How can I contest a traffic citation?

Pleading "not guilty" is fairly simple, but the process varies slightly depending on whether you received a civil or criminal citation.

  • Check your ticket to determine which type of infraction you were cited with before proceeding.

Civil Citations

  • You have 20 days to respond to a civil traffic ticket in Massachusetts.
    • If you wish to appeal your citation, you have to request a court hearing by:
      • Including a $25 check or money order payable to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation in your response, the money is your court filing fee.
    • Checking Box 2 on your ticket, to request a court hearing.
    • Signing and dating the back of your ticket where indicated.
    • The envelope should be provided with your traffic ticket.
    • Mail the money, along with your signed and dated citation, to:
      Citation Processing Center
      P.O. Box 55890
      Boston, MA 02205
  • The proper court should respond with the time and date of your arraignment. If you did not send the fee, the court will also send instructions on how to pay it online or by mail.
  • The letter will include a time frame to pay your fee.

Criminal Citations

You have 4 days to respond to a criminal traffic ticket in Massachusetts.

To contest the ticket, you'll have to:

  • Sign and date the ticket where indicated.
  • Return it to the specific court for the area where you were cited.
    Since the deadline to respond to a criminal citation is so short, consider returning it to the court in person, rather than via mail. Do not use the envelope that comes with the ticket. The appropriate court name and address should be written on the front of your ticket, or you can look up the specific court you need online.

Massachusetts RMV Website

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1. How can I contest a traffic citation?