If you want to contest a ticket, do not pay the fine and/or penalty. You cannot contest a ticket once you have paid the fine and/or penalty nor can you request a refund.
Here's more information to understanding the ticket timeline, your options, and what to do first.
Options to contest tickets
What Happens When You Contest a Ticket
- A DC DMV hearing examiner will read the information you submit to adjudicate the ticket and will decide whether you must pay the fine or the fine and the penalty.
- The hearing examiner can also decide to reduce or dismiss the ticket based on DC Code and traffic regulations.
- The hearing examiner will mail the decision to the vehicle owner’s address of record with the DMV notifying the owner of the decision.
- If you fail to appear for your scheduled hearing, a decision will be rendered in your absence based on the government’s evidence and the hearing record will be mailed to you.
- You may submit a motion to vacate explaining your absence and providing a defense to violation for consideration by a hearing examiner.
- To submit your motion to vacate online, please do so here.
- If the issuing officer also fails to appear, a new hearing date will be set and a notice of scheduled hearing will be mailed to your address of record.
To submit your motion to vacate form [PDF] through mail, please mail to:
DMV Adjudication Services
ATTN: Mail Adjudication
PO Box 37135
Washington, DC 20013
Contest Tickets by Mail
Mail your statement or the adjudication form [PDF] to:
To avoid additional penalties, DC DMV must receive your request within 30 calendar days. DC DMV will send you a postcard that indicates we have received your request. If you don’t receive this postcard, you may contact DC DMV or call DC 311 to ask that they confirm our receipt of your adjudication request.
Find more information on the Adjudication Service Center, please visit our website.
Frequently Asked Questions
For questions related to ticket services, please visit the ticket services FAQs webpage.