New Traffic Ticket Rules Take Effect January 1

As a result of the passage of legislation during the 2010 Session (HB 829/SB 560), Maryland motorists who receive a payable traffic ticket on or after January 1 must affirmatively request a trial in the District Court of Maryland rather than having one automatically scheduled.  This is standard practice in the rest of the continental United States and will save millions of dollars annually and allow courts and law enforcement officials to focus on more critical issues.  MACo supported the bills.

The Maryland Judiciary has created a press release and webpage detailing the new process.  Here is an excerpt from the webpage:

There’s a new law in Maryland starting Jan. 1, 2011. If you get a payable traffic ticket, you must do one of the following within 30 days…

Pay the full fine

  • Pay in person at your local District Court
  • Pay by mail – send in the envelope that comes with the ticket
  • Pay online at www.paymentchek.com/MD/MarylandCourt/
  • Pay by telephone, 1-800-492-2656

OR

Ask for a waiver hearing to plead guilty with an explanation

  • Check the “Request a Waiver Hearing” box on the ticket and envelope
  • Sign and date the ticket
  • Mail the ticket to the District Court Traffic Processing Center (envelope comes with the ticket)

OR

Ask for a trial

  • Check the “Request a Trial” box on the ticket and envelope
  • Sign and date the ticket
  • Mail the ticket to the District Court Traffic Processing Center (envelope comes with the ticket)

 If you don’t respond within 30 days, the District Court notifies the Motor Vehicle Administration to begin the driver’s license suspension process.

The webpage also includes a fact sheet and sample ticket.  Please feel free to disseminate this information to your constituents.

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