In our busy lives, we usually receive a notice from the State about renewing license tabs. It is easy to set the notice aside and forget about it. The next thing you know, a police squad is pulling you over. Some police officers in the Twin Cities will issue you a ticket or maybe just a warning. Others will tow your vehicle and tell you to find a ride home. There are even some police officers who patrol Minnesota Highway 36 that will actually arrest you for expired plates and transport you to jail. Yes, it is true. It happened to one of my clients—expired plates, nothing else. If you are arrested, the police can search your vehicle. There might be something in your car that can lead to additional charges and the loss of your driving privileges. For example, an open bottle or a small amount of marijuana.
What to Do After You Receive a Traffic Ticket
Once you receive an expired tabs ticket, you are dealing with a moving misdemeanor violation. Make sure you purchase your new tabs as quickly as possible. Next, call the courthouse and ask if you can resolve your ticket by setting up an appointment with a hearing officer. If court administration informs you that you must appear in court, make sure you appear on the correct date and correct time. If you don’t, the judge will issue a warrant for you and suspend your driving privileges. Consequently, you will now have two driving issues to resolve with the court and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Fines add up quickly. Find more information here: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/trafcit.pdf
What to Bring When You Report to the Courthouse
When you appear in court or for your appointment with the hearing officer, bring your proof of purchase for the new tabs. The licensing office will give you a receipt—keep it and bring it with you to court. You will also need to bring pictures of your car showing the new tabs on the license plates. Finally, bring pictures of both the front and back plates showing the new tabs attached. Also, bring a form of payment with you—check, cash or card. You will have to pay the day you appear in order to resolve your case. https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/Pages/dvs
Other Driving Offenses
Many driving offenses are payable fines. Sometimes, you can resolve the ticket by mailing it in with the applicable payment amount (fine). Don’t do it, because paying a ticket through the mail is the same as an automatic guilty plea. Therefore, the offense will go on your driving record–permanently. This can affect your driving privileges and will definitely increase your insurance rates. Call the courthouse in the county where you received the ticket and ask what alternatives you have available to resolve your ticket other than paying the fine by mail. You should also call Hasselbalch Law Office or visit our website at https://hasselbalchlaw.com. We can assist you with a free 30-minute consultation. We can help you navigate traffic tickets, suspended or revoked driving privileges, warrants and other traffic issues you encounter before they appear as part of your permanent driving record.