What Do I Do If I Get a California Fix-It Ticket?

What Should You Do If You Are Issued a Fix-It Ticket?

You may ask yourself, “What do I do if I get a fix it ticket?” Most of the time, taking care of a fix-it ticket is a straightforward process, which is usually printed on the ticket. If you need to correct an issue, such as an obscured license plate, you will need to remove what is blocking the plate. However, if you believe your ticket was issued in error or you don’t agree with the issuing officer, you may choose to fight your ticket.

Fighting your ticket in court can be difficult without an attorney. As a driver, you must have in-depth knowledge of the law and why you were issued a ticket in the first place. An attorney can help you better navigate the process of fighting a fix-it ticket.

How do I fix a fix-it ticket?

A police officer writes a speeding ticket after cl
A police officer writes a speeding ticket after clocking cars with a radar gun. | (Photo by Mike Albans/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

RELATED: There’s 1 State You Never Want To Get a Speeding Ticket In

If you receive a fix-it ticket, there should be instructions and conditions on the ticket itself. It should tell you how much time you have to correct the offending issue as well as how you can get it dismissed. If you can’t find the instructions on the ticket itself, you can always check for them online on your state’s website.

After you understand the conditions of the ticket, you can then proceed to fix the issue on your car or on your car’s registration. This could mean having to visit a mechanic for the repair or the DMV to update your license or registration.

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Fix-It Tickets and Accident Liability

Officers only issue these types of citations when a vehicle has defective, dangerous, or missing features or equipment that make it a potential hazard on the road, not when that vehicle has actually caused injury or damage. As discussed above, when you receive a fix-it citation, you have a certain number of days to remedy the issue—the grace period. But what happens if you have an accident during the grace period of the infraction?

In short, if the problem with your vehicle had anything to do with the collision, you can expect your insurer to place at least some of the blame on you, which in turn results in higher premiums. You will also likely receive some sort of citation at the scene for any negligence that resulted from your vehicle’s issue. For instance, if you received a ticket because your vehicle has no rearview mirror and you end up backing into another vehicle in a parking lot because you can’t see, you can expect to get a cited for failing to yield. The same rules for assigning fault still apply, but you are much more likely to be at fault for a collision if something is seriously wrong with your car. On the bright side, you will not receive another citation for the problem as long as you are within the grace period of your first ticket.

Get the violation dismissed

In order to completely resolve the fix-it ticket, you’ll need to show up to the court and present proof that you resolved the issue. Some states do allow for electronic verification, so you can check whether or not yours does. Just remember that you might need to pay an administration fee for the court costs as well.

Pick a Team To Fight and Win

Whether it was due to a momentary lapse of judgment or an overzealous traffic enforcement officer, just about everyone has had the unfortunate experience of being on the receiving end of a traffic citation. One thing is for sure, no matter why you receive a ticket, it is not going to go away on its own. Today, the law has even put high-tech tools to work so that more drivers than ever have received at least one red light camera ticket. At The Ticket Clinic, you will find a dedicated group of ticket fighters who know the traffic laws and the best way to approach your case.

Jim Radcliffe

Jim Radcliffe, who graduated from the University of Southern California in journalism, worked as a reporter at The Arizona Daily Star, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the Daily Breeze before joining The Orange County Register. He is now a public safety editor for the Register and the Southern California Newspaper Group and writes Honk, a Q&A transportation column. honk@ocregister.com Follow Jim Radcliffe @OCRegisterHonk

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