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Financial Hardship and Ability to Pay

What if I cannot afford to pay? 

If you cannot afford to pay the full amount of a fine for an infraction offense (Including most traffic tickets), you may ask the court to reduce the amount owed based on your ability to pay in setting the total amount due online or in person at any point before your fines and fees are fully paid.

The MyCitations online tool allows you to enter a plea and and make an ability to pay request on eligible infractions. In addition to requesting a reduction, you can request a payment plan, more time to pay, or ask to complete community service in lieu of paying fines and fees.

Fines and fees owed from a misdemeanor or felony offense are not eligible to request a reduction.


 How to request an ability to pay determination 

1. Submit the form online.

2. Complete the form and submit to the Traffic Clerk's Office. 

The Traffic Clerk’s offices are open daily Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. You may also call between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., or send an email to, or utilize one of the drop boxes located at the Fremont Hall of Justice, Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse or the East County Hall of Justice.

Important Notes 

  • A defendant may request an ability-to-pay determination once a fine has been ordered by the Court, and while the judgment remains unpaid, including when a case is delinquent or has been referred to collections (Vehicle Code 42003(c)).  
  • The ability-to-pay determination is for infractions only (not misdemeanors or felonies). 
  • Once the court determines your ability-to-pay, you can ask it to reconsider if your financial circumstances change. 
  • You can view the eligibility criteria by visiting “What if I cannot afford to pay?” under Traffic Court General Information and FAQs.

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