Traffic Division Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Q. What is my ticket for?
A. This information is not currently available online. Please call (312) 603-2000 for complete information concerning your ticket.

Q. What are the hours of court?
A. The Offices of the Clerk of the Circuit Court at the Richard J. Daley Center, Municipal Districts Two through Six and the Criminal Court Building are open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

All Clerk's offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays and all court holidays.

Court calls commence each day at 9 a.m., and court remains in session until all cases for that date have been concluded. Court usually recesses between 12 noon and 1 p.m. for lunch.

Court Date Information

Q. When is my next court date?
A. Please call (312)603-2000 to obtain information concerning your case.

Q. I lost my court diversion envelope, what do I do?
A. Please review the options available to you under the court diversion program and select the option which reflects your decision.

Download the document and forward your selection to the Clerk of the Circuit Court at the courthouse where your case is pending. Please mark "court diversion" on the envelope.

If you do not receive a response from the clerk within 21 days of the date you mailed your response, please call the clerk at the courthouse where your case is pending. Court Locations

Failure to promptly respond to the citation may result in an ex parte judgment of guilty being entered and a fine assessed against you in the amount set by the Illinois Supreme Court.


Q. Can I change my court date?
A. Continuances on traffic violations punishable by fine only are not routinely granted. Persons seeking a continuance should be aware of the following requirements and restrictions:

  • Requests for continuances by telephone or e-mail are not accepted.
  • Persons unable to attend court for any reason should retain an attorney or send a representative to court to request a continuance. Such requests will be considered on a case by case basis.

If a request for a continuance is not granted, the procedure outlined in the section entitled Failure to Appear in Court on Violations Punishable by Fines will be followed.

Persons also have the option of seeking a new court date by appearing on the motion call before the scheduled court date. The case will be called in court the same day the motion is scheduled and the person whose motion is being heard will have the option of requesting a continuance or pleading guilty and resolving the case.

Persons with tickets issued in Chicago who wish to have their case placed on the traffic court motion call should be aware of the following:

  • Requests for a motion can be made on any day up to and including the day before the court date.
  • Motions must be requested between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. each weekday at the Special Services Desk of the Clerk of the Circuit Court's office located on the lower level of the Richard J. Daley Center, Room LL 01.
  • The motion call is held every weekday at 9:00 a.m. on Zoom at the Traffic Center.

Persons with tickets issued outside Chicago should call the courthouse in the district where the ticket was issued for further information about motion calls. 

Q. I did not mail my court diversion envelope, what do I do?


You will receive a notice from the Clerk of the Circuit Court advising you that an ex parte judgment has been entered against you and a fine assessed in accordance with Supreme Court rules.

You may pay this fine by check or money order mailed to the Clerk of the Circuit Court at the courthouse location where your case is pending. Do not send cash. You can also pay by credit card.

Please make your check or money order payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court and insert your ticket number on the payment. Please write "payment enclosed" on the envelope.

In most instances this will result in a conviction being entered on your driver's license which may result in a license suspension.

If you do not want a conviction on your driver's license, you must come to court and file a motion requesting the court to vacate the ex parte judgment. A $40.00 nonrefundable fee is required for filing this motion. In order to obtain relief, this motion must be filed within 30 days of the date the ex parte judgment has been entered.

If you do not receive a post card within 21 days of your response date, please come to the courthouse to file a motion immediately.

If your motion is filed more than 30 days after the ex parte judgement, relief will only be granted if you show the judge due diligence and a meritorious defense.



If you are licensed to drive in a state other than Illinois and fail to respond to the ticket or fail to attend any court date scheduled, the court will enter that fact on the record and continue the case until the next scheduled court date and you will be notified.

If you still do not respond or appear, an order of failure to appear will be entered and forwarded to the Illinois Secretary of State.

If you are a resident of the District of Columbia or one of the other 44 states in the Driver's License Compact, your driver's licensing authority will be notified and your driving privileges will be suspended until the ticket is resolved.

Payment must be made by check or money order payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Payments also can be made by credit card.


Q. If I miss my court date, what do I do?
A. Please call the Clerk of the Circuit Court at (312) 603-2000 for the current status of your case.

Q. What happened to my case today?
A. You may call (312) 603-2000 two business days after your case was scheduled for hearing to receive this information.

My Day in Court

Q. What happens when I get to court?
A. The judge may give an opening statement concerning individual rights in traffic cases and the procedures the court will follow. It is important to arrive at the courthouse or on Zoom in sufficient time before the court call begins.

Q. How long will the trial take?
Most trials are not long, but you should plan for at least three hours on the day of your trial.

Q. Should my witnesses appear?
A. In most traffic court cases, the court date is the day set for trial for which any witnesses must be present and ready to testify. If you have witnesses that are necessary to your defense, you should make certain they have agreed to voluntarily appear in court. If your witnesses do not agree to voluntarily appear in court, you must have them subpoenaed for the trial. You can obtain a subpoena for witness appearances from the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Do this well in advance of your trial date. Complete the subpoena form, have the subpoena served and file the subpoena along with proof of service with the court on your trial date.

However, if you have been charged with a misdemeanor traffic offense, your initial court date is not the trial date and your witnesses will normally not testify. In a misdemeanor traffic court case, the judge will schedule the trial date when you appear in court.

Q. Should I bring my evidence?
A. Bring any photos, diagrams, reports or any other exhibits you wish to present to the judge on your trial date. Photographs may be helpful if you are contesting the placement or visibility of a sign or other road conditions which resulted in the issuance of the ticket.

Q. Will the officer who wrote the ticket be in court?
A. The officer will be notified to appear in court by the prosecution. In some cases, unavoidable circumstances prevent or delay the officer's appearance. In cases where a personal injury crash occurred, the case may be continued to allow the prosecution to investigate the circumstances of the incident by ordering a traffic crash report and contacting the other driver.

Fine Information

Q. How much are my fines?
A. Currently this information is not available online. Please call (312)603-2000 for information concerning the amount of the fines due.

Q. Where do I pay my fine and can I do it before my court date?
A. Fines are payable in person at the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court or by mail to the courthouse where your case is pending.

The Circuit Clerk's office hours at the Richard J. Daley Center are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please contact the specific courthouse where your case is pending for further information regarding office hours for the Circuit Clerk at other locations.

All Circuit Clerk's offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays and court holidays.

In most instances, you may pay your fine by mail before your court date. Send your check or money order payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court to the address of the courthouse where your case is pending. Please make certain that your ticket number(s) is indicated on the check or money order. Do not send cash. Payments also can be made by credit card.

If your fine cannot be paid by mail, your payment will be returned to you and a court date will be scheduled, or you will receive instructions on how to pay your fine.

Q. What happens if I do not pay my fine?
A. If you were placed on supervision for an offense punishable by fine only, a judgment of conviction will be entered and forwarded to the Illinois Secretary of State for entry on your driving record. In some cases the fine amount will be increased to the statutory minimum plus court costs.

You will receive a notice from the Clerk of the Circuit Court for the amount of the fine. If the fine is not paid within 45 days, the Illinois Secretary of State will be notified and you will not be allowed to renew, replace or re-classify your driver's license until the fine is paid in full.

In addition, the prosecutor may file a petition to hold you in indirect criminal contempt for failure to pay the fine. This may result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest. If you cannot establish to the court's satisfaction that your failure to pay the fine was due to circumstances beyond your control, you may be incarcerated for a period not to exceed 30 days or until the fine is paid. (see ILCS 5/5-9-3)

Q. When do I get my bond money back?
A. If you deposited a bond and the bond is active, you will receive a check for your bond deposit by United States mail approximately 10 days after your case is concluded as long as there are no outstanding financial obligations.

Please note: If you were placed on supervision, the case remains pending until the termination date. You will not receive previously posted bond money until the order of supervision is terminated satisfactorily. 

Traffic Safety School Information

Q. How do I register for Traffic Safety School?

A. Once the National Safety Council receives notification from the Circuit Court of Cook County that you have paid your fines, mandatory court costs, and Traffic Safety School fees, NSC will send you a letter as your notice of your Traffic Safety School course assignment. The letter should reach you within two to three weeks of your payment to the Circuit Court of Cook County – it will be sent via email OR postal service depending on the contact information provided to the Court when the ticket is paid. The letter will include the date by which you must complete the course.

If you have questions about your traffic case, please contact the local Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County in your District or visit


First Municipal District


Second Municipal District

Rolling Meadows

Third Municipal District

  (312) 603-2000(847) 470-7250(847) 818-3000 


Fourth Municipal District


Fifth Municipal District


Sixth Municipal District

(708) 865-6040(708) 974-6500 (708) 232-4551


Q. I missed my Traffic Safety Class, can I reschedule?

A. For information regarding rescheduling your Traffic Safety School class please call (888) 245-8450.

Q. If I completed Traffic Safety School, do I have to come to court?
A. No, when you have successfully completed your assigned Traffic Safety School course, your attendance is reported to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County by the Traffic Safety School, and you are not required to attend court to show completion.

There is one exception to this rule:
If you were required to attend the Defensive Driving Course as a condition of supervision or conditional discharge, you must return to court on the date indicated by the judge and present proof you attended Traffic Safety School.

Driver's License Information

Q. When do I get my driver's license back?
A. You will either receive your driver's license by mail or you can retrieve it from the Clerk's Office 24 hours after the order is entered to release the license.

Q. I sent in a check to pay my fine(s). When should I expect to receive my driver's license?
A. Your driver's license will be returned once your check is received and processed. This takes approximately 7 to 10 working days.

Q. My license is suspended, what do I do?
A. Driver's License Suspension and Reinstatement Procedures

Q. I have an old ticket, how do I clear it up?
A. If you have the ticket number and you know the courthouse location where the ticket was pending, you may go to the Special Service Section of the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court at the courthouse to receive complete and accurate information regarding the disposition of the ticket.

If you do not know the ticket number you can go to any of the Circuit Court Clerk's office locations and request a search for a ticket number. Alternatively, you may go to the local office of the Secretary of State and obtain a copy of your driving record.

Your driving record will contain the following information:

  • ticket number;
  • date the ticket was issued;
  • location where the case was pending; and
  • the disposition.

After you obtain this information, go to Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court where the ticket was pending to receive information on how to resolve the ticket.

Warning: Seek legal advice before acting. You may unknowingly damage your driving record. The staff of the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court are not allowed to give legal advice. They may only provide information concerning the disposition of the ticket and what fines are due.