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What is a Fix-It Ticket?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 23, 2024
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A fix-it ticket, or correctable violation, is issued to motorists for driving an automobile with a mechanical failure, unsafe features or a missing front license plate. In order to receive a ticket for mechanical failure, the automobile must deemed unsafe for the roadway. The reasons for receiving this type of traffic ticket vary, depending upon the city, state or country that the vehicle owner is driving in.

Some features that will cause a vehicle to be deemed unsafe for the roadway include, but aren't limited to, faulty or broken headlights, faulty or broken tail lights, faulty brake lights, non-working blinkers, cracked windshields, and dark window tinting. Mechanical failures may include non-functioning horns, bald tires, and a faulty exhaust system. In many areas of the United States, a driver will receive a fix-it ticket if his or her vehicle doesn't have a license plate on the front, due to the use of red light violation cameras.

When someone is issued this type of ticket from a police officer, "Yes" will be checked next to the box labeled "Correctable Violation." If the problem is fixed within the designated amount of time, the driver will not receive any punishment. Drivers who fail to fix the violation, however, must pay a fine, and points will be added to his or her driving record. He or she will likely receive another ticket for the same violation, which will be immediately added to the driver's record.

It is typically very easy to fix a fix-it ticket. First, the driver must note the date for his or her court appearance, which is located on the bottom of the ticket. This is the date that the violation must be corrected by and the signed ticket received by the court.

The driver must fix the violation that is stated on the ticket. It is best to do this immediately, as it may take days or weeks to get the problem corrected, especially if the driver must wait for a license plate in the mail. After it is corrected, the owner should take his or her vehicle to the nearest sheriff or police station to get the violation signed off by an authorized officer.

The owner of the car should then call the number to the courthouse listed on the ticket to determine any administrative fine that he or she must send in with the signed ticket. He or she should make a copy of the check or money order, as well as the ticket, for his or her records. In case the ticket is lost in the mail, it is best to have proof that the violation was addressed on time.

The corrected violation should be mailed to the court address listed on the ticket. If it is close to the due date, it is best for the driver to take it to the court house personally. The traffic court does not take into account when the envelope was postmarked.

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Discussion Comments

By healthy4life — On Oct 27, 2012

My husband is from New York, and drivers have to have license plates on the front of their cars up there. I'm from the South, and I had never heard of doing this.

We will be taking my car up to New York to visit his family soon, and it doesn't have a license plate on the front. Will I have to get one before we go, or will the officer make an exception for someone from out of state? Since my state doesn't have this law, will they let me slide on by?

By wavy58 — On Oct 26, 2012

Is it common for police officers to issue warning citations instead of fix-it tickets to first time offenders? I had a tail light out and I was driving at night when I was a teenager and got pulled over, but the officer just asked me if I knew my light was out. I told him that I didn't, and he just told me to get it fixed.

By seag47 — On Oct 26, 2012

@Perdido – I think it's that way in several states, if not everywhere. I lived in Minnesota for awhile, and it took that long for my ticket that I got for a broken blinker to show up.

I now live in a small town in Mississippi, and the court house here does not use online records yet. Many people can go online to deal with their tickets, but we have to either go through snail mail or show up in person.

By Perdido — On Oct 25, 2012

My husband and I went through a road block just last night. My car was fine, but I saw that he was told to pull over into the grass in his truck.

He called me after it was over and told me that the officer had given him a fix-it ticket because his inspection sticker was out of date. However, the officer told him that if he took the ticket to the court house after he went and got an inspection sticker, along with the receipt for the sticker, then he wouldn't have to pay the ticket.

He went today to get his sticker and take the ticket to the court house, but the lady there said that there was nothing she could do yet, because it takes ten to fifteen days for the ticket to show up in their system. Are they operating on an outdated system, or is it this way with almost every state?

By chivebasil — On Oct 18, 2012

Has anyone ever been able to successfully contest a ticket in court? Did you do it yourself or hire a lawyer?

I have a friend that tried it once and put together a pretty sophisticated defense but ended up losing anyway. I wonder if it is even possible to beat the system?

By summing — On Oct 17, 2012

A lot of municipalities have set up an online payment option for fix-it tickets and other minor violations. Compared to Amazon it is a nightmare to navigate but it is still easier and cheaper than trying to send a check through the mail.

By whiteplane — On Oct 17, 2012

It is always worth it to get your tickets fixed when you have the opportunity. It will save you money in the long run and might keep you from losing your license.

I once got four tickets in a very short time span mostly out of dumb luck. I am not a bad driver, and wasn't then, but everyone breaks a few rules and I happened to do it in front of very eager cops.

So I got a bunch of points on my license, didn't get any tickets fixed and realized that I was over the limit for allowable points and was about to loose my license. I was able to get one fixed and keep driving but it was a close call.

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