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Pay Fines

Información en español

Notice:October 1, 2020: On April 10, 2020 the Minnesota Judicial Branch extended the due date for the payment of fines and fees on adult criminal cases in the Minnesota Case Information System (MNCIS) by 60 days. New cases filed with the courts by law enforcement on or after April 10 were entered in MNCIS with a due date of 90 days. Adult criminal cases with a past-due balance already referred to collections are excluded from the due date extension.

Cases filed with the Minnesota Judicial Branch on or after January 1, 2021 will be entered in MNCIS with a respond by date of 30 days from the filing date. Learn More »
 

Important: Review this Information Before You Pay Your Fine

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO APPEAR IN COURT. You must pay the amount owed OR schedule an appearance within 30 days from the date this citation is filed with the court.
 
IF YOU PAY THE FINE(S), YOU ARE ENTERING A GUILTY PLEA to this offense(s) and voluntarily waive your rights to the following (Minn. R. Crim. P. 23.03):
1. To a court trial, if the offense is a petty misdemeanor, or a court or jury trial for all other offenses;
2. To be represented by counsel;
3. To be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt;
4. To confront and cross examine all witnesses; and
5. To either remain silent or to testify on your own behalf.
 
IF YOU FAIL TO PAY OR APPEAR IN COURT:
• A warrant may be issued for your arrest.
• Late penalties may be assessed.
• The failure to appear will be considered a guilty plea and waiver of your rights including the right to trial for certain offenses, unless you appear in court within 10 days of the failure to pay or appear and show the failure was due to circumstances beyond your control. (Minn. Stat. § 169.91; 609.491; Minn. R. Crim. P. 23.04-23.05.)
 
A guilty plea will result in a conviction.
 
The Department of Public Safety and/or the Department of Natural Resources may be notified of your failure to pay or appear, and/or conviction, depending on the offense(s). These agencies may suspend your driver’s license or DNR licenses.
 
IF YOU ARE NOT A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, a guilty plea may result in deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization as a United States citizen. Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.02, subd 1(3).
 
 

Pay Online

Payment with credit or debit VISA or MasterCard.

This option is only available in English.

Make Payment/View Fine Amount

 

Pay By Phone

Payment with credit or debit VISA or MasterCard.

Twin Cities Metro (area codes 612, 651, 763, or 952) or international callers: (651) 281-3219
All other callers: (800) 657-3611

Non-English language support is available.

Pay By Mail

Do not mail cash. Make check or money order payable to "District Court Administration" and mail your payment to:

Minnesota Court Payment Center
P.O. Box 898
Willmar, MN 56201

Include a copy of the citation or the citation number with your payment.

Pay in Person

If you would like to pay your fine in person, you must do so at the district court in the county in which your citation was issued. The county name can be found in the upper-left corner of the citation.
If you wish to contest a citation issued in a county other than Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington County, please contact the local court for assistance.
 

Information about Hearing Officer Appointments in Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington counties

If you wish to contest a citation issued in Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, or Washington county, staff at the MN Court Payment Center (CPC) are available to discuss the appointment options for meeting with a Hearing Officer.

A Hearing Officer is authorized by the Court to hear citation cases and provide options. Depending on the facts of your case and your violation history, some of the options they may be able to offer include:
  • plead guilty with an explanation,
  • a reduced fine amount,
  • a payment plan to pay the citation over time,
  • a continuance for dismissal with payment of prosecution costs,
  • set your case for arraignment.
If a case does not settle with a Hearing Officer, you have the right to ask for a court hearing if your citation is for a misdemeanor offense. If the citation is for a petty misdemeanor, this right is waived if the defendant does not appear within 30 days as provided in Minn. Stat. § 169.91.
 

What to expect at a Hearing Officer Appointment

The Hearing Officer (not a judge) will review the citation(s), defendant’s violation history, court history, driving record and other information relevant to the citation(s) being contested, and will listen to the defendant's explanation of the circumstances. The Hearing Officer will explain the consequences of the violation(s), including fines.  It is not possible to have a trial with evidence at this meeting because a trial can only take place in court with a judge.

The Hearing Officer will explain the guidelines for settling the citation(s) and will determine what options the defendant may have with their case. The defendant may ask questions about the options, but the Hearing Officer cannot give opinions or advice about the defendant’s decision. A plan is then made for the defendant to meet the terms of the agreed upon settlement, and when all of the terms are completed, the citation matter is settled.

What to have available when your hearing is conducted using remote technology

  • Photo identification. A birth certificate is NOT an acceptable form of identification.
  • Proof of insurance documentation for the vehicle, letter from the insurance company, or copy of the insurance policy, if applicable.
  • The crash or collision report, if applicable.
  • Color, photographic proof and receipts showing equipment violations have been corrected, if applicable.
  • Photographic proof of front and back license plates showing violation has been corrected, if applicable.
  • The actual disability permit, a photograph is not sufficient, if applicable.
  • A juvenile offender (under 18 years at the date and time of the offense) needs to appear with a parent or legal guardian, if applicable.
  • Someone other than the owner may meet with the hearing officer to address parking violations, if applicable.

Canceling or rescheduling a Hearing Officer appointment

You may cancel your appointment any time before your scheduled time.

You may reschedule, also known as a continuance, by calling the CPC.
 

Appealing a decision made by a Hearing Officer

A Hearing Officer is authorized by the Court to hear citation cases and provide options. If you do not like the options that apply to you, you may ask that the case be set for court, unless you waived your right to a court hearing under Minn. Stat. § 169.91. That statute says that if you fail to appear for a petty misdemeanor, you have waived your right to a trial and plead guilty to the charge. 
 

How to meet with a Hearing Officer



 

Dakota County

By Appointment

If you have received a payable citation in Dakota County, you may schedule a hearing officer appointment that uses remote technology by calling the CPC.
 

Hennepin County

By Appointment

If you have received a payable citation in Hennepin County, you may schedule a hearing officer appointment that uses remote technology by calling the CPC.

Ramsey County

By Appointment

If you have received a payable citation in Ramsey County, you may schedule a hearing officer appointment that uses remote technology by calling the CPC.

Washington County

By Appointment

If you have received a payable citation in Washington County, you may schedule a hearing officer appointment that uses remote technology by calling the CPC.

By Mail
Defendants living 50 or more miles from the Washington County Government Center are allowed hearings by mail to resolve payable citations. The defendant should mail or fax a letter to the Hearing Officer office and include the following information:
 
  • A copy of the citation,
  • Legible copy of the driver's license,
  • An internet mapping documentation (e.g. MapQuest, Google Maps) confirming defendant's residence is 50+ miles from the Washington County Government Center,
  • An explanation of the circumstances surrounding the offense(s).
Mail:
Attn: Hearing Officer Mail
14949 62nd Street North
P.O. Box 3802
Stillwater, MN 55082
Fax: (651) 430-6300
 
The Hearing Officer will review the above and, if approved, will mail a letter outlining options and appropriate court document(s) will be sent to the defendant for signature.  The defendant will then sign, have their signature notarized, and mail the completed document(s) to the Hearing Officer with a check/money order, if required. 

For questions regarding this procedure, call (651) 430-6279.

Learn more from the Hearing Officer Brochure.

Information about Citations

1. How do I find my citation number?

Minnesota has a statewide standard citation format, with the exception of parking citations issued in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. The citation number is typically a 12-digit preprinted number and is usually found:
     At the top left corner of the citation,
     Preprinted along the right side of the citation, and
     The number below the barcode on the citation.

Examples of citations can be found on the Citation Number tab

The county where your citation was issued is shown in the “County Name” field on the citation.
 
If you don’t have your citation number, please call the MN Court Payment Center (CPC) and be prepared to provide the license plate number of the vehicle that the citation was issued to and your date of birth.
 

2. What is the difference between a citation number and a case number?

A citation number is the number on the paper document given to a person, or placed on a vehicle in the case of a parking citation, by law enforcement that lists the offense(s) with which the person is charged. 

A case number is the unique number automatically assigned to a citation after law enforcement submits the citation to the courts and the courts open a case in the Minnesota Court Information System (MNCIS).  The case number will either include a CR in the actual case number when the offense(s) charged require a court appearance or a VB when the offense charged can be paid instead of appearing.  If your case number includes “CR” a court appearance is required and you cannot pay before your appearance.
 

3. Why is the amount due not on my citation?

The total fine amount is not available until after law enforcement files the citation with the court and it is entered into the Minnesota Court Information System (MNCIS), a process which could take up to seven (7) days. The amount due for your citation may be found by following the instructions called Searching for a Citation.
 

4. What if I find out that I have citations on a vehicle that I don’t own anymore?

You will need to contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to learn the options for transferring title to the buyer's name. You can also read the Car Title Help Topic to learn more about your options.
 
NOTE: You still need to take care of your citation by paying the fine or calling the MN Court Payment Center (CPC) for information about how to contest the citation.

5. Why does my citation have 'MNCIS Parking’ in the name section?

If your citation has “MNCIS Parking” in the name field, that is a placeholder to indicate that a parking ticket has been issued, and is being filed in MNCIS, the court’s case management system. The name of the registered owner of the vehicle will be automatically added to the name field on the MNCIS case after the citation is filed with the court.
 

Using phone or website to search

1. Can I search for my citation using my Driver's License or Vehicle Plate number?

No, driver's license and vehicle plate number are not searchable fields.  
 

2. Why am I unable to find my case and/or citation?

You may not find your case if it has not yet been filed by law enforcement.  The majority of citations are filed by law enforcement within seven (7) business days after the date of offense.  However, for a variety of reasons it may take law enforcement more than seven (7) business days to file the citation with the courts.  Confirm you have entered your citation or case number correctly.

If it’s been less than seven (7) business days from the date of offense listed on your citation please try again in a few days.  If it’s been more than seven (7) business days, please contact the MN Court Payment Center (CPC) for assistance.

Outcomes & Consequences

1. What happens if I pay a citation?

Payment of a fine, including partial payment, constitutes a plea of guilty and waiver of rights that will result in the entry of a conviction on all charges in the case.

Convictions for certain offenses will be sent to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for entry on your driving record, or to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) , and may result in the loss of your license by those agencies.

Paying the fine for driving after suspension, revocation, cancellation, and disqualification, or for no insurance or no proof of insurance offenses, may result in the loss of your driving privileges.

Contact the MN Driver & Vehicle Services (DVS) at DPS or call (651) 297-3298 to check that your license is valid before you drive.
 
If you have been charged with no proof of insurance or no insurance, review 'How do I show Proof of Insurance?'.

2. What happens if I do not pay a citation or appear in court?

If you fail to pay, see a hearing officer, or appear in court on a citation, additional financial penalties will be added and the unpaid citation may result in a suspended driver's license by the MN Driver & Vehicle Services (DVS),  or the amount owed being sent to collections. You have 30 days to respond to a citation from the date it was entered into the Minnesota Court Information System (MNCIS). After 30 days, a $5 late penalty is added. After another 30 days, a second penalty of $25 is added. 

If the citation is for a traffic violation, it may result in a suspended driver's license. If the citation is for a Department of Natural Resources (DNR), offense it may affect your ability to obtain a DNR license.
 
NOTE: In Hennepin County, failure to pay five (5) or more traffic or parking citations may result in impoundment of your vehicle until the fines are paid.

Other unpaid citations are sent to collections.

3. Why was my driver’s license suspended?

The Minnesota Judicial Branch sends a notification to the MN Driver & Vehicle Services (DVS) division of the Department of Public Safety (DPS), when fines and late fees remain unpaid on cases with traffic or vehicle equipment-related offenses. 

Examples of traffic offenses:
• Driving on a suspended license
 
Examples of vehicle equipment-related offenses:
• Non-functioning head or tail lights
• Tinted windows

The notification includes a recommendation that the defendant’s driver’s license be suspended until the citation has been paid. Until the fine has been paid or the driver has appeared in court, DVS is required per Minn. Stat. §169.92 subd. 4 to grant the suspension recommendation and suspend the driver’s license.

   
If your license has been suspended, you may be required to pay a reinstatement fee to DPS before your license will be reinstated.  This fee is paid directly to DPS, cannot be paid to the MN Court Payment Center (CPC), and is in addition to the fines and fees that are owed to the Courts.

4. What types of citations may I pay instead of appearing in Court?

A defendant may choose to pay a fine instead of appearing in court if all offenses included on the citation are payable offenses and the endangerment box is not checked.
 
 The following are general guidelines about offenses that may be payable:
  •  All petty misdemeanor violations of statute and administrative rule are payable, per the Judicial Council policy (petty misdemeanor offenses are payable even if not expressly identified on a Statewide Payables List).
  • Misdemeanor violations of the Minnesota Statutes, the Minnesota Rules (Administrative Code), and the Code of Federal Regulations may be designated on Statewide Payables List as payable.
  • All petty misdemeanor ordinance violations are payable by Judicial Council policy.  Misdemeanor ordinance violations may be designated as payable within a county by the district court.
  • For more information see Statewide Payables List page.

Contest / Appear

1. What types of citations require a Mandatory Court Appearance?

A court required citation is one in which the defendant must appear in court.  A court appearance is mandatory for:

  • All felony offenses.
  • All gross misdemeanor offenses.
  • All misdemeanor offenses unless designated as payable.
  • All misdemeanor violations of ordinances, unless designated as payable within a county by the district court.
  • Any otherwise payable offense if the "Endangering Life or Property" box is checked on the citation or the case is charged by complaint or petition.

2. I had court hearing scheduled but decided to pay my citation instead. How can I make sure my court hearing was cancelled?

If you have scheduled a court hearing, also known as an arraignment, but paid your citation, the Minnesota Court Information System (MNCIS) will automatically cancel your court hearing the night after the payment was made. You can check online that the court hearing was cancelled.  Once on the page:

1.  Select Find Citation.
Find Citation
2.  Enter your citation number, and click Search.
Citation Number
3.  Verify the correct citation number is displayed and click on the case number.
Results screen
4.  In the Other Events and Hearings section, the word "CANCELLED" should be next to the hearing date.
Cancelled Hearing screen

3. How do I show Proof of Insurance?

If you are charged with No Proof of Insurance or No Insurance and the vehicle you were driving was insured on the date and time of the offense, proof of insurance documentation or the name and address of the owner of the vehicle must be sent to the MN Court Payment Center (CPC) no later than 30 days from when the citation is filed with the courts. Be sure to include your case or citation number with your documentation. Generally, after the proof is received it can take up to two (2) business days to process. If dismissed, no fine will be due for that charge.

Valid documentation must be one (1) of the following:
 
  • Copy of the insurance coverage card for the vehicle; OR
  • Letter from the insurance agent; OR
  • Copy of the insurance policy.
The information received must include the name of the insured, the name of the insurance company, the effective and ending dates of coverage, and the vehicle make and model.  The insurance must be in effect on the date of the offense noted on the citation.  
  
NOTE: If there are other offenses listed on your citation, do not pay at this time, as the total due may change.  Look up fine amounts online or by calling the CPC.

Proof of insurance documentation may be faxed or mailed to the CPC: 
Fax:  (320) 231-6507
Mail:  MN Court Payment Center
P.O. Box 898
Willmar, MN  56201

To check that your proof of insurance documentation has been received, you may call the CPC.

Payments

1. How is the total amount that I owe determined?

The amount due on the case includes:
  • A fine for each offense charged;
  • Either one criminal/traffic surcharge or one parking surcharge, depending on the offense(s) charged; and
  • A county law library fee in most counties.
 Depending on the offense(s) charged, you also may have to pay:
  • An emergency vehicle surcharge;
  • A school zone surcharge;
  • A speeding surcharge; or
  • Wildlife restitution.
If you do not pay or appear in court on time, late penalties also may be added to the case. 

When paying by phone or on the web, you also will pay a convenience fee. 
 

2. Who decides how much I have to pay?

  • The Minnesota Judicial Council sets the payable fine amounts for payable offenses that violate state statutes and administrative rules.  If the legislature sets a specific fine amount for an offense, that is the payable fine amount.  For example, the legislature set the fine amount of $25 for a seatbelt violation in Minn. Stat. § 169.686.
  • Each District Court sets the payable fine amounts for payable offenses that violate county, city or township ordinances in its county.
  • The County Law Library Board in each county sets the law library fees that apply in its county.
  • The Legislature sets the amount of the surcharges to be paid.
  • The amount of wildlife restitution is set in Minnesota Administrative Rule 6133.

3. What does the Court do with the money paid on a case?

The Court distributes the fines, surcharges, law library fees and wildlife restitution as required by statutes.  The Court does not keep any of this money.
  • Fines and surcharges are paid to the state general fund; cities, counties, townships and other subdivisions of government; and/or to special state accounts, as required by statutes. 
  • The county law library fees are paid to the counties, as required by statute.
  • Wildlife restitution is paid to the Department of Natural Resources, as required by statute.

4. After my court appearance, is a Mandatory Court Appearance payable over the phone/web?

If you must appear in court for your case, you cannot pay fines and fees instead of appearing in court.  You will be able to pay your fines and fees over the phone or web after the court has ordered you to pay if;
  • You are charged by citation, and
  • A payment plan has been set up with the court.
If you were charged by a complaint, or do not have a payment plan, you will have to pay by mail or at the counter in the county in which the offense occurred. 
 

5. How can I use the MN Court Web Payment System to check on my fine amount?

You may check on the total amount due using the Minnesota Court Web Payment System.
  • Use the Find Citation link and enter your citation number to search.
If the ‘Make Payment’ button is not available you must appear in court. Contact the MN Court Payment Center (CPC) for help.

If the case is available for payment, the case number will be available just below the ‘Case Number’ header. To see the amount to pay select the case number.  The amount will display. Continue if you want to pay in full. 
 

6. What should I do if I cannot pay my fine, in full, by the due date?

If you cannot pay the fine in full by the due date, contact the MN Court Payment Center (CPC) to talk about your options.  Depending on the situation, you may be offered:
  • A one-time 30-day extension; OR
  • A payment plan that spreads the total amount due into three (3) equal payments over three (3) months if the total amount due is less than $500; OR
  • A payment plan that spreads the total amount due into six (6) equal payments over six (6) months if the total amount due is $500 or more.
NOTE: For information on what happens if you pay a citation, review 'What happens if I pay a citation?'

7. Why was my citation sent for collections?

Under Minn. Stat. § 480.15, subd. 10c, any portion of a fine, surcharge, court cost, restitution, or fee that you fail to pay by the due date may be sent for collections, and collection costs may be added to the amount due.

You have the right to ask that it not be sent to collections based on an inability to pay by requesting a hearing or court date no later than the due date. The due date is 30 days from the date of offense on the citation.

Unpaid court or citation fines that have been sent for collections to the MN Department of Revenue (DOR) must be paid directly to DOR and cannot be paid to the CPC or at a courthouse.

8. What is a Convenience Fee?

A convenience fee (sometimes called a transaction fee) is a fee charged for submitting your payment electronically using the phone or web response system. The fee amount will be displayed before you submit your payment. This fee is charged by a third party payment processor, Heartland Payment Systems, and not by the Minnesota Judicial Branch. This fee may change over time. The current amount is displayed on the Minnesota Court Web Payment homepage.

Parking Meters

1. If you have not received a citation but want to report a defective meter.

  • For the city of Minneapolis, you can report parking meter problems on the City of Minneapolis' website or by calling 311.
  • For the city of St. Paul, call (651) 266-9776.
  • For University of Minnesota meters on the Minneapolis or St. Paul campus, call (612) 626-7275.
  • For the State Capitol Complex in St. Paul, call Capitol Security at (651) 296-6741.
  • For problems with parking meters in other Minnesota cities, contact the city or town where the meter is located.

2. I paid an electronic parking meter in Hennepin or Ramsey Counties and still received a citation.

If you received a citation at an electronic parking meter and you have a receipt showing that you paid for the space number listed on the citation, the charge may be dismissed.  Submit payment receipt and a copy of the citation to one of the following:
 
  • Hennepin Violations Bureau (On the "About Fines and Fees" tab, choose "FAQ" tab, then scroll to question 'I paid to park at an electronic parking meter and still got a ticket.  What can I do?')
  • Ramsey Criminal Traffic Division (On the "Violations Bureau" tab, scroll to the 'Administrative Procedures for Unusual Situations' section and select 'If you have a receipt for parking at a metered parking space')
Please allow two business days for processing.  You may check the status of the citation online or by calling the MN Court Payment Center (CPC).
 

3. I paid an electronic meter in Hennepin or Ramsey Counties, but accidentally paid the wrong parking space number and received a citation. What do I do?

You will need to pay the fine or call the Minnesota Court Payment Center (CPC) to schedule a Hearing Officer appointment to contest the citation.
If you received a citation and are unsure where to find the citation number, the examples below may be helpful.  Minnesota has a statewide standard citation format, with the exception of parking citations issued in Hennepin and Ramsey counties. The citation number is usually found at the top left corner of the citation, is typically a 12-digit preprinted number, and may also be preprinted along the right side of the citation.  The example provided below is of the current statewide standard citation form.

If you are still unsure about the citation number, please contact the MN Court Payment Center (CPC)
 

Examples:
image of a standard citation

image of parking citation

 

Telephone Number

Twin Cities Metro (calling from area codes 612, 651, 763, or 952) or international: (651) 281-3219
All other callers: (800) 657-3611
 

Email Support for citations » 

Email support is only available in English.


Business Hours

Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. excluding court holidays.
  
Please have a pen and paper available when you call.

Peak call times include the first business day after a holiday weekend, Mondays, and weekdays from approximately 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.