Losing important paperwork happens to the best of us. When it comes to losing a traffic ticket, though, the consequences can be disastrous if you don’t track it down in time to pay your fine or show up in court. Missouri is working to make it easier for drivers to track down information about their ticket by allowing access to issued tickets online at the state’s Fine Collection Center.
Drivers who have lost their ticket can search for a copy of the record using either their name or the citation number. While on the site, most drivers can also pay their fine if they don’t plan to contest the charges. If you can’t access the online system, information about issued tickets is also available to drivers by contacting the traffic court where the ticket was issued.
A lost ticket is not something that you want to just forget about. You are required to either pay the fine or appear in court (or reschedule) by the date printed on your citation. Failure to do so only leads to more problems and paperwork for drivers. An unpaid ticket in Missouri can lead to the suspension of your license. It can also result in increased fines for the violation or increased points added to your license. In order to lift the suspension, a driver needs to pay all of the fines, as well as a $20 reinstatement fee. Even then, a record of the suspension will remain on your driving record for five years, which can result in substantial increases in your car insurance rates.
In extreme cases, a state can issue a warrant for your arrest of the violation is severe enough. This usually escalates your charge to a misdemeanor crime, and can come with serious fines and penalties. Neglecting to address a traffic citation also makes it extremely difficult for you or your lawyer to contest the original charges. The task then becomes minimizing the additional fines and penalties associated with the skipped payment. Ultimately, it is best to take action as soon as possible, which means tracking down your citation if you’ve lost it and addressing it in the manner you intend to.