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Michigan Court Records

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What are Michigan Traffic Tickets?

In the state of Michigan, traffic tickets are official notices issued to road users who have violated the state’s traffic laws. These tickets reveal that a motorist has committed an infraction or a misdemeanor and contain details of any associated penalties or fines. Other vital information included on a traffic ticket are:

  • Vehicle Information
  • Time/Place of the civil infraction or misdemeanor
  • Violation code, which can be found on the Michigan Offense Code Index
  • Officer Identification

Offenders risk losing or getting their license suspended depending on the level of the driving-related crime. Additionally, failure to pay all fines and fees when due can attract additional fines and suspension time as well as other penalties. According to the Michigan Vehicle Code the driver’s license of an offender will eventually be suspended if the fine is not paid within 14 days after getting a mail notification from the district court. The court usually sends this notification 28 days after a traffic ticket is issued. Records of all traffic violations are maintained and disseminated by relevant courts in various judicial districts.

Records that are considered public may also 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 summon issued by a law enforcement officer to a person that has violated a traffic law. The significant similarity between a ticket and citation is that they are both handed out following traffic violations. However, while a ticket can quickly be settled once a stipulated fine is paid, a citation requires the presence of the offender in a district court. Written on a piece of paper, a traffic citation can reveal one or more violations committed by a road user. Some of the violations described in the Michigan Vehicle Code include:

  • Drinking & Driving Violations
  • Driving Without a License or Insurance
  • Driving Without Registration or Expired Registration
  • Illegal Turning at an intersection
  • Hit and Run
  • Mechanical Violations
  • Reckless Driving
  • Ignoring traffic lights (Running beyond a Stop Sign)
  • Seat Belt Violations
  • Child Restraint
  • Driving beyond Speed Restrictions
  • Unlawful Vehicle Modifications

With a traffic citation, the defendant has the option of appearing in court to contest the charge, reduce the fine, or simply pay the full fine.

How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Michigan?

There are no standard traffic violation penalties and fines in Michigan. Traffic tickets in the state vary from one district court to another. Generally, it is advisable to pay ticket fines on time to avoid additional charges due to late payment. All a defendant needs to know about the deadline, ticket amount, and penalties are available on the traffic ticket. Payments can be made online, in person, by phone, or by mail.

Nonetheless, this largely depends on the type of Michigan traffic ticket received. Note that deciding to pay a traffic ticket is an inadvertent admittance of guilt. This simply means that the offender is surrendering their right to contest the traffic ticket in a district court. Therefore, the decision to pay a ticket may attract additional penalties including

  • Suspension of driver’s license by the Driver License Bureau; this will also be based on your MI driving record
  • An increase in car insurance rates

Can You Pay Michigan Traffic Tickets Online?

Yes, Michigan traffic tickets can be paid online. However, traffic violations covered under this system include civil infractions like speeding tickets that attract only monetary penalties. Also, online payments do not require court appearances or explanation of offense. Note that online traffic payments in Michigan are only available in 29 Districts courts.

How do I Pay a Ticket Online in Michigan?

The Online Ticket Payment System in the state of Michigan is an interactive system that allows users to pay civil infraction (both traffic and non-traffic) tickets with Visa, MasterCard or Discover. The tool is hosted on the e-PAY section of the One Court of Justice webpage. Users can make online payments provided they have one or more information listed below:

  • Last name of the offender
  • Date of Birth of the offender
  • Ticket number
  • Driver’s License Number
  • License Plate Number

The traffic ticket issued by the police agency, contains most of this information. It has been entered into the case management system of the district court. Therefore, it is important to enter the information as it appears on the ticket to get an accurate result. Sometimes, outstanding tickets are not available online. In such instances, defendants should approach the district court before the deadline.

What is the Michigan Traffic Ticketing System?

Michigan’s Point System, which places point value for every traffic violation, is described on the webpage of the Michigan Secretary of State. The point value system is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code. According to the code, once an offender is guilty of any traffic violation (ticket fine is paid), points will be placed on the driver’s record. This can remain on the record for as long as two years, depending on the level of infraction or misdemeanor.

Point System in Michigan

  • Six points are placed for manslaughter or any related crime involving the use of a motor vehicle, driving under the influence of liquor/drugs, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, running away from a police officer, etc.
  • Four points are placed for drag racing, driving a vehicle when visibly impaired, bodily alcohol content found on an underage driver (below 21), driving above the legal speed restriction (above 16 mph), etc.
  • Three points for careless driving, disobedience to traffic signals or stop signs or improper passing, driving above the legal speed (between 11 and 15 mph), etc.
  • Two points for opening an alcohol while driving, all moving violations of traffic laws, rejecting a PBT (Preliminary Breath Test) by a driver who is under 21 years, etc.

Points are generally reduced when offenders appear in court to report justifying circumstances that led to the violation. This can be resolved with a fine and a jail sentence if the misdemeanor is serious. In other situations, the Secretary of State (SOS) in Michigan might permit the offender to perform a BDIC (Basic Driver Improvement Course). The course which must be completed within sixty days will help to safeguard against:

  • Getting additional points to the driving record
  • Revealing driver’s traffic ticket information to insurance companies

The BDIC can be taken online or physically in a classroom. Its essence is to remind offenders of basic traffic safety rules.

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

Michigan driving defaulters usually get notified of their tickets through the mail. However, individuals who did not receive mail notifications can check their driving records through the Michigan Secretary of State website.

For a driver to obtain a vehicle or driving record, the individual must fill-out a Record Lookup Application. Persons ordering their records should note that they will be sent to the address listed on the form’s section 1. Persons who want the driver’s records sent to a different location have to indicate this on the form’s section 4.

To obtain a driving record, individuals will have to provide:

  • Michigan driver’s license number
  • Full name
  • Date of birth

To obtain a recreational vehicle record, title record, or license plate registration, persons will have to produce either of the following:

  • The license plate/registration number
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Hull identification number (HIN)

All completed forms along with the payments should be sent to:

Michigan Department of State

Record Sales Unit

7064 Crowner Drive

Lansing, MI 48918–1502

Fax: (517) 335–6169.

A record costs $11 together with an extra $1 for an approved copy of the same document. In-person requests cost $12 and will not require an application form as long as the requirements are complete. These fees can be paid using a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or Discover), money order, or check.

How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Michigan?

A lost Michigan traffic ticket is easily retrievable by visiting the Michigan district court, which serves as a traffic court in the state. The individual might need to give specific details, such as

  • Full name
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number

Note that a missing parking ticket information is easily located by contacting the city agency in charge of parking violations.

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

In the State of Michigan, the duration which a ticket remains on an offender’s record depends on the severity and manner of the offense. On average, points may remain on a driving record for two years while the traffic ticket can stay for seven years.

Is a Summon Worse Than a Ticket in Michigan?

No. In Michigan, a court summons or citation is similar to a ticket which explains why it is often used interchangeably. On receiving a summons, the individual is required to appear at the District Court indicated on the ticket. Traffic tickets, which is also a legal summon (especially for a violation), can be resolved by only making a payment online, via mail or in-person.

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