have an easier time following up on it and staying timely.
If you’ve been charged with a moving violation in NYC at the TVB, and you know your ticket number, you can check the status online here: https://transact2.dmv.ny.gov/pleadnpay/
This online search will require a search by either your NYS client ID number from your driver license or your name and date of birth. Out of state drivers may have a tough time because the name must be entered exactly the way the officer did on the summons or a name search won’t work. ID number is definitely preferable for these searches. The second part of the search is either the last four digits of your social security number or a ticket number.
If you don’t know your ticket number and the social security number doesn’t work, you can still try the website using a “dummy” number that matches TVB format (try 4211111111). Sometimes the dummy number will get you a “we didn’t find that, but you do have these tickets…” type of message. If the dummy number trick doesn’t work and/or you are just having a hard time locating anything online, you can always visit any of the TVB offices and one of the clerks on the information line can potentially help you find what you are looking for.
Note that a brand new ticket can take a few days to show in the system so if you were just issued a TVB traffic ticket and don’t see it online when you check then be sure to check back again soon.
Replacing or Finding Information on a Lost Criminal (Pink) Ticket in NYC
If you’ve been charged with a vehicle and traffic law misdemeanor in NYC such as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (driving while suspended or revoked) or Reckless Driving, then you can try to find your case information here: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/webcrim_attorney/AttorneyWelcome (login as a public user). If not (not all cases will be visible or entered on Webcrims), there are a finite number of criminal courts in each borough. Worst-case scenario, you can pay a visit to the court(s) in the borough where the summons was issued to track it down and make sure the matter is handled.
Replacing Nassau County / Westchester County / All Upstate, Local Court Traffic Tickets
If you’ve been issued a traffic ticket in one of the local village, town, city or county courts and you know which court the ticket was answerable to, you can just call the court directly. The court clerk can update you on the status of the case and what you need to do to proceed — or get everything back on track if deadlines have already passed. The clerk can help whether you know your ticket number or not. They will ask you for the information they need.
If you don’t know which court is handling your case, it’s a little trickier. The problem is there are many courts in each county, and you would literally need to call each court individually. Perhaps you remember it happened near or around a certain town or certain exit on a highway and, using a court directory and map, you can narrow it down and put together a list of two or three courts to contact. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, it’s the same, and you’ll need to contact the court directly.
If you are unable to figure out which local court your case is in, you’ll unfortunately have no choice but to wait. There’s a procedure that should eventually provide you with the information you need. Once the court in questions deems you “late” on some deadline to answer or appear in court, they will notify the DMV. The DMV will in turn send you a notification that you’ll need to respond to so and so court by a certain date or risk suspension. This is your opportunity to respond and get things back on track with your case prior to a suspension. It’s not foolproof (people move, have old addresses on a license, miss a letter in the mail, etc), but you at least have a shot of avoiding a suspension, even if you have completely lost your ticket and have no idea where it was issued.
What if I Have No Information on a Lost Ticket but My License is Suspended?
If you have learned that your license has been suspended then ordering a copy of your driver abstract will allow you to see where the issue is. It may not have all the details but you’ll at least learn which court you are dealing with and then, depending on the court, you could look online or call or visit in person if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Replacing Lost NY Traffic Tickets
How do I find my ticket number without a ticket?
In NYC, you may be able to find it online using the “dummy ticket” strategy of entering a fake ticket number such as “4211111111” and then hope that it pulls up any other tickets under your name or ID Outside NYC, you’d need to either figure out which court it’s in and contact the court directly or simply wait for the DMV to notify you that there’s a problem with the particular case.
How to pay my ticket if I lost it?
The answer is more or less the same way you’d find your ticket number. The difference is that once you find it, you will now either follow instructions online to pay it or ask the clerk of the court what you need to do to pay it.
What is the penalty for a lost traffic ticket?
There is no penalty for a lost ticket, per se, but if you fail to respond to your ticket on time, there’s a chance your license could be suspended for failure to answer. If you receive a notice from the DMV that a suspension date for failure to answer is pending, make sure you take action asap before any deadline hits. Whether you plead not guilty and schedule a court date or just choose to pay it these decisions need to be made prior to any suspension deadline to avoid making the situation a more problematic one.
What is the penalty if I don’t pay my ticket on time?
Of course penalties in general will depend somewhat on what the particular violation was and where (which court) the ticket was issues. That said, if you are late it’s certainly possible that fines could be higher (especially if the ticket has been found guilty by “default” for failing to answer it) and if suspended you’ll need to pay suspension lift fees in order to clear it.
For more information, click to learn more about what happens if you don’t pay your NYC traffic ticket and the most common traffic tickets issued in NYC.