What are Oregon Traffic Tickets?
Oregon traffic tickets are legal papers that contain the details and penalties of traffic offenses. Officers of the Oregon State Police are responsible for issuing tickets to motorists who violate the traffic laws of the state. These offenses range from the minor to major infractions and are punishable by fines and loss of driving privileges. The Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) division of the Department of Transportation maintains driver records and is tasked with enforcing driver restrictions and suspensions on offenders. The Municipal, Justice, and Circuit Courts handle payment of tickets, criminal traffic offenses, contest cases, and trials.
What Does a Traffic Citation Mean?
Notices issued by law enforcement for moving and non-moving violations are referred to as traffic tickets or traffic citations. It is quite common to see or hear these terms used in place of the other. However, the official term used to describe these violations in Oregon is “traffic citation” or uniform citation.
How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Oregon?
Paying a traffic ticket in Oregon is straightforward regardless of the judicial district or court where the ticket was issued. Most Municipal and Justice courts have this information on their official websites. Contact information and websites for these courts may be obtained on the Court Registry. Payment instructions and total fees due are also available at the backs of the traffic tickets—i.e for offenders who opt not to challenge the traffic ticket.
Motorists have 3 options to pay traffic tickets in the Circuit Courts: online, in-person, or by mail. Traffic citations may be paid with cash, check, or credit card at the Circuit Court in the county where the ticket was issued. Payers must provide the full name of the offender and the case/citation number. The same method may be used to make payments by mail. Individuals may pay by check addressed to “The State of Oregon”. The mail and physical addresses of the courts are available on the Find a Court section of the Oregon State Judiciary.
The courts also offer payment plans to offenders who cannot make the total payment for a violation. To obtain information on these plans, as well as qualifications, interested parties may contact the relevant court. However, the court may require the party to provide a 3-year driving history.
Can You Pay Oregon Traffic Tickets Online?
Yes, it is possible to pay for Oregon traffic tickets online. The Municipal and Justice Courts maintain online payment platforms on their official websites for this purpose whereas the State’s Judiciary maintains the OJD Courts ePay, which is primarily for the Circuit Courts. The ePay platform allows individuals to make traffic citation payments from any physical location to any Circuit Court via a credit or debit card.
How do I Pay a Ticket online in Oregon?
Tickets issued under the jurisdiction of the Municipal/Justice Courts may be paid by accessing online payment platforms hosted on the courts’ official websites. The OJD Courts ePay may be used for online payments of traffic tickets issued under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Courts. The ePay portal is available 24/7 and interested parties may use a PC or MAC to access the platform, find their citation case, and pay. It is required to know the county where the violation occurred and the citation number. Parties may then proceed to view the total amount, enter their billing information, and confirm the payment. A Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card may be used to pay for the ticket and there is a $1.50 service charge for every transaction. It takes up to 24 hours for the courts to receive a payment. Traffic tickets are available online 10–15 days after issuance. Parking tickets in Multnomah County (Portland area) are available at least 48 hours after the citation is issued. Parties who may not use this platform to pay for a ticket include:
- Individuals who have received a notice to appear for a hearing
- Individuals who want to enter a “not guilty” plea and request a trial
- Individuals who do not have a fine written on their citation and are required to make a court appearance
- Individuals who want to pay traffic tickets from the Municipal or Justice Courts
What is the Oregon Traffic Ticketing System
In other US states, a traffic ticketing system is a value-based technique used by licensing authorities to maintain road safety by assigning points on the records of motorists who are convicted of moving violations. These points also dictate actions that will be carried out against drivers who have a certain number of points on their records. However, Oregon does not have a traffic ticketing system. Instead, the state uses the Driver Improvement Program to outline convictions that can lead to suspensions, revocations, restrictions of driver privileges. The Driver Improvement Program is established under Division 72, 735–072–0000 of Oregon statutes. Under this law, the DMV may take administrative action on drivers under the age of 18 and above who are convicted of multiple or avoidable traffic offenses and accidents, and who fail to appear in court or pay a fine. These penalties can range anywhere from 30-day to 20-year license suspensions or revocations. Interested parties may view these penalties on the Failure to Appear/Comply, Driver Improvement, Driving while Under the Influence of Intoxicants, and Habitual Offender Program web pages.
How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Oregon?
A traffic ticket is issued to an individual at the time of a violation. However, if the ticket cannot be issued directly because of the nature of the offense, the offender may be notified by mail or any other means prescribed by the courts. Interested parties may also find out this information by querying the Circuit Courts or Municipal/Justice Courts in their county of residence.
Alternatively, an individual may choose to order a driving record with the Form 735–7266 by paying a fee. Qualified businesses and other parties, as defined by ORS 802.175–ORS 802.191, may use Form 735–712. Driving records contain an individual’s past traffic convictions, tickets, violations, accidents, suspensions, revocations, cancellations, and criminal traffic offenses. These records are available to eligible parties such as the subject of the record; a parent, guardian, or conservator; and the subject’s attorney. A third party may order on behalf of the record provided the party’s mailing address matches the one on the record. The DMV processes 5 types of driver records requests, namely:
- Certified court print driving record
- 3-year non-employment driving record
- Open-ended non-employment driving record
- 3-year employment driving record
- Certified court print with CDL medical certification driving record
All records may be ordered using mail or online services provided by the DMV, or in-person at a DMV field office. The information available and fees vary according to the record type. Further instructions for obtaining these records and other information are available on the DMV’s records page or the Driver Records Manual.
How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Oregon?
The courts with jurisdiction over the traffic offenses may be contacted to find information on a lost traffic ticket in Oregon. Individuals may use the Find a Court site to obtain the contact information of the applicable Circuit Court or the Court Registry to obtain Municipal or Justice Court information. Using the registry, it is possible to find these courts alphabetically by name, city, or county. Requesters may be required to provide their names, Oregon driver license numbers, or license plate numbers to access the lost tickets.
How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Oregon?
Under ORS 137.225(6)(a), a traffic conviction cannot be removed or expunged from a record in Oregon. For records maintained by the DMV, the convictions that show up depend on the type of record being requested. Oregon does not use a point system, therefore, points are not assigned to a driver’s record.
Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in Oregon?
Anyone who is issued a summons is expected to make an appearance in court. In Oregon, a traffic summons may be issued for a crime or violation. If summoned to answer for a crime, the party must appear in court at a set date and time. For violations, the party is provided with 4 options on the summons. The party may either enter a plea of no contest and pay the presumptive fee, enter a plea of no contest and send an explanation letter explaining the circumstances of the traffic violation, enter a plea of not guilty and request a trial, or request a trial by declaration. While an Oregon traffic ticket may easily be resolved by paying a fine, the process for resolving a summons is more intricate and may result in steep fines and other court costs. In some cases, the courts may issue arrest warrants and send notices to appear to the offenders. Failure to comply may further result in harsher penalties.