Traffic Violations FAQs

FAQs are grouped by topic:

Definitions

Adjudicated
The court has decided your case.

Adjudicated to Have Committed the Violation
The court decided you committed the violation.

Adjudicated to Have Not Committed the Violation 
The court decided you did not commit the violation.

Contest 
You disagree with the violation charged and want a traffic trial.

Continuance
Postponement of a trial, hearing, or other court event. In a contested traffic violation case, the defendant or State may ask for a new date for scheduled trial by submitting a Motion to Continue.

Default Judgment 
You either failed to answer the traffic violation charged in the time allowed or you failed to appear in court on your court date. In either case, the case has been decided in favor of the State.

Dismissed 
The case against you has been terminated (ended).

Judgment on Acceptance of Answer of Not Contested 
You did not contest or disagree with the violation and you have been found to have committed the violation.

Not Contested
You are not disputing the violation charged and do not want a traffic hearing.

Violation
As used in a traffic case, a traffic violation is the same as a traffic “infraction;” a non-criminal offense.

Violation Summons and Complaint (VSAC)
The official name of a traffic ticket in Maine.

Back to Top

Court process in traffic cases

1. Can I request a jury trial?
No. Contested traffic cases are not eligible for a jury trial.

2. Can I have an attorney appointed to represent me?
No, the court does not appoint attorneys for traffic cases. You may hire your own attorney in a traffic violation case. See Get Legal Help.

3. Where will my traffic trial be held?
The courthouse for your trial depends on the city or town where the alleged violation occurred. The city or town is listed on your traffic ticket. To find the right court, check the Courthouse Locations by Town web page.

4. Can I request another court date if I have received a Notice of Trial?
Yes, but your request (called a “Motion to Continue”) may or may not be granted.
To request by mail: Please submit your request at least 7 days before your trial date. Send your request to the Violations Bureau at P.O. Box 480 Lewiston, Maine 04243-0480. Be sure to provide a copy to the Office of the District Attorney for the county where your traffic stop occurred and where your case will be heard.  A list of Maine District Attorneys may be found here. The clerk of the court will notify you if your request has been granted.

To request online using Guide & File: Please submit your request at least 7 days before your trial date. See the FAQ section e-filing in traffic cases for more information on Guide & File.

5. Can I contest one or more, but not all, violations on the same ticket?
Yes. You may do so by mail or in Guide & File. Your answer must be received by the Violations Bureau within 35 calendar days from the date the ticket was issued.

By mail: A ticket may list up to four violations. On the back of the ticket, mark the appropriate CONTESTED boxes– 1, 2, 3 and/or 4–for each violation on which you want a trial. Then, mark the appropriate NOT CONTESTED boxes– 1, 2, 3 and/or 4– for each violation on the ticket that you wish to pay. Sign, date, and fill in your current mailing address in the spaces provided. The address you provide will be the one used by the Violations Bureau. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will not be provided with this address information and will be relying on the address you have provided to them in the past. Mail the answer to the Violations Bureau, P.O. Box 480, Lewiston, ME 04243-0480. Enclose payment for only the violation(s) you wish to pay.

Online using Guide & File: follow the instructions in the “Contest a ticket” Guide & File interview.

6. What do I need to show or prove to win my traffic case?
See the Contest a Ticket page.

7. Can I appeal a decision in a traffic case?
Yes. See Information on Traffic Violations Appeals and Notice of Appeal form.

Back to Top

Driver’s license-related

8. Will my license be suspended if I do not pay my fine on time? 
Yes, if your fine is not paid within the time allowed, your license or registration will be suspended. Once suspended, you must pay the Violations Bureau the fine for each violation and a late fee of $50 for each violation. In addition, you must then pay the Bureau of Motor Vehicles a reinstatement fee for each violation that resulted in a suspension.

9. How do I get my license reinstated?
If your license is suspended for failing to pay a fine, you must pay the Violations Bureau the fine for each violation and a late fee of $50 for each violation. In addition, you must then pay the Bureau of Motor Vehicles a reinstatement fee for each violation that resulted in a suspension. Contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (207) 624-9000 (ext 52100) to confirm that your license has been reinstated.

10. Where can I pay my reinstatement fee(s)?
Reinstatement fees are paid to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Augusta or to one of its branch offices.

Back to Top

E-filing in traffic cases

11.  What are the advantages of using e-filing in a traffic case?
E-filing offers parties the convenience of being able to look up, pay, contest, or take additional actions on your traffic case from anywhere, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have lost or misplaced a traffic ticket, you may look up the ticket information with your name (or business name, if applicable) through the Odyssey Portal.

12. Do I have to create an account to use e-filing?
It depends on what you want to do on your traffic case. If you just want to pay your ticket online, you do not have to create an account. Go to Smart Search within the Odyssey Portal, verify that your ticket has been entered into the system, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

If you want to take an action other than paying a traffic ticket, you will need to create an account or sign in if you have created an account previously.

13. Why do I need to verify my traffic ticket number?
You will not be able to pay or contest your ticket online until it has been entered into Odyssey. Because many traffic tickets in the State are issued in paper form, there may be a processing delay from the time you received the ticket until it is available in the Odyssey Portal.

14. Will I be able to pay my ticket or see information about my traffic case right away in the Odyssey Portal?
There may be a processing delay from the time you received the ticket until it is transmitted to the Violations Bureau and available online. If you are having difficulty finding your traffic case in the online system, you may contact the Violations Bureau for assistance.

15. Does it cost anything to pay my ticket through the Odyssey Portal?
If you pay a fine with a credit or debit card, you will be charged a convenience fee regardless of whether you pay online or by another method. The fee is currently 2.39% of the amount of the payment. If, for example, you are making a payment of $100, you will be charged a fee of $2.39 for paying with a credit or debit card.

16. What is a Guide & File “interview?”
Guide & File helps people fill out and submit court forms and other documents in a case. Users do this by answering questions on a series of screens. You may also, where appropriate, upload copies of documents concerning your case. After reviewing and signing electronically, the correct court forms are generated. You may print or save your completed documents.

17. Can I e-file or make a payment using a cell phone or tablet?
Yes.

18. How do I submit “proof documents” in a traffic case using Guide & File?
If your traffic ticket involved certain charges— failure to provide evidence of a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit; valid vehicle insurance; or valid vehicle registration— you may upload evidence in Guide & File. Begin the Guide & File “Contest a ticket” interview and have the relevant proof document(s) handy.

When prompted, upload the proof document you have scanned and saved as a “PDF.” A PDF is a file format that allows a user to share a text or text and graphic document exactly as a printed copy of the text or text and graphic document looks. If you have the ability to scan a document using a scanner or copy machine, you will be able to save the document as a PDF.

If you would like to scan your proof document(s) using a mobile device, you may need to convert another file format (such as a JPEG) to a PDF, or use a mobile PDF scanner app on your mobile device. See, for example, https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/mobile/scanner-app.html.

19. Does Guide & File accept proof documents in a format other than a PDF?
No, Guide & File accepts only PDFs.

20. What payment methods can I use through the Odyssey Portal?
Credit or debit cards.

21.  What actions can I take on my traffic violation case through the Odyssey Portal?

  • Look up your ticket information or verify that your ticket is in the system; and
  • Pay your traffic ticket fine.

22.  What actions can I take on my traffic violation case in Guide & File?

  • Contest (dispute) one or more violations and/or submit proof documents; and
  • Ask for a scheduled traffic trial to be re-scheduled (Guide & File Motion to Continue).

23.  Can I print copies of court forms completed in Guide & File?
Yes, you have the option to print copies of completed court forms for your records.

24. Am I required to print court forms for any Guide & File action or process?
Yes, if you are requesting that a scheduled traffic trial be re-scheduled, you must mail or provide a copy of your request to the other side in the case. You will have the ability to print a copy of your motion from Guide & File if that is the method you have chosen.

25. How do I know that the court has received my e-filing or online payment?
When you submit an e-filing, an automatic confirmation will be sent to the email address you provided when you set up your account. This confirmation simply verifies that you have successfully submitted the e-filing. Once the Violations Bureau has either accepted or rejected your filing, you will receive another email.

When you make a payment using the Odyssey Portal, you will have the option to enter your email address to have a receipt emailed to you and/or print your receipt from the confirmation page.

26. Who can I contact for assistance using Guide & File or Odyssey Portal?
For technical assistance using Guide & File or the Odyssey Portal, contact Tyler Technologies.  For procedural questions, contact the Violations Bureau at (207)783-5422.

27. Can I look up information on cases other than traffic violation cases in the Odyssey Portal?
Not currently. Information about other types of cases will be available as Odyssey implemented in the coming months and years throughout the State. More on the Odyssey e-filing system may be found on the Maine eCourts page.

28. Can I look up information about other people’s traffic violation cases through the Odyssey Portal?
Yes. Searches may be done by name (including business name) or ticket number. The following information may be viewed by the public on traffic violation cases:

  • Defendant’s first and last name;
  • Defendant’s year of birth;
  • Date of violation;
  • Issuing officer and law enforcement agency; and
  • Index of court proceedings (Registry of Actions).

29. Can Guide & File be used to request that more than one traffic violation case that is scheduled to be heard on the same date be rescheduled?
No. Parties who are requesting that multiple traffic violation cases scheduled on the same day be rescheduled must use the Motion to Continue court form.

Back to Top

General questions

30. Does a “traffic violation” case include criminal charges?
The term “traffic violation” used here means only civil, not criminal violations of the motor vehicle laws. Sometimes traffic violations are also referred to as “traffic infractions.” Traffic or motor vehicle-related criminal offenses such as Operating Under the Influence (OUI), are handled through a different process and different rules apply.

31. What address do you use to send information to me?
When you contest a traffic violation, or when you send in payment for a traffic violation fine, you must include your current mailing address. The address you provide will be the address used for correspondence from the Violations Bureau. It is your responsibility to provide the Bureau of Motor Vehicles your updated address, if it changes, within 30 days of the change. The Violations Bureau will not send your address information to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. For more information please see Maine Revised Statutes Title 29-A.

Back to Top

Payment-related

32. How do I pay a traffic ticket?
See Pay a Ticket.

33. What if my bank has notified me that my check was unable to be processed due to insufficient funds?
You will be sent a letter giving you 10 days to pay the original check amount plus a $20 bounced check fee. Mailed payments must be in the form of a money order, bank check or certified check. Personal checks will not be accepted. You must send your payment to the Violations Bureau, P.O. Box 480, Lewiston, ME 04243-0480.

You may also pay by credit or debit card through the Odyssey Portal, in person, or by phone. There is a convenience fee for paying by credit/debit card whether in person, online, or by phone.

34. Can I pay my ticket by credit card? 
You may pay by credit or debit card in any of the following ways:

  1. Online using the Odyssey Portal. If you simply want to pay your ticket, verify that your ticket has been entered into the system, and follow the instructions to enter your credit or debit card information. You are not required to create an account if you want to pay your ticket only.
  2. In person at the Violations Bureau public window (located at the Lewiston District Court, 71 Lisbon Street in Lewiston and open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday).
  3. In person at the District Court where your traffic trial was held on the day of your trial.

35. Can I pay my ticket online or by telephone if I have contested it?
The Violations Bureau must receive a Change of Answer from you in order for you to be able to pay by credit card online or by telephone. This form was sent to you along with your Notice of Trial, but is also available on the court forms web page, or at any District Court.

36. Who do I make my check or money order payable to?
Your check or money order must be made payable in U.S. funds to “Treasurer, State of Maine.” Please be sure to include your ticket number with your payment.

Back to Top

Time periods

37. Will my payment or correspondence be on time if it is postmarked by the required date?
No, if you are mailing your payment or correspondence, you must allow plenty of time for mailing as the court goes by the date your correspondence is received.

If you are using the Odyssey Portal, your payment and/or submission must be completed by the deadline on your ticket. E-filing is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Back to Top