Traffic Court deals with violation of traffic laws and other minor offenses of state and county ordinances. These violations are considered infractions and include, for example: speeding, cell phone violations, expired registration on vehicles, to vehicle equipment needing repair or correction. Infractions are enforced by citations issued by law enforcement or those that have the authority to issue. Punishment for infractions result in an imposition of fines only and do not carry any type of jail time. Failure to pay traffic fines when due or respond to a citation by the Appear by Date can lead to additional penalties including the imposition of a civil assessment fee and a DMV hold placed on your driver’s license.
Superior Court of Kings County, Traffic Division
1640 Kings County Drive
Hanford, Ca. 93230
559.582.1010 option 1
NOTE: When contacting the Clerk's Office for information about traffic citations, please have your citation number ready. This will allow the Clerk to access your case quickly and provide the needed information in a timely fashion. Your citation number is listed on the citation issued and/or on the Courtesy Notice mailed (eff. 03/2019) to you at the address provided on the original citation.
Can't afford to pay?
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 based on your ability to pay in setting the total amount due online or in-person at any point before your fines and fees are fully paid.
The MyCitations online tool allows you to enter a plea and make an ability to pay request on eligible infractions. In addition to requesting a reduction, you can request a payment plan, more time to pay, or ask to complete community service in lieu of paying fines and fees.
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
- Proof of Service
- Law Enforcement Officer's Request for Postponement of Traffic Court Trial
- Defendant's Request for Postponement of Traffic Court Trial
- Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions
- Notice of Appeal and Record on Appeal (Infraction)
- Proposed Statement on Appeal (Infraction)
If your case requires a mandatory appearance, you must appear in Court for a Traffic Arraignment. The following infractions are examples of offenses that require a Mandatory Court Appearance:
- All Traffic Citations issued to a person under 18 years of age
- 22348(b)VC: Speeding 100mph or greater
- 23140(a)VC: Person under 21 years old driving with a blood alcohol content of .05 or more
- Another example of a mandatory appearance would be if the District Attorney files a formal complaint on the offense that you were cited for.
If you elect to pay your fine online, please note that the Court has the discretion to increase the amount due at the time of hearing. If payment is made online, and you currently have a hearing set to contest your Citation, you MUST still appear at your scheduled Traffic Arraignment.
The bail forfeiture amount on a citation is determined by statute. If you choose to pay the bail on the citation without going to trial, it will be accepted as payment in full. This will result in a conviction to the offense(s) alleged and the conviction(s) will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, if the offense is reportable.
You must contact the Court either in person or by telephone to request an extension of your original citation Due Date. Clerks can approve one (1) 60-day extension at no cost.
If there are mechanical, registration, license, or insurance violations (VC 16028a only), the bail amount will be reduced if you provide proof of correction on or before the due date. If you do not provide proof of correction, you will be required to pay the full bail forfeiture amount. Do not pay your fine in full if you have proof of corrections to provide to the Court. Proof of corrections received after the fine is paid and the due date has passed will not be eligible for further reductions. The inspecting Officer will sign off the violation you were cited for on the back of the citation. The sign off must be for a correction-eligible violation. It must include the violation you were cited for, the officer's name, agency, and badge number.
Proof of correction may be obtained in the following ways:
- Smog control device violations must be inspected and certified by an authorized Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Device Installation and Inspection Station.
- Light and brake violations may be certified by an authorized inspection and installation station or a Law Enforcement Agency.
- Dog and cat license or vaccination offense must be provided to the Clerk's Office for review.
- Other defects or proof of corrections may be obtained at any Law Enforcement office during regular business hours. DO NOT STOP AN OFFICER ON ANY ROADWAY FOR THIS CERTIFICATION.
- Self-certification of corrections is not acceptable.
- Sale of the vehicle does not relieve you of the responsibility for correction of the violations.
To address correctable violations (required under VC40610) you must do the following:
- Correct the violation (e.g. the tail light is fixed).
- Have any authorized representative sign the citation certifying it was corrected. Authorized representatives include any California Law Enforcement Agencies, Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) (for license and registration issues) and any station in California licensed to inspect and certify the violation. Many agencies charge a fee to sign the citation; this is separate than the Proof of Correction Fee required by the Court. NOTE: The Court will still require a physical copy and/or proof of your registration, insurance and/or driver's license.
- Submit the signed citation with proof of correction to the Court on or before the due date. There is a mandatory Proof of Correction Fee of $25.00 per correctable violation (for most violations) along with any other violation fine amounts payable to the Court by the Due Date. (VC40610) NOTE: The fee amount on proof of corrections for violations relating to Insurance and Fish and Game will vary.
If you were cited for a registration violation (Vehicle Code section 4000(a) or 4000(a)(1)), you may obtain proof of valid registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Motor Vehicles will sign off on the back lower section of your citation, but you must still show proof of valid registration printed from the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Clerk's Office. The Clerk will not accept proof of registration that indicates "Report of Deposit of Fees" or "Pending /Incomplete applications." Once the clerk has verified the proof, a correction fee of $25.00 will apply.
The following information applies only to VC16028(a) (no proof of financial responsibility or no proof of insurance). This information does not apply to VC16028(c) (no proof of insurance involving a collision) or to any other insurance-related violations. If you were cited for failure to provide proof of financial responsibility (insurance), and you did not have insurance on the date of violation, you will be required to pay the full bail forfeiture amount. If you obtain insurance after the date of violation, you may request that the matter be placed on calendar for consideration of the amount of the fine .
If you had proof of insurance at the time the citation was issued but were unable to provide proof to the Officer who cited you, a $25.00 correction fee will still apply when proof of the insurance is provided to the Clerk.
You may submit proof, as outlined below, with your payment, or submit a copy of your insurance to the Clerk of the Court:
- Name of insurance carrier
- Policy number
- Effective dates of coverage showing insurance coverage at the time you were cited
- Name of person who received the citation and/or the vehicle listed on the citation
- If you do not provide all the specified information, the total bail amount will be required.
Fraudulent documentation submitted to establish proof of correction could result in criminal prosecution.
You may choose to attend traffic school for certain vehicle violations.
Pursuant to Vehicle Code section 42005, you may be eligible for a confidential conviction after completion of a traffic school program if:
- You had a valid noncommercial driver's license at the time you were cited;
- The violation occurred in a noncommercial vehicle; and
- Your citation is not for a violation of Vehicle Code section 20001 (accident with injury), 20002 (hit and run), 23103 (reckless driving), 23104 (reckless driving-bodily injury), 23105 (reckless driving-specific injury), 23140 (minor-BAC .05 or greater), 23152 (DUI), 23153 (DUI with injury), or 23103 as specified in 23103.5 (placed on probation for section 23103 offense after plea reduction from original charge under section 23152
In addition to the eligibility exclusions above, under amended rule 4.101, a Court clerk is not authorized to grant a request to attend a traffic school program for an infraction that is not reportable to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and an infraction that is not contained in division 11 or 12 (rules of the road and equipment violations) of the Vehicle Code, or any of the following infractions. To be eligible, you must meet the following conditions:
- You are not currently attending, and have not attended, a traffic school program for a citation issued within the last 18 months of the date of the current citation;
- Your citation must be a moving violation and does not have a misdemeanor charge that requires a mandatory appearance in Court;
- Your citation does not involve alcohol use or possession or drug use or possession;
- Your citation is not for violating Vehicle Code sections 22406.5 (tank vehicles) or 21655.5;
- Your citation does not have a point count of more than one point under Vehicle Code section 12810 or more than one and one-half points or more under Vehicle Code section 12810.5(b)(2);
- If your case involves a failure to appear warrant or civil assessment, the failure to appear charge must be adjudicated or paid in full before you can attend traffic school; and
- Your citation does not involve a speeding violation more than 100 miles per hour or 26 miles or more over the speed limit.
If you satisfy the above requirements and wish to attend traffic school, you will be required to pay a fee in the sum of $69.00 plus the amount of bail indicated on your Courtesy Notice. There will be a separate fee for the class you attend. Upon completion of traffic school, and upon the Court receiving proof of such completion within 90 days from the date you requested traffic school, a confidential conviction will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you fail to provide proof of completion as required, a conviction will be reported to the DMV and your insurance may be adversely affected.
WARNING: If you are not eligible to attend traffic school, but do so anyway, the conviction will be reported on your driving record and there will be no refund of any fees paid.
Traffic School – If Eligible
If you are eligible to attend Traffic School, upon your written or verbal request, the non-refundable Traffic School Administration Fee of $69.00 will be added to the Total Amount Due. (See options below on how to make payments).
NOTICE: An additional fee will be collected by the Traffic School when you attend. If you are eligible and decide not to attend Traffic School, your automobile insurance may be adversely affected.
If you are eligible to attend Traffic School and wish to do so you must first request to attend Traffic School. You can make this request in person or mail.
Failure to complete traffic school by the due date will result in a forfeiture of your fees, and a conviction will remain on your record with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Court does not give an extension of time for Traffic School once requested.
You can check the status of your traffic school certificate at http://courtcertservice.com/ or visit our website to confirm receipt. To do this go to our Case Information website Then select "Smart Search" and type in your case number or name, enter the Captcha Code and submit. Click on the case number that you are searching and scroll down to "Events and Hearings" if you see an Event "Traffic School Completion Submitted" this is your confirmation that the Court has received your certificate.
There are several options when contesting your citation:
- Requesting a Traffic Arraignment: You can contact the Clerk's Office at the numbers above or personally come to the Traffic Window at the Court prior to the due date stated on your Citation and/or Courtesy Notice. You will sign a "Promise to Appear" and will be required to be present at the hearing. During the Traffic Arraignment, your rights and options will be explained, and the Court will ask you to enter a plea. If you enter a not guilty plea the Court will set a Traffic Trial and order that you return on the date and time stated in open Court.
- Requesting a Traffic Trial (only): You will sign the Counter Arraignment form and the Clerk will set your case for a Traffic Trial. You will be required to post the full bail amount and sign the Promise to Appear contained within the Counter Arraignment form. The Counter Arraignment form will contain the Court date for the Traffic Trial.
- If your citation does not require a personal appearance and you wish to avoid any Court appearance, prior to your due date listed on the Courtesy Notice or Citation, submit to the Clerk, in person or by mail, a written request for Trial by Written Declaration. See the section "Trials by Written Declaration" for more information about this option.
Vehicle Code section 40902 permits a challenge to a traffic infraction citation in writing, without having to personally appear in Court. A Trial by Written Declaration does not require a Court appearance by either party. The Trial is through written declarations submitted by the recipient of the citation and the Law Enforcement Officer who issued the citation. The Judge will enter a judgment based on the written testimony and documentary evidence presented.
This option is available for most traffic infractions where a mandatory Court appearance is not required. Refer to the Mandatory Appearance section for some offense and situations that fall under this requirement.
A request for Trial by Written Declaration must be made before the due date stated on the Citation and/or Courtesy Notice you received from the Court. If you request a Trial by Written Declaration, you will be required to waive your rights to appear, to testify in person, and to subpoena witnesses. You should review the instructions carefully before choosing this option. The California Judicial Council provides instructions (Form TR-200) and a form (Form TR-205, which is mandatory) for Defendants to contest a citation in writing. The instructions and form are available from the Clerk’s Office (Traffic Division) or you may download forms from the California Courts website.
The bail forfeiture amount must be paid at the time of the filing of the Trial by Written Declaration (TR-205). If you are found not guilty, the bail forfeiture amount paid will be refunded to you by the Court. If you are found guilty, the Judicial Officer will assess the amount of fine you are required to pay. The bail forfeiture amount paid will be applied to the fine. If the fine is less than the bail deposit, any balance will be refunded by the Court. If the fine is more than the bail deposit, you will be responsible for paying the balance due. If you are found not guilty, any bail deposit will be returned by mail within 60 days.
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Judicial Officer, you can ask for a new Trial, a "Trial De Novo." At any new Trial, you and any other parties (including the Citing Officer) will need to personally appear in Court. The deadline for filing a request for a new Trial will be specified in the written decision mailed to you by the Court. Any request for new Trial should be made on Form TR-220 available through the Clerk's Office or from the California California Courts website.
Credit/debit payments cannot be accepted via the Court website for a Trial by Written Declaration. If you need further assistance or information, you may contact the Traffic Clerk at (559) 582-1010, ext. 6100, during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.
Jury trials are not authorized for infraction cases. When you plead "not guilty" to an infraction, the Traffic Trial will be conducted by a Judicial Officer (a Judge, a Commissioner, or a qualified Temporary Judge (Judge Pro Tem). The Law Enforcement Officer who issued the citation will be subpoenaed to appear at the Traffic Trial. You have the right to subpoena witnesses and to hire an Attorney to represent you (Court appointed Attorneys are not available for infraction cases). At the Traffic Trial, the Citing Officer will testify. You have the right to ask the Citing Officer questions. You should be prepared at the time of Traffic Trial to testify by stating your recollection of the facts, to produce any documents or other evidence you may wish the Judicial Officer to review, and to have any witnesses testify on your behalf.
If you are found not guilty and have paid the bail forfeiture amount, the full amount paid will be refunded to you by the Court. If you are found guilty, the Judicial Officer will assess the amount of fine you are required to pay. If you have paid a bail forfeiture amount, it will be applied to the fine. If the fine is less than the bail deposit, any balance will be refunded by the Court. If the fine is more than the bail deposit, you will be responsible for paying the balance due.
See the section "Contesting a Judicial Decision" for information on appealing the ruling made by the judicial officer.
You and/or your Counsel may appear at the Traffic Division Window to request a Traffic Trial. You are also authorized to submit this request by mail. If you need further assistance or information, you may contact the Traffic Clerk at (559) 582-1010, ext. 6100, during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. This Court does not have a walk-in calendar. All cases must be set by the clerk for hearing.
Requests for continuance of a Traffic Trial should be filed at least 10 Court days prior to the Traffic Trial hearing date. The request will be submitted to the Judicial Officer for approval. You will be notified by mail. There will be no guarantee that your case will be continued if your request is received less than 10 Court days prior to the hearing.
If you chose to contest a Judicial decision after a Traffic Trial is conducted, you must file an appeal with the Court. The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the decision. The Court will not accept any new evidence as a part of the appeal. The Appellate Court's decision deals with the evidence offered and decisions made at the time of the original Traffic Trial.
Your citation and/or Courtesy Notice will provide you with a date and time to appear and/or pay your fine. This is not a Court hearing before a Judicial Officer. If you are unsure of the due date, you may search the Court's website, or you may appear in person at the Clerk's Office (Traffic Division) within 30 days after receiving your citation
You may request a payment plan in person or in writing to this Court. You are required to deposit 25% of the Total Amount Due at the time the payment plan is processed.
U.S. FUNDS ONLY ON A U.S. BANK (DO NOT MAIL CASH)
In Person: Cash, Check, Money Order or Credit/Debit Card.
By Mail: Check or Money Order payable to Kings County Superior Court,
Mailing Address: 1640 Kings County Drive, Hanford, CA 93230.
On-Line: Website. Visa, Discover or Master Card credit and debit cards [A processing fee is charged for online payments made by Credit or Debit Cards.]
NOTE: Credit/debit payments cannot be accepted via the Court website for a Traffic Trial or a Trial by Written Declaration.
Request a fine reduction for your eligible infraction offense using the new MyCitations tool.
When a traffic citation results in a conviction the Court notifies the DMV upon the conviction. If there is a hold on your driver's license and the hold is lifted or cleared, the Court notifies the DMV within 10 days to remove the hold from your license and/or vehicle registration.
Prior to June 27, 2017, if you have failed to appear or failed to pay a fine as ordered, a DMV hold will be placed on your driver's license and/or vehicle registration. These holds are still in effect and must be resolved prior to the Court's notification to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to lift or remove the holds.
Effective June 27, 2017, Assembly Bill 103 was signed into law and effectively repealed the Court's authority to report to DMV any Failure to Pay violations. Therefore, any Failure to Pay violations do not result in DMV putting a hold on your driver's license and/or vehicle registration.
The Court will still report a Failure to Appear to DMV.
However, in both situations, you may still be subject to civil penalties, which include wage garnishment and/or tax interception.
FAILURE TO APPEAR NOTICE: The Traffic and Criminal Filings departments will mail a Failure to Appear (FTA) notice when a Defendant has failed to appear as promised by the signature at the bottom of the citation. When the Defendant receives the FTA notice, they must contact the originating Court to pay the Bail Forfeiture amount in full or to request payment arrangements. If the defendant does not respond to the FTA notice within 20 days, the case will result in the conviction of the offense(s) alleged, be forwarded to our Collections Department and both the conviction and failure to appear will be submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
*Note: If your citation required a mandatory appearance and you have not appeared before the Court, your case will be set for hearing.
Parking citations are not handled by the Superior Court. Each issuing city or agency processes its own parking citations. For information, contact the city or agency that issued the parking citation.
If you have received a Citation for a Child Passenger Safety Violation pursuant to VC27360, VC27360.5 or VC15620 the following options are available:
- Pay the fine in full - This would result in a conviction of this offense on your driving record and the conviction would report to DMV accordingly.
- Attend Traffic School - You can request to attend Traffic School for this offense either online, by mail, or in person. Request to attend Traffic School must be made prior to the Appear by Date located on your Citation. At the time your request is granted, you will be required to pay the fine amount in full plus a $69.00 non-refundable Traffic School fee. Failure to compete Traffic School by the Due Date will result in a forfeiture of your fees, and a conviction will be reported to the DMV.
- Attend the Child Passenger Safety Program – This is an alternative to Traffic School and the request must be made in person prior to the Appear by Date on your Citation. You will be given a court date and required to sign a Notice of Hearing to appear in court. The Judicial Officer will consider your request at the time of your hearing and, if granted, will set a future hearing date to allow you time to attend the class. Should you return to your next court date with the Certificate of Completion, the Judicial Officer may reduce your fines or dismiss your case entirely.
How Long Will the Traffic Trial Take?
You should plan to be at the Court for three hours or more on the day of your Traffic Trial as the Court will have many cases on its calendar. The time your case is being heard by the Court will likely be an hour or less, unless there are many witnesses or complications. Remember to check your Traffic Trial date, department, and time prior to your arrival.
Should I Bring My Evidence?
If you have photos, diagrams, reports, or any other exhibits which you plan to present at the time of the Traffic Trial, bring them with you.
Should My Witnesses Appear?
If you have witnesses that are necessary to your defense, you should have them subpoenaed to appear in Court. You can obtain the subpoena form from the Clerk's Office (Traffic Division). Do this well in advance of your Traffic Trial date. Complete the subpoena form, have the subpoena served, and file the subpoena and the proof of service with the Court on or before your Traffic Trial date.
What Happens When I go to Court?
Report directly to the Department in which your Traffic Trial has been scheduled. The Bailiff or Clerk will give some preliminary instructions and then check in those people appearing in Court. A Judicial Officer will then hear the case. The Court will listen to the statements of the sworn Officer and witnesses against you and may question each witness. You may then present your case to the Court. The Court will then rule on the matter or take the matter under submission. If the Court takes the matter under submission, you will be notified by mail of the Court's ruling and, if found guilty, you will be informed of the sentence imposed.
What if I am Found Not Guilty?
If you are found not guilty, any bail deposit will be returned by mail within 60 days.
What if I Do Not Appear at the Time of the Traffic Trial?
Your Traffic Trial can be heard without you present (in abstention). You can be found guilty, and any bail will be forfeited. If your bail is forfeited, your driving record will show a conviction, OR the Court may take the Traffic Trial off calendar due to your failure to appear and issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Will the Officer who Issued the Citation Be in Court?
The Officer will be subpoenaed to appear for all Traffic Trial settings.