Respond to my Ticket

 

You have several options on how to respond to your ticket. Whichever way you choose, you must respond to the court within fifteen (15) days of the date you received the infraction. Failure to respond can result in an increase of the amount you must pay and in the suspension of your driver's license.

Read your entire ticket before responding. Click each option below to better understand the options before making your decision.

For general information about traffic tickets, click here.

  Pay in Full

You may choose to pay the fine in full. You do not need to come to court to do this. By paying in full, you admit to having committed the infraction. If it is a driving offense, it will be reported to the Department of Licensing and it will appear on your driving record. Click here for information on how to make a payment in full.

  Request a Mitigation Hearing

A mitigation hearing is a hearing for you to admit to the violation, but explain the circumstances to the judge. You can also request a mitigation hearing to request a reduction in the amount of the penalty, a monthly payment plan, or to perform community service instead of paying the fine. You must make this request within 15 days from the date that you received your citation. After hearing your explanation the judge may (or may not) reduce the penalty. However, traffic infractions will still be reported to the Department of Licensing and it will still appear on your driving record.

You do not have to come to court to mitigate your ticket. You can request an electronic mitigation (e-mit) hearing or a mitigation by mail. You may also have a hearing at the courthouse, if you so choose.

Electronic Mitigation (e-mit)

An e-mit allows to you submit an online form explaining the circumstances of your violation. The judge will review the request and make a decision within three (3) weeks. You will receive your response at the email address you provide on the form. To request an e-mitigation hearing, please click the button below. Be sure that you complete all required information before clicking on the “submit” button.

Mitigation by Mail

You may also request a mitigation hearing by mail. If you choose this option, then within fifteen (15) days from the date that you received your ticket, you must check the “Mitigation Hearing” block on your copy of the ticket, write a letter to the court explaining the circumstances of your violation, and mail your copy of the ticket and the letter to the address shown below. A judge will review your statement and driving record and then make a ruling. You should receive a response by return mail from the court within 60 days.

Thurston County District Court
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502

Mitigation Hearing at the Courthouse

To have your hearing at the courthouse in front of a judge, then within fifteen (15) days from the date that you received your citation, you must check the “Mitigation Hearing” block on the copy of your ticket and mail that copy to the address shown below. Within two weeks, you should receive a hearing notice with the date and time of your hearing. The hearing will be held at

Thurston County District Court
Building 3
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502

You are expected to pay any penalty of $110 or less in full following your hearing. If you need to arrange to make time payments, or need to arrange for community service instead of payment, you will need to make these arrangements with the court clerk immediately following your hearing.

  Request a Contested Hearing

A contested hearing is a hearing you request if you do not believe you committed the infraction and want to explain your case to the judge. If you are requesting a contested hearing, you must appear in person at the court at the date and time specified. There are no exceptions to this policy.

To request a contested hearing, within fifteen (15) days from the date that you received your citation, check the “Contested Hearing” block on the copy of your ticket and mail it to the address shown below. Within two weeks you will receive a hearing notice with the date and time of your hearing. The hearing will be held at

Thurston County District Court
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Building 3
Olympia, WA 98502

  Request a Deferral

A deferral is an opportunity to have your ticket dismissed and not reported to the Department of Licensing. You may qualify for a deferral if:

  • You have not had a deferral within the last seven years.
  • You do not have a commercial driver's license (CDL) in any state.
  • The infraction is not for:
    • passing a school bus
    • speeding in a construction zone
    • any infraction where a fatality occurred
  • If the infraction is for operating a motor vehicle without insurance, you can show proof of insurance when you request the deferral

If you are granted a deferral,

  • You must pay a $150 administrative fee (plus an additional $70 for each additional charge on your traffic ticket) within 90 days.
  • You must not commit any new traffic infractions for six (6) months.

If you meet both conditions, your ticket will be dismissed and it will not be reported to the Department of Licensing.

If you commit a new traffic infraction the Court will end your deferral and will report to DOL that you committed your traffic infraction. There are no exceptions to this policy.

If you do not pay the administrative fee, the Court will end your deferral and will report to the Department of Licensing (DOL) that you committed your traffic violation. In addition, a $52.00 penalty will be assessed against you, a failure to appear will be ordered and notification sent to DOL to begin processing your driver's license for suspension. There are no exceptions to this policy.

To request a deferral, within fifteen (15) days of the date you received the ticket (and at leat five (5) days before any scheduled hearing), either come to the courthouse and request a deferral from the court clerk or click to view and download the Request to Defer Traffic Infraction form. Complete the form and mail it to

Thurston County District Court
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502

Please note, the Court will not consider deferral requests on the day of a scheduled traffic infraction hearing if witnesses have been subpoenaed for and appear at your hearing.

Click here to read the FAQ regarding deferrals.