How to get a 'fix it ticket' written off in California for free
By Martin Hill
August 5, 2010

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In California, when one receives a 'fix it' ticket, the motorist has to get 'proof of correction' from a law enforcement agency in order to get it dismissed. Fix it tickets involve such offenses that do not involve unsafe driving, and there is no point that goes on your record. Such offenses can include a broken tail light, burned out bulb, windows that are tinted too dark, etc.

The California website has a section about fix it tickets which states, in part,

"What do I do if I get a "fix-it" ticket?
If a police officer gives you a "fix-it" ticket on a "Notice to Appear," the "yes" box will be checked below "Correctable Violation" on the front of the ticket. The police can give you another ticket if you don't fix the problem immediately. When you fix the problem, get an authorized person to sign the "Certificate of Correction" part of your ticket. Take the proof of correction to the court and pay the dismissal fee before the deadline. You can check your ticket or contact the court to see if the court accepts proof of correction by mail. The court will then dismiss your case and it won't go on your record"

Generally most city police departments allow you to come and get the violation 'signed off' at their station after you have corrected the problem. Some cities will not charge you if you received the citation in their city. An increasing number of cities do charge though, up to $25 dollars or more. You will also still have to pay the court dismissal fee, which I have found to be $25 for violations such as a burnt out headlight or broken tail light..

Fifty dollars is quite pricey for a burnt out  $3 light bulb. of course, the state does this for revenue. The California Highway Patrol, however, offers a free service of signing off correctable violations for no charge. I have used this free service twice at CHP regional offices and appreciated the fact that I did not have to pay anything, since I am such a cheapskate.

One local police department told me that the CHP is currently considering charging for this service, though that has not been officially verified. CHP office locations can be found here. A CHP 'frequently asked questions' page can be found here.

As an advocate of always fighting traffic tickets in court, I once tried to fight a ticket for a burnt headlight. The court told me that instead of the $25 dismissal fee as bail, I would have to pay several hundred dollars as bail in order to schedulke a trial. They did not explain why the bail was so much more than the dismissal fee; I presume it's a scheme to discourage people from challenging such tickets in court.

Once you save the money for the ticket sign-off, e-mail me and take me out to lunch. Just kiddin. ;-) Be sure to see the links to all my traffic ticket archives here.

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How to get a 'fix it ticket' written off in California for free

— Martin (@LibertyFight) September 27, 2014


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