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The Traffic Division handles infraction matters for adult and juvenile traffic violations, and some local and city and county ordinances. Most adult cases handled in the Traffic Division do not require a court appearance and can be handled by paying a fine (or bail).

The court will mail a Courtesy Notice to the address listed on your citation.  If this is incorrect, or your mailing address has changed, please contact the court at (209) 533-5671, and request to give an updated address. The Courtesy Notice will contain information for taking care of your citation and your due date.

Note: Driving under the influence (DUI) violations are handled through the Criminal Division.

Traffic Topics


An arraignment is a hearing in which the court advises you of your rights and informs you of the charges against you. You will be asked to enter a plea to the charges:

  • If you enter a plea of not guilty, the judicial officer will set a court trial date.
  • If you enter a plea of guilty the judicial officer will sentence you.
  • An arraignment is not a trial where arguments for a case are heard.

Arraignments must be scheduled by contacting the Clerk’s Office at (209) 533-2380.  We do not offer “Walk-in-Court”. If you were cited for mechanical, registration, driver’s license or insurance violations, bring all proof of correction that you have with you to the arraignment. 

Most citations do not require a personal appearance and can be handled by telephone or mail by paying the bail amount and/or providing proof of correction and paying the bail amount.

Court Trial

A court trial is a trial where you appear in person to testify about the facts in the case.  The officer who issued the citation will also be required to appear. You have the right to subpoena witnesses and to have a lawyer present, if you retain one. 

If you have evidence or witnesses that are necessary to your defense you should have them available on the date set for your Court Trial.

If you do not appear for your Court Trial the judicial officer may find you guilty in absencia.

A trial by declaration allows a defendant to contest a citation in writing without having to make a personal court appearance. For information on Trial By Declaration (see below topic area).

To request a court trial you must fill out and file form TUO-TRF-100 Plea & Request for Court Trial.

An appeal can be filed within 30 days only after being found guilty in a court trial.  New evidence is not accepted on an appeal. The appellate court’s decision deals with the evidence offered and decisions made at the time of trial.

For more information visit the Appeals page.

A Courtesy Notice is sent by the court to the address listed on the citation and contains the following information:

  • Court case number

  • The bail amount for the citation

  • The due date when payment must be made

  • Information on clearing a "fix-it" violation with Proof of Correction (see Proof of Correction section below)

  • Eligibility criteria for Traffic School

If your address on the citation is incomplete or incorrect, contact the court in person or by phone at (209) 533-5671 to give a change of address. If the Courtesy Notice has already been processed and mailed to an incorrect address, we are unable to mail out a second Courtesy Notice.

You must take action on the citation on or before the due date listed on your Courtesy Notice.  Not receiving your Courtesy Notice is not a legal excuse for failing to take care of the citation by its due date.  When submitting a payment and/or documents by mail, allow 10 days for delivery and processing.

IF YOU SIGNED THE CITATION, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING CARE OF THE CITATION.  If you have questions regarding your citation that are not answered here, please feel free to contact the traffic division at (209) 533-5671 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays.

You are entitled to one 30 day extension from the due date listed on your Courtesy Notice. You may request a 30 day extension by phone at (209) 533-5671, or in person at the Superior Court, 12855 Justice Center Drive, Sonora, CA 95370.  For extensions beyond 30 days, you must appear in court and speak with the judicial officer.

Contact the clerk’s office in person or by phone at (209) 533-5671 for an appearance date. We do not have walk-in-court.

Clerical staff may grant one extension on due dates of Court ordered fines. You must come into the traffic counter and obtain a “Clerk’s Modification of Sentence or Probation Conditions” form.  Once completed and filed, you are required to provide the Office of Revenue Recovery a copy of this form.

If you fail to appear or resolve your citation on or before the due date or any date to which your matter may have been continued by the clerk at your request, the court will proceed pursuant to Section 40903 of the California Vehicle Code.  This may result in your conviction of the violations and the fine imposed.  Failure to pay the fine will result in the imposition of an additional $100.00 civil penalty and the matter being referred to the Office of Revenue Recovery  for collections.  Their number is: 209-533-5920.

Description Fee


.50 cents per page

Certified Copies

$40.00 per document

Proof of correction fee

$25.00 per count

Court Security fee

$40.00 per count

Infraction Conviction Assessment

$35.00 per count

Traffic School Administrative Fee


The Traffic Division processes juvenile cases involving infractions and some misdemeanor violations of law.

A mandatory appearance is required and juveniles must be accompanied in court by a parent or legal guardian.

A Notice of Hearing will be mailed to the address written on the citation.  If the address is incomplete or incorrect contact the court immediately at (209) 533-5671 to put in a change of address. 

If you do not receive a notice within 20 days of receiving the citation you should contact the Court at (209) 533-5671.

Parking citations are not handled by the Superior Court.  The City of Sonora and other law enforcement agencies process their own parking citations.  For further information contact the agency designated on your parking citation.

The Superior Court conducts hearings on appeal if you contest an administrative decision of the parking agency.

If you wish to contest a decision made by the parking agency, you may file an appeal with the court. The following criteria must be met before submitting an appeal on a parking citation:

  • An administrative review was conducted by the parking agency.

  • A decision by the administrative review was completed.

  • The appeal is submitted within 30 days of the administrative decision.

You must submit the following to the court in order to file an appeal:

Upon filing the notice of appeal, the matter will be set for trial de novo. The date, day, and time of the trial will be inserted on the notice of appeal. The contestant must serve the issuing agency with the notice of appeal (Vehicle Code section 40230(a), and proof of service must be filed by the contestant with the court at least 10 days before the trial date.

Upon receiving the notice of appeal, the agency will forward to the court its entire file, including the final decision of the examiner, and the manner and the date of service of that decision.  The agency file should be received by the court at least 10 days before trial.

After the trial de novo, the court will notify the contestant and the agency of its decision. If the agency prevails, the parking penalty will then be retained by the agency, or if not previously collected by the agency, will be collected by the agency (Vehicle Code section 40220).  If the contestant prevails, the agency shall promptly refund to the contestant the $25.00 fee for filing the notice of appeal, together with any parking penalty previously deposited (Vehicle Code section 40230(b)).

The bail on a citation is the amount of money required to guarantee your appearance in court.  If you choose to pay the bail on the citation without going to court, it is called a bail forfeiture. The citation is deemed paid and the resulting conviction will be reported on your driving record.  When you elect to forfeit bail, you are waiving your right to a trial, entering a plea of guilty to the charges, and paying the fine without appearance in court. If you elect to proceed by this option, you may sign the options/remittance portion of your Courtesy Notice and provide to the court the total bail amount indicated on the Courtesy Notice, along with any proof of correction that is required prior to the due date. If no proof of correction is required on any violation, you may also pay on-line or by telephone.

If there are any mechanical, registration, or insurance violations included in the citation, proof of correction will be required before you can pay the amount due, with the completed proof of correction found on your Courtesy Notice.  Proof of correction must be submitted by mail or in person.  For additional information regarding proof of correction, please refer to the section below entitled "Proof of Correction".

There are four alternatives for paying a citation:

  • Online: Tuolumne County Superior Court Online Payment Website

  • By phone at (209) 533-5671.

  • In person at: Superior Court, 12855 Justice Center Drive, Sonora, CA, 95370.

  • By mail: Superior Court, 12855 Justice Center Drive, Sonora, CA, 95370. (If you pay by mail and need a receipt, enclose a self addressed and stamped envelope with your payment.)

NOTE: If paying by check or money order, please make payable to "Tuolumne County Superior Court" and write your case number in the memo section.

If you are unable to pay the entire fine prior to the due date, you may request to pay in monthly installments. If you elect to pay your fine in monthly installments, you must contact the court clerk. The clerk will mail you an Agreement to Pay. You must return the signed agreement prior to your due date on your Courtesy Notice. Payments are made to the Office of Revenue Recovery.

Some violations require a mandatory court appearance and cannot simply be paid. If you were cited for a violation that requires a mandatory appearance, a notice of hearing with a court date and time will be mailed to the address listed on the citation.

If you fail to appear or resolve your citation on or before the due date, or any date to which your matter may have been continued by the clerk at your request, the court will proceed pursuant to Section 40903 of the California Vehicle Code. This may result in your conviction of the violation(s) and the fine imposed.  Failure to pay the fine will result in the imposition of an additional $100.00 civil penalty, and the matter being referred to the Office of Revenue Recovery. Their number is: 209-533-5920.

Failure to receive a Courtesy Notice is not an excuse for failing to appear or resolve your citation.

Correctable violations will be dismissed when Proof of Correction and payment in the amount shown are presented to the court by the due date shown on your courtesy notice.  Correction consists of an authorized agency signing off your correctable violation(s) by using the space provided on the back of your citation.

NOTE: Proof correctable violations cannot be paid over the phone or online as it is necessary for the court staff to be provided the signed off citation.

Mechanical, equipment, driver’s license and registration violations can be signed off by any uniformed peace officer. The California Highway Patrol, local sheriffs’ departments and local police departments all provide this service.

Driver’s license and registration violations can also be signed off by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or by a clerk of the Superior Court.

VC16028(a) – Insurance violations

Proof of insurance cannot be signed off by a law enforcement officer.

If you were cited for failure to provide proof of insurance or financial responsibility pursuant to section 16028(a) of the Vehicle Code and you did not have insurance on the date of the violation you will be required to pay the full bail amount.

If you had proof of insurance at the time the citation was issued, but were unable to provide it to the officer when cited, the violation is dismissible with proof of insurance and a $25.00 correction fee.

  • Name of insurance carrier
  • Policy number
  • Name of person who received the citation and/or the vehicle listed on the citation
  • Effective dates of coverage showing insurance coverage on the date you were cited

The courtesy notice sent by the court will indicate your initial eligibility to attend traffic school.

WARNING: If you are not eligible to attend, but do so anyway, the conviction will be reported on your driving record and there will be no refund of any fees paid.

You may pay and request Traffic School by:

  • Returning the options/remittance portion of your courtesy notice with the box marked “I choose to attend traffic school if I am eligible, with your signature and the amount due for traffic school on or before the date due.  Include a self addressed stamped envelope if you want the court to return printed traffic school listings to you.
  • By telephone at (209)533-5671
  • In person at Superior Court, 12855 Justice Center Drive, Sonora, CA  95370.

You will have 90 days to complete traffic school from the date the court processes your request. If you submit proof of completion within 90 days the conviction will be held confidential by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

You are responsible for contacting and attending the traffic school of your choice.  You will be required to pay a separate fee to the traffic school you choose. To obtain a list of approved traffic schools use the link below:

 California Traffic Safety Institute (CTSI)

If you fail to attend or to provide the court with the required Certificate of Completion form within 60 days, the Traffic School Administration fee paid to the court pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 42007 will be converted to bail and declared forfeited per Vehicle Code Section 40512.6. The violation will be reported to the DMV as a conviction.

Only persons meeting the following criteria established by the Judicial Council of the State of California and contained in the California Rules of Court section 4.104 are permitted to attend Traffic School:


  • You must currently possess a valid driver’s license
  • You may not have attended Traffic School in the last 18-month period


A court clerk is not authorized to grant a request to attend traffic violator school for a misdemeanor or any of the following infractions:

  • A violation that carries a negligent operator point count of more than one point under Vehicle Code section 12810 or one and one-half points or more under Vehicle Code section 12810.5(b)(2);
  • A violation that occurs within 18 months after the date of a previous violation and the defendant either attended or elected to attend a traffic violator school for the previous violation
  • A violation of Vehicle Code section 22406
  • A violation related to alcohol use or possession or drug use or possession
  • A violation on which the defendant failed to appear under Vehicle Code section 40508(a) unless the failure-to-appear charge has been adjudicated and any fine imposed has been paid
  • A violation on which the defendant has failed to appear under Penal Code section 1214.1 unless the civil monetary assessment has been paid
  • A speeding violation in which the speed alleged is more than 25 miles over a speed limit
  • A violation that occurs in a commercial vehicle as defined in Vehicle Code section 15210(b)

You are responsible for the delivery of your Certificate of Completion form by the due date.  You should confirm with the court that your certificate was timely received.

California Vehicle Code section 40902 allows a defendant to contest Vehicle Code Infraction citations in writing, without having to make a personal court appearance.  Trials by written declaration are available in cases involving infraction violations of the Vehicle Code or local ordinances adopted under the Vehicle Code. Trial by Declaration is not available for citations issued for offenses committed outside the presence of the citing officer (for example: a citation issued as the result of a traffic accident or citizen complaint).

If you wish to proceed with a Trial by Declaration and you are making your payment by mail, please mark the appropriate boxes on the Options/Remittance portion of your Courtesy Notice and return it to the Court on or before your due date.  You may also select this option if you wish to use our Automated Phone System at (209)533-6971.

You must deposit the bail amount due at the time of your request for a Trial by Declaration pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 40519.

California Vehicle Code section 40519 states in part that the deposit of bail “shall be used for the purpose of guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant at the time and place scheduled by the clerk for arraignment and for trial and to apply toward the payment of any fine or assessment prescribed by the court in the event of a conviction”.

Once your payment is received the court will mail you and the officer the declaration forms to complete.  These must be filled out completely and returned to the court by the Due Date listed on the form. The court will decide the case based upon the documents and declaration in the file and you will receive notice of the court’s decision by mail.

If you are found Not Guilty, your bail deposit will be returned to the depositor by mail within six to eight weeks.

If you are found Guilty the sentence imposed will be a fine not exceeding the amount of bail deposited.

Failure to return your declaration timely may result in a finding of guilty and forfeiture of the bail deposited.  No monthly payment options are available for Trial by Declaration cases.

Fine, Assessments, Penalty Assessments and Fees; 

What is a Penalty Assessment?

The amount added to the base bail and base fines on infraction, misdemeanor, and felony offenses.  The current penalty assessment (effective June 10, 2010), is $26 for each $10, or portion of $10 of fine or bail, as set by the California State Legislature.  The $26 Penalty Assessment is charged pursuant to Penal Code Section 1469 and Government Code Sections 76000, 70372, 76104.6, 76104.7 and 76000.5.

In addition to the penalty assessments:

  • Effective June 27, 2014, a $40 court security fee will be added for each infraction, misdemeanor, or felony violation resulting in a conviction pursuant to Penal Code Section 1465.8.
  • Effective January 1, 2009, an assessment in the amount of $30 for each misdemeanor or felony, and $35 for each infraction, will be added for each conviction pursuant to Government Code 70373.
  • Effective September 20, 2002 there is a 20% State Surcharge imposed on the base bail or base fine amount.  This 20% may not be used to calculate the Penalty Assessment per each $10 of fine.

These penalties are also included in the calculation for traffic school.

Example fine amount for vehicle code: Where the money goes:

Base fine amount


Court automation, court fund, city fund

Penalty Assessment


State penalty fund (PC1469)


County penalty fund (76000)


State court facilities construction fund (GC70372)


DNA Identification fund (GC76104.6 & 76104.7)


County emergency medical services (GC76000.5)

State Surcharge 20%


State general fund (PC1465.7)

Court Security Fee


To fund security in the trial courts (PC1465.8)

Conviction Assessment Fee


To fund building/maintaining trial courts (GC70373(a)(1))

Total Fine:


Traffic School

The traffic school calculation is based on the Base Fine + Penalty Assessment + State Surcharge + Conviction Assessment + Administrative Fee.  The current Administrative Fee is $79. Theses fines, fees, and assessments do not include the fee charged by the traffic school.

Proof of Correction

Effective January 1, 2009, when submitting proof of correction on a “fix-it” ticket, the fee assessed will be $25 for each correctable violation.

Revenue Recovery

The purpose of Revenue Recovery is to assist people who cannot pay their entire fine at the time of the hearing. The Office of Revenue Recovery (ORR) is separate from the Superior Court of California, County of Tuolumne, but is contracted as the Collection Officer on behalf of the court.  They are located at 2 S. Green St, in Sonora, Ca 95370.  Their number is 209-533-5920 and email address is:

The Office of Revenue Recovery is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. 

Traffic FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The appearance date written by the officer on your ticket is not a court date.  It is simply a date for you to contact the court by.  We make every effort to mail a Courtesy Notice to you prior to the date written on the bottom of the ticket by the officer, the Courtesy Notice will have your DUE DATE on it.

The $25 fee for each correctable violation is statutory pursuant to Vehicle Code section 40611.

Yes, unless the ticket is issued in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle you are driving.

If you have sold the car or it has become inoperable, you must set a court date to appear and provide proof of sale or inoperability to clear the ticket.  You should bring to court any relevant paperwork that will support your case.

The $79 administrative fee is a state fee required when requesting traffic school. The schools are privately owned companies that have been approved for your attendance.  None of the $79 administrative fee goes to the schools.  The $79 administrative fee does go towards monitoring the curriculum, developing school lists, and staffing for the TVS clerk position. It supports the process that allows you to attend Traffic School.

It is required pursuant to Vehicle Code section 42007.  The benefit of traffic school attendance is that the conviction will be suppressed on your DMV record, and will not count as a point on your driving history.

You must request a court date to explain it to a judicial officer.

Missing your due date could result in a failure to appear charge being added to the ticket, larger fine amounts due, and a negative impact on your driving record.

Drivers must handle tickets even if they do not live in the State of California.  Citations may be paid online with a credit card.  If you live out of the country and choose to pay by check or money order, it must be paid in U.S. dollars.

You are eligible for insurance if you are a licensed driver.  Contact an insurance agent to determine what type of insurance coverage is available.

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