Traffic and Infractions
Traffic General Information
The Traffic Division handles citations issued to adults and juveniles in Nevada County. Issuing agencies include the Nevada County Sheriff's Department, Grass Valley Police, Truckee Police, Nevada City Police, CHP, California Dept. Parks & Recreation and the California Dept. of Fish & Game.
Types of citations include everything from routine traffic violations and offenses to fish & game violations; enforcement of local city and county ordinances; citations for boating and dog/animal offenses. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) violations are handled through the Criminal Division.
Nevada City Division
Phone: (530) 362-4309 (option 7)
Phone: (530) 362-4309 (option 6)
Parking citations are not handled by the Court. To make payments or ask questions, contact the issuing agency.
Traffic & Infractions Help Topics
Generally within 6 - 8 weeks after receiving a citation, the Court will mail you a "Courtesy Bail Notice" which will include:
- The bail amount for the citation
- The due date when payment must be made
- Eligibility criteria for Traffic School
- Information on clearing a "fix-it" violation with Proof of Correction
- Where and when to report if you would like to appear in court.
You must take action (i.e.: pay fine, appear in court) on or before the due date listed. Failure to receive a Courtesy Bail Notice does not relieve you of the citation! If you do not get a Courtesy Bail Notice by the date written at the bottom of your ticket, contact the court by phone, in person, or by mail. You can also check for your case on the Courts computer system via the Case Information portal . You can not take care of your citation until it is in this system.
It is your responsibility to take care of the citation by the due date.
Failure to appear or take action on a citation on or before the due date may result in the following: 1) A hold will be placed on your driver's license thus preventing you the ability to renew your license without clearing up the matter; 2) you will be ineligible to attend traffic school; 3) you will be referred to collections with an additional civil assessment fee added to your fine; 4) you may be charged with an additional misdemeanor.
Please visit our Payment Portal introduction page for instructions on how to find your case in our system and pay via credit card. Alternatively, you can pay your citation in-full (partial payments are not accepted unless approved by the judge) by mail or by coming into the Courthouse. Acceptable payment types are check, money order or cashier’s check.
Cash payments are also accepted at the Courthouse only. NEVER mail cash.
If you cannot afford to pay the full amount of a fine for an infraction offense (including most traffic tickets), you may ask the court to reduce the amount you owe.
Please note that if you do not act by the date on your citation and reminder notice, the court may add an additional fee of up to $100. If you cannot afford the fine amount, you can request a reduction to the amount you owe at any time while the fines remain unpaid.
The easiest way to request a fine reduction is to use the court’s online tool for ability to pay request. The MyCitations online tool allows you to enter a plea and make an ability to pay requests on eligible infractions without going to court. In addition to requesting a reduction, you can request a payment plan, more time to pay, or ask to complete community service instead of paying fines and fees. If your case is currently in collections and you cannot afford to pay your debt, you may still use MyCitations.
If you are experiencing financial hardship and you use the online tool to request a reduction, you may also use the online tool to ask the court to set up a payment plan, ask for an extension of time to pay what you owe and/or ask to complete community service hours in place of the fine. Payment plans will be approved for no more than $25 per month if you are approved for an ability-to-pay request.
Fines and fees owed from a misdemeanor or felony offense are not eligible to request a reduction.
Do not use the online tool if you want to:
1) Contest the citation
2) Attend traffic school
3) Get a dismissal or reduction of charges with proof of correction
To request a fine reduction by mail, use form TR-320/CR320 - Can't Afford to Pay Fine: Traffic and Other Infractions. Please contact the clerk’s office for more information about using the form.
If you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to attend Traffic School as a means to not have your ticket adversly effect your on-going insurance rates. To learn more, visit our Traffic School page.
Your citation is a formal Notice to Appear before the court. Your signature states that you agree to resolve the charges on the citation on or before the date listed. Your Courtesy Bail Notice will advise you whether or not your appearance is mandatory.
If your citation is issued for the Nevada City courthouse, you must appear on the date and time noted on the citation. Citations issued for the Truckee courthouse require that you call the court to schedule a court date.
If your citation does not require a mandatory court appearance, then you may just pay the amount on the citation without appearing before the judge - this is called Bail Forfeiture. The citation is deemed paid, and a resulting conviction for the violation you were cited for will be reported on your DMV record.
Even if your appearance is not required, you have the right to appear in court and plea your case before the judge. In this instance you will be asked to enter a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest. Another purpose for coming to court is to request to attend Traffic School. Traffic School is optional and may be requested as a means to lessen the impact a citation could have on your auto insurance rates. Certain eligibility requirements apply, see the Traffic School page for details.
Your Rights - As a defendant you have the following constitutional and statutory rights:
- To be informed of the charges against you in open court.
- To be represented by a lawyer.
- In infraction matters, you are not entitled to a court appointed lawyer, however you may hire your own lawyer.
- In misdemeanor matters, you may hire your own lawyer or if you cannot afford a lawyer, the court may appoint one for you at no initial cost. (However, the court may order reimbursement of costs according to your ability to pay.)
- To a speedy and public trial within 45 days of arraignment, or a court trial in infraction cases.
- To confront and cross-examine the witnesses against you.
- To put on a defense and as part of that defense to testify in your own behalf and to obtain a document (a subpoena) to compel witnesses to appear without expense to you.
- To remain silent and not to be called as a witness during your own court proceeding.
- To a court or jury trial in misdemeanor cases.
- To appeal if you are found guilty at a trial, provided you file your notice of appeal within 30 days and follow other court rules.
Pleading Not Guilty
If you plead not guilty, you are telling the Court you want to contest the charge(s) against you. A contested trial will be scheduled within 45 days. You may waive your right to a speedy trial and have it scheduled within a reasonable amount of time. You will need to fill out and sign a not guilty plea and promise to appear either in person or by mail.
At your trial, the officer who issued the citation will testify as a witness. If there are other witnesses, they may also be called to testify. At the trial you may question (cross-examine) the witnesses. You may testify yourself and / or call witnesses to testify. After the evidence is presented the judge may rule immediately whether you are guilty or not guilty or the case may be taken under submission before deciding. If the case is taken under submission, you will be notified of the ruling by mail or you may choose to return to court. If you are found not guilty, that is the end of the case. If you are found guilty, the judge will determine how much the fine will be. The fine may be more or less than the bail originally quoted in your case depending on the facts which were presented. If your driving record shows previous convictions, the fine may increase substantially and your driver's license may be suspended for up to 6 months.
This option requires a court appearance and is available for all violations. At the time you enter your not guilty plea (or you sign a Not Guilty Plea form and Promise to Appear in person or by mail), the court will set your court trial date. If you fail to appear at the time designated for your trial, either a trial in your absence will occur (Trial in Absentia), or a VC40508(a) misdemeanor charge may be added against you along with an additional assessment fee and a driver’s license suspension until resolved.
Notice to Appear Date
The Clerk's Office may give a one-time 30 day due date extension to the date on your citation. Extensions will not be given after your due date. Contact the appropriate court (listed on your citation) either by phone or in-person, also available on the Contact Info at top of page.
Court Trial Date
A Request for Postponement of Traffic Court Trial form must be filed at least 15 days prior to the Court Trial hearing date and a copy must be provided to the opposing party. The request, and any objection, will be submitted to a judicial officer for review, and will be granted only for good cause. You will be notified by mail whether your request is granted or denied. You may also contact the court for status of the request.
Objecting to a Request for Postponement of a Traffic Court Trial
An Objection to Postponement of Traffic Court Trial form must be submitted by the opposing party if you object to the Request for Postponement, within 5 days from the date of delivery of the Request for Postponement.
If you do NOT object to the Request of Postponement but there are certain dates you will not be available for trial, please notify the court by phone or in writing of those dates as soon as possible.
Requests for Continuance of a Traffic Court Trial less than 15 days before the Court Trial:
If you are seeking a continuance of your traffic trial less than 15 days before the trial date, use the form Request for Continuance - Traffic and follow the noticed motion procedures set forth in Penal Code § 1050(b), et seq.
If you have been charged with a vehicle code violation only and are either from out of town (or if it would be difficult for you to make an appearance), you may request a Trial by Written Declaration (basically a "trial by mail") by calling our offices first to verify your eligibility. If you are eligible, you will be required to "post" the entire amount shown on your Courtesy Notice in lieu of your appearance. If you are found not guilty and no other fines/fees are assessed, your posted bail will be refunded. Both the bail posting and the written Trial by Declaration form must be submitted before the due date listed on your Courtesy Notice.
If after the court has ruled on your Trial by Written Declaration, you will have one of three choices: 1- Accept the verdict ; 2- Request to attend Traffic School (must have been stipulated in your original request plus you must meet eligibility requirements); or 3- Request a new trial using a Trial De Novo form.
If you fail to appear or fail to remit the required bail, a civil assessment fee will be added to your bail amount. In addition, a hold will be placed on your driver’s license. Your case may then be referred to GC Services (Collection Agency). You may call GC Services toll free at 800-333-8395 or contact their local representative in the courthouse to discuss your options.
Citations in the Nevada County Superior Court with unpaid fines and fees may eventually be referred to GC Services. Additional collections fees will be added to the original fine amount. You can contact GC Services representatives at either branch by telephone or at the Nevada City branch in-person.
Phone: 800 727-5848 (English)
Phone: 800-616-6007 (Spanish)
GC Corporate: Monday - Thursday 8am - 7pm | Friday 8am - 6pm | Saturday 8am - 12pm
Proof of Correction
Fix It - Proof of Correction
Correct (fix) the violation and then contact any law enforcement agency to arrange for an officer to verify and sign off on the correction. You can mail or bring the signed verification to the Courthouse's Traffic Division along with the state mandated fee (40611 CVC) no later than the due date shown on your courtesy notice, to clear the violation. Registration - Proof of Correction If you are charged with expired registration, mail a copy of your current registration or bring your current registration to Courthouse's Traffic Division by the due date shown on your courtesy notice along with the state mandated fee (40611 CVC).
Driver's License - Proof of Correction
For driver's license violations, mail a copy of your driver's license or a citation/courtesy notice which has been signed off by the DMV or bring these or your driver's license to the Courthouse's Traffic Division by the due date shown on your courtesy notice along with the state mandated fee (40611 CVC). Insurance - Proof of Correction If you are charged with no proof of insurance, mail or bring proof that you were insured on the date of the violation to the Courthouse's Traffic Division counter by the due date shown on your courtesy notice along with the state mandated fee (40611 CVC). Valid proof of insurance may be any one of the following:
- A photocopy of the official card issued by an insurance company showing name of the insurance company
- Valid policy number with the effective (beginning and ending) dates of the policy (must have been in effect at time of violation). The name of defendant or vehicle information must match person or vehicle listed on the citation
- A photocopy of the actual insurance policy providing all of the above information
- A statement on insurance company letterhead providing all of the above information
Notice to Correct (CHP 281)
This citation is issued by the California Highway Patrol for certain types of correctable violations. You are required to submit proof of correction(s) directly to the CHP within 30 days. Failure to comply will result in the citation being referred to the court.