Mass. Traffic Tickets (Civil Motor Vehicle Infractions)

Civil violations, such as not obeying traffic signals or speeding, are considered non-criminal and can usually be settled by paying fines. If you receive a citation from a law enforcement officer for a civil motor vehicle infraction (CMVI), you must pay the required fine or request a court hearing to dispute the citation within 20 days.

If you do not respond to a citation within 20 days, you will be found responsible and charged a substantial late payment fee. Continued failure to pay the citation and late fee will cause your license to be suspended. Paying a motor vehicle citation fine means you accept responsibility for that violation. Your driving record will note that you have accepted responsibility for a citation whether you paid the citation by mail, requested a hearing and were ordered by a court to pay the fine, failed to appear for your hearing or you failed to respond to the citation within the 20-day period.

As of July 1, 2009, all requests for a clerk magistrate hearing are subject to a $25 filing fee. The fee is collected by the court at the time of your hearing. DO NOT mail the $25 filing fee with your request for a court hearing.

All moving violations are tracked in Massachusetts by the RMV and are recorded on your driving record. Moving violations can affect your motor vehicle insurance rate and may cause your license to be suspended.

Parking violations are not considered CMVIs. They are handled by the city or town that issued the citations or tickets. However, unpaid parking violations will prevent you from renewing your driver’s license or vehicle registration.