Tennessee Court Records
What are Tennessee Traffic Tickets?
Tennessee traffic tickets are official notices issued to motorists following a traffic violation. Tickets typically feature information regarding the offense as well as details of its severity and the consequent penalties. These violations include reckless driving, illegal u-turn, racing on a highway, improper passing, drinking & driving violations, and other acts as contained in Tennessee Code Title 55. Generally, these tickets are issued by law enforcement officials in Tennessee. However, the Tennessee Department of Safety is in charge of all driving-related violations and records in the state. As such, all issues concerning traffic tickets in the state can be resolved by contacting the department or law enforcement agency in the county.
Records that are considered public may 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, often regarded as a ticket, is a legal document issued by a local law enforcement agent requesting an individual to appear in court due to traffic violations. A traffic ticket is used together with a citation frequently but they are different. While a traffic ticket gives an offender the opportunity to resolve the issue after payment, a citation requires the appearance of the offender in court. Traffic citations in Tennessee can come in different colors (pink, green or yellow). This will determine the type of traffic court that has been cited. Other features of a citation include:
- Name of the law enforcement agent that issued the ticket
- The date the ticket was issued
- The citation number
- The charges or violations
- When the offender is expected to appear in court
How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee?
Offenders who are issued a traffic ticket are required to pay the fines within the specified date indicated on the ticket. In Tennessee, the Municipal Courts and General Sessions Courts are in charge of hearing traffic violation cases. Therefore, offenders can contact local court clerks to pay their ticket fines in person or via mail. Some counties provide online platforms for easy payments. Failure to pay fines within the stipulated time may lead to stiffer punishments which include driver’s license suspension. Note that payment of ticket fine automatically means admission of guilt. As a result, making this decision may attract other penalties such as addition of points to the motorist’s driving record. Contesting a citation in court is an alternative to paying ticket fines.
Can You Pay Tennessee Traffic Tickets Online?
Yes, Tennessee traffic tickets can be paid online. The online payment is provided by different counties in Tennessee. Motorists who have been issued a ticket may choose to pay online or contact the county court clerk to challenge the ticket. Some online third-party providers offer to resolve and respond to tickets of offenders. Information required to use these sites include
- The offender’s full name, location/state, and birth information
- The date and location of the offense
- The offender’s license information
- The citation number of the ticket or the DL number
How do I Pay a Ticket online in Tennessee?
Offenders can pay ticket fines online by visiting the county clerk webpage. Generally, each county in the state provides this service on its website. Knoxville County, for instance, offers a secure online payment system for offenders who are issued traffic tickets or citations. Tickets within the jurisdiction of the county can be resolved using any of the information below:
- Date of birth
- Citation number
- Drivers license number
- Social security number
- Vehicle tag number
Note that a $2.25 convenience fee will be added to the ticket fine when using the online option. Also, payments can be made using a master or visa card.
What is the Tennessee Traffic Ticketing System?
The traffic ticketing system in Tennessee is created by the Department of Safety and implemented by the various law enforcement agencies of the state. The system, known as the driver improvement program is similar to the federal driving point system. It is used to determine the different fines for specific driving offences. Also, the system helps law enforcement agencies to know the extent of crimes committed by the motorist and if it is sufficient to suspend the driver’s license.
According to the program, motorists above 18 years old who have accumulated 12 points within a year will be notified of proposed license suspension. Failure to request for a hearing may lead to suspension of license for six or twelve months. Motorists below 18 years who have accumulated six points on their record will be notified of proposed license suspension as well. In Tennessee, points can only be reduced when the offender requests and attends an administrative hearing. At the hearing, defendants get a chance to avoid license suspension by choosing to attend an approved defensive driving school in the state. Types of offenses and their point values are contained in the Schedule of Points Values provided by the Department of Safety.
How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in Tennessee?
Generally, motorists in Tennessee who have been issued a ticket will be sent a mail to their residence. However, residents who miss this mail may find out if they have unresolved traffic tickets by requesting for their driving record. The Tennessee driving record, also known as the moving violation report, can be gotten online, via mail, or by visiting a driver service center located in Tennessee.
Online access to an individual’s moving violation report costs $7. Requesters must have a printer connected to a computer to save the report which is only available in pdf formats. The report is accessible using details such as the driver’s name, birth date, and driver license number. Note that only credit cards such as mastercard, visa, discover, and American express are accepted for this service. Requesters can also obtain the report via mail, which costs $5 but may take longer to process. To use the mail-in service, interested persons can send a request including details such as the driver’s name, birth date, and driver license number to:
Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security
PO BOX 945
Nashville, TN 37202
Acceptable modes of payment for this service are cashier check and money order payable to ‘Tennessee Dept. of Safety & Homeland.’ Interested persons may also use online case citation search tools to view any unresolved traffic ticket.
How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in Tennessee?
Residents in Tennessee may find lost traffic tickets and citations by contacting the clerk of the traffic court located in the county where the ticket was issued. Information such as the ticket citation number, fine, and deadline will be required to facilitate ticket search. As such, offenders are advised to take note of the citation number, place of the ticket, the name of the issuing officer, and the violation for which they were charged.
How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, a traffic ticket can remain on an offender’s driving history for 12 months to five years, depending on the nature and severity of the offense committed. Generally, speeding tickets in Tennessee stay on record for up to one year while other grievous crimes may stay for five years.
Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in Tennessee?
A court summons is an order given to a traffic offender to appear at a general sessions court or municipal court. On the other hand, tickets are easily settled through payments made in person, via mail, or online. In Tennessee, court summons is issued for severe traffic violations while tickets are given to offenders who commit minimal traffic crimes.