5 Easy Steps to Challenge San Mateo Traffic Tickets and Win

Dispute Traffic Tickets 5 Easy Steps to Challenge San Mateo Traffic Tickets and Win

5 Easy Steps to Challenge San Mateo Traffic Tickets and Win

About 5 million Californians will receive a traffic ticket of some kind every single year. With the average cost per ticket hovering around $600-$700, many residents are searching for ways to fight San Mateo traffic tickets.

DoNotPay can help you contest a . Or if you prefer, you can follow our how-to guide below. To fight a traffic ticket on your own, it's important to know all the different categories of tickets.

Types of Traffic Tickets in San Mateo


A "Non-moving"  will be issued when the vehicle is parked and not in motion. Non-moving tickets tend to involve fix-it tickets, parking violations, and expired plate tags. Most of the time, non-moving tickets won't have a major impact on your driving record. They typically involve a simple fine and don't include any license points or court-mandated driving school.

Moving Traffic Violation – Infractions

Violations that occur while the vehicle is in motion are called "Moving traffic violations".

"Infractions" are the least severe type of moving traffic violations. However, traffic infractions can still result in points against a license, fines, and court-ordered driving classes.

  • Speeding is the most commonly issued infraction ticket. In most cases, speeding infractions will count as a single point against a driver's license. The maximum fine for speeding throughout California is $480. Some situations, such as speeding in a  school zone or construction zone, can increase the fine amount and point penalty.
  • Failure to stop infractions can be issued for running stop signs or red lights. Fines for failure to stop cannot exceed $500 and may include a point against your license.
  • Texting while driving is illegal statewide in California. The law includes any cell phone usage, such as emailing or using social media. Exceptions are made for voice calls, using a map application, or if the driver is using a hands-free device. These citations rarely result in any points being applied against your license. Fines tend to stay below $167.

Moving Traffic Violation– Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor traffic violation is considered a criminal offense and has more severe penalties.  Misdemeanor charges are usually issued if there is an injury, damage to property, or serious risk of injury or property damage. 

  • Excessive speeding can result in a misdemeanor charge if a driver is traveling at an excessively fast speed.
  • DUIs are considered a misdemeanor at the bare minimum. Blood Alcohol Content levels that exceed 0.08% will result in a DUI charge.

Traffic misdemeanors carry a wide range of fines and penalties, all contingent on the driver's history and severity of the offense. At the bare minimum, a misdemeanor traffic violation will result in one point being applied against the driver's license. In a worst-case scenario, misdemeanor defendants may be sentenced to up to one year in jail.

Moving Traffic Violation– Felony

In very extreme cases, a traffic violation can result in a felony. 

  • Felony DUIs will be issued in any of the following scenarios: the driver already has a felony on their record, it is their fourth DUI in ten years, or if the DUI results in an injury or death.
  • Hit and runs can result in a felony charge depending on the severity of the damage. Felony charges tend to be issued if there is a death, injury, or excessive property damage.

How to Pay a Traffic Ticket in San Mateo

Traffic Fines in San Mateo are often described as "Notice of Bail (Courtesy Notice)". All traffic tickets can be paid through San Mateo's Traffic Portal. You will need to provide

  1. the citation number
  2. driver's license number
  3. case number
  4. or your name

Note that parking tickets cannot be paid on this portal. To pay for a parking ticket, you will need to visit the Pticket portal.

You can also pay the traffic ticket through

WebsiteCitation Payment
Phone Number415.701.3099


MailSFMTA Customer Service Center

11 South Van Ness Avenue

San Francisco, CA 9410

In-PersonPresidio Boulevard & Geary Streets

How to Dispute a Traffic Ticket in San Mateo

San Mateo permits the use of "Trial by Written Declaration". This allows you to dispute the ticket without needing to appear in court. A Trial by Written Decree must be submitted before the expiration date notated on the ticket.

There are two separate instructions for submitting a Trial by Written Decree: One if no trial date is set, and one if a trial date has already been scheduled. In either case, you can find the complete set of both instructions on the County of San Mateo website. If there is any bail for your ticket, it must be satisfied for the Trial by Written Decree to be considered.

Is It Worth Contesting a Traffic Ticket in San Mateo?

It is absolutely worth contesting a ticket if it was issued in error. While traffic tickets can be expensive and require court-ordered driving classes, they also make your car insurance much more costly.

Trying to fight a traffic ticket can be challenging and overwhelming, especially in San Mateo. DoNotPay is here to help.

How to Contest a San Mateo Traffic Ticket in Minutes

DoNotPay started as a way for people to fight unfair parking tickets. After managing over 200,000 cases, we've expanded to fight traffic tickets. Newsweek has verified that we have saved drivers over $4 million in parking ticket fees.

To get started on fighting your , just follow these easy steps:

  1. Log-in to DoNotPay and go to the Ticket Disputes category. Select the correct product based on your traffic ticket.


  2. Upload a photo of your citation.


  3. Provide us with some details on why you believe the citation issued is a mistake.


  4. Select whether or not you want the letter mailed to the traffic ticket issuer on your behalf! 
  5. That’s it! You’ll receive an appeal letter that contains state vehicle codes to boost your case.


It's really that simple! Look out for your traffic ticket issuer's response to discover whether you won!

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

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You can use DoNotPay to fight off traffic and speeding tickets anywhere in the States and the UK.

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Want to save more time, effort, and money? DoNotPay is definitely the way to go to settle your legal issues and more.

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