Appeal your traffic ticket

You must pay or appeal a traffic ticket (civil motor vehicle citation) within 20 days. Here's how to appeal.
You have 20 days to pay or appeal your traffic ticket.

Registry of Motor Vehicles


Ask the RMV Ask the RMV 

The Details   of Appeal your traffic ticket

What you need   for Appeal your traffic ticket

If a state or local police officer issues you a traffic ticket (civil motor vehicle citation), you can pay the fine in full or you can appeal and request a hearing. If you pay your fine in full, you waive your right to a hearing.

If you don’t respond to a ticket within 20 days, you waive your right to a hearing and will be charged late and release fees in addition to your fine. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will send you a letter stating you are in default, and if you do not pay your fine and fees within 30 days of that letter, your driver's license or right to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended.

New Law: Massachusetts law prohibits operators of motor vehicles and bicycles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is used in hands-free mode. The “hands-free” law is effective as of February 23, 2020. For more information, visit

Fees   for Appeal your traffic ticket

Name Fee Unit
Citation/Court Filing Fee $25 each

How to appeal   Appeal your traffic ticket

Wait 10 days after receiving your citation before appealing your ticket online. The RMV needs time to receive and process the citation.

You will need:

  • Citation number
  • Offense/incident date
  • Email address
  • Applicable fee

To request a court hearing by mail, sign and date the back of the citation where indicated in the Box 2 area. Keep a copy of the citation for your records.

  • Check off the hearing request/filing fee box on the front of the pre-addressed envelope
  • Write your name and address in the upper left hand corner of the envelope
  • Enclose the citation and a check or money order for $25 payable to MassDOT to pay the court filing fee
  • Be sure to write the citation number and your driver's license number on your payment
  • Apply the correct postage to the mailing envelope
  • Mail to the address shown on the back of the citation:

Citation Processing Center
P.O. Box 55890
Boston, MA 02205-5890

Next steps   for Appeal your traffic ticket

Attend your hearing

Once your request has been processed and your court filing fee has been paid, the court will schedule your hearing and will notify you of the date and time of your hearing by mail.

The RMV does not hold these hearings. For more information about the appeal and hearing process, contact the court where your hearing will be held. 

More info   for Appeal your traffic ticket

Court hearing filing fee refunds

Due to a federal court decision (US District Court 14-13042 - Crawford v. Blue et. al.) civil motor vehicle infraction (CMVI) citation recipients will get a refund of the required $25 court hearing request filing fee (MGL Chapter 90C Section 3), if all of the following are true:

  • You were issued the citation after September 22, 2017
  • You paid the required $25 court filing fee
  • You were found not responsible by the court for all violations on the civil citation

If you are found not responsible for all civil violations on an individual citation by the court, you can expect to receive their $25 refund within 90 days of the court’s finding.

Contact   for Appeal your traffic ticket

Ask the RMV Ask the RMV 

Help Us Improve  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.