How Do You Read a Traffic Ticket?


Quick Answer

Traffic tickets contain valuable information for defendants on the front and back sides; ticket faces have basic information, such as date, time and type of violation and contact information and address of defendant, while the back explains defendants' legal rights and responsibilities. Traffic tickets and citations vary in level of penalty; some, issued for minor offenses, require payment of a fine or impose other trivial penalties, while citations for serious violations, like driving under the influence, necessitate court appearances. This information appears on the back of citations, and guides the actions of courts and citizens.

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How Do You Read a Traffic Ticket?
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Full Answer

Although officers issue traffic citations for various reasons, the ticket layout remains largely the same. The front side of traffic tickets states the date, time of violation and name of the law enforcement agency issuing the citation. If the violation requires a court appearance, tickets also include information on date and time when ticket recipients must appear.

Tickets contain identifying information for cars and drivers, including vehicle plate and vehicle identification number, make, and model. Owners' addresses, date of birth and physically identifying features appear on the front, too. Tickets also display driver's speed and general road conditions at time of incident. Ticket information appears in white and grey shades; information in grey is subject to change. After issuing tickets, drivers and officers sign the ticket. In doing so, drivers agree to abide by all legal requirements.

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