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Minnesota Court Records

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What are Minnesota Traffic Tickets?

Minnesota traffic tickets are notices issued by law enforcement officers to motorists that have committed traffic violations. These tickets typically include information such as the jurisdiction where the violation occurred, details of the violator and the violator’s vehicle, and a description of the traffic violation. Individuals that fail to pay issued traffic tickets face a number of consequences which include, but are not limited to, an increase in the fines issued, a suspension of the individual’s driver’s license, arrest, and possible jail time. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety keeps all driving-related records in the state through its Division of Driver and Vehicle Services. However, parties that are interested in accessing and/or challenging Minnesota traffic tickets may also do so by contacting the local traffic court in the jurisdiction where the ticket was issued.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What Does a Traffic Citation Mean?

A traffic citation is a summons issued to individuals alleged to have committed traffic violations. Individuals issued with a traffic citation are typically required to appear before a court to either contest the charges and/or pay the fines associated with the charges.

How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Minnesota? 

Parties that wish to pay Minnesota traffic tickets may do so in person, via mail or online. Payments made in person should be done at the district court in the county where the traffic ticket was issued, while payments made via mail should be sent to:

Minnesota Court Payment Center

P. O. Box 898

Willmar, MN 56201

Mailed-in payments should be in the form of a check or money order payable to “District Court Administration” and should include a copy of the traffic ticket/citation or the citation number.

Individuals issued a citation in the state of Minnesota have a period of 30 days to respond to the citation, after which a $5 late penalty is added to the total fine. Failure to respond for another 30 day period attracts an additional $25 penalty. Those that are unable to pay the issued fines in full before the due date should contact the Minnesota Court Payment Center via (651) 281–3219 and (800) 657–3611, between the hours of 8:00 a.m.—4:15 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, to discuss a number of options which include a one-time 30 day extension of the due date or a payment plan that spreads the total amount due over a period of 3 or 6 months for payments less than $500 or more than $500 respectively.

It is important to note that the payment of a traffic ticket, either partially or in full, is regarded as an admission of guilt, and a subsequent entry of a conviction on all charges listed on the ticket. In some cases, this may lead to a loss of driving privileges. However, individuals issued with traffic citations have the option of meeting with a Hearing Officer before paying any fines.

Hearing Officers are court appointed officers that have been authorized to review citations, along with the defendant’s violation history, court history, driving record and any information that may be relevant to the citations being contested, and provide options towards the resolution of the case. Parties that do not like the options provided by a Hearing Officer have the right to ask for a court hearing. It should be noted that this right is waived if the defendant does not appear within a period of 30 days after the citation was issued.

Can You Pay Minnesota Traffic Tickets Online? 

Yes. The Minnesota Judicial Branch offers interested parties with the option of making online payments for traffic tickets through its court web payment portal.

How Do I Pay a Ticket Online in Minnesota?

Online payments for Minnesota traffic tickets can be made through the court web payment portal provided by the state’s Judicial Branch. Online payments should be made at least 7 days after the traffic citation was issued. This service costs a $2.34 convenience fee, and payment is made via a credit or debit VISA card or MasterCard. Parties that wish to make payments online are also required to have their traffic citation number available. It is important to note that the Minnesota court web payment portal is unavailable between the hours of 1:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m. every Sunday.

In addition to this, a number of third-party service providers provide interested parties with online options for resolving traffic tickets. Parties that wish to make use of a third-party service provider are typically required to provide certain information such as their full names, date of birth, county/jurisdiction where the traffic ticket was issued, and the citation number on the ticket.

What is the Minnesota Traffic Ticketing System? 

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is responsible for maintaining the driving records of every registered driver in the state. Minnesota does not use a traffic violation point system, however, every traffic violation is recorded by the Department of Public Safety, and individuals with too many accumulated violations may have their licenses suspended or revoked. An individual’s driving license can also be immediately suspended if the individual has been convicted of a traffic violation that resulted in the death of another party, is absent from a court hearing or is convicted of a misdemeanor as a result of a traffic violation. More severe traffic offenses, such as DUI’s, driving without insurance, and driving in excess of the state’s statutory speed limits, may lead to the revocation of a driver’s license. In addition to this, individuals that have had their license suspended or revoked out of state may also face the same penalty in Minnesota. License suspensions/revocations typically last for a period of 30 days—1 year.

How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Minnesota? 

Parties that have been issued a traffic ticket, or have had their driver’s license either suspended, revoked or cancelled, receive a letter from the Minnesota Division of Driver and Vehicle Services explaining the reason the ticket was issued.

Members of the public can also view the status of their licenses online through the Driver’s License Status Lookup portal provided by the state’s Division of Driver and Vehicle Services. Parties that wish to utilize this method will be required to input their Minnesota driver’s license number.

Requests for driving records can also be made via email or in person at:

Driver and Vehicle Services Customer Contact Unit

445 Minnesota Street

Suite 170

St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: (651) 296–2025

Alternatively, searches for traffic citations can also be made online through the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s court web payment portal.

How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Minnesota?

Parties that wish to find lost traffic tickets are advised to contact the district court in the county in the county where the traffic ticket was issued. Parties that know the citation number on the ticket issued may also access traffic tickets online via the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s court web payment portal.

How Can I Find Out How Much My Traffic Ticket is in Minnesota?

The total fine amount payable on Minnesota traffic tickets is usually not available until the citation has been filed with the appropriate court by the law enforcement officer that issued the ticket, and entered into the Minnesota Court Information System. This process typically takes up to 7 days. Once a period of 7 days has passed after a traffic ticket was issued, interested parties can find out the total amount of the fines issued by utilizing the court web payment portal, and selecting the “Find Citation” option. It should be noted that the correct citation number is required for a successful utilization of this service.

How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Minnesota?

The length of time a traffic ticket remains on an individual’s driving record depends on the nature and severity of the traffic violation committed. Typically, Minnesota traffic tickets remain on record for a period of 5—15 years. However, DWI’s and drug-related offenses may remain on a driver’s record permanently.

Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in Minnesota?

A summons typically requires the appearance of the offending party at a traffic court and is usually issued for severe traffic offenses that could lead to criminal charges and/or a long-term revocation of the offending party’s driver’s license. However, it should be noted that individuals issued with traffic summons also have the right to contest in court.

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