Bring Proof for Fix-It Tickets

If you have a “fix-it ticket,” such as expired registration or improper exhaust, don’t go to court empty-handed. Learn what type of proof you should bring with you.

Overview: How to Fix a Ticket


I had this video transcribed for visitors who prefer to read the content.

Hello I’m Andrew Flusche. In traffic defense, there are a number of tickets that some people refer to as “fix-it” tickets. The idea being that you get the ticket, and as long as you fix whatever the problem was at the time of the ticket, then you bring that into court on your court date, and the ticket may be reduced or dismissed in some way.

So really the idea is to bring you into compliance with the law. These are typically things like equipment violations; for having improper exhaust or some kind of window tint, or some kind of registration or inspection violation; for having your registration expired or inspection expired.

Things like that, a lot of people call “fix-it” tickets.

Now, that’s kind of a misnomer because the judge is not always going to reduce or dismiss them. In a lot of courts, depending on the violation, your driving record, whether you were polite with the officer, and how long the item has been out of compliance, you may be able to get it dismissed, or at least dismissed as complied with law.

That saves you from having to pay a fine, but a lot of times you may still have to pay court costs on the ticket. However, if it is dismissed as comply with the law, then the ticket wouldn’t go on your driving record, which is one thing that people are trying to prevent.

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Creating Reasonable Doubt with a Fix-it Ticket

The one thing that always surprises me, though, with these “fix-it” tickets is that not everyone brings in proof that they actually fixed the problem.

It kind of makes sense, from a legal perspective if you’re coming into court and you’re the defendant, you have to basically create reasonable doubt or prove your innocence in some way; that’s not technically the standard, but that’s the way the system kind of operates; you have a burden to prove.

If you’re trying to say that you fixed your window tint or your exhaust or got your car inspected, just coming in empty handed is usually not going to be enough. The judges want a little more than that.

They’re not trying to doubt you, but a lot of people would come in and say “Yes, I got it done” even though they didn’t. It’s so easy to bring in proof that you did fix the problem.

The easiest pieces of proof if you have a registration or inspection violation would be to bring in the actual registration card or the inspection pink slip that you get here in Virginia. Just bring those into court; there’s no reason not to.

If for some reason it wasn’t your vehicle and you can’t take those documents out of the vehicle, make a copy and bring the copy into court. Just make sure it’s legible, so the officer and the judge can read it.

If you have any kind of violation like tint or exhaust, or anything like that, the two things I suggest are:

  1. Bring a receipt. If you had to buy anything or have it repaired by a mechanic bring in the receipt.
  2. Also, if it’s a very visible item like window tinting, take a couple of pictures of the vehicle to show that the tint is now removed or now a lot lighter and within legal limits. Just make sure to take pictures from a wide enough angle that you can see the whole car so that they know it actually is the vehicle that was stopped. If there is an issue where you need to take a close-up, take that as well. But again, be sure you can have the whole car in the picture. Also, don’t just bring the pictures in on your camera, because most courthouses won’t let you bring a camera into the courtroom. So you should definitely print those pictures out; they don’t have to be on glossy photo paper, just print them out so the judge can see them, and bring that into court.

Speak with me to fix a ticket

So if you get any kind of ticket like a “fix-it” ticket, my first advice is to talk with a local attorney and see if it is a ticket that might be dismissed with you going and proving that you fixed it.

You want to be sure before you go in by yourself.

If it is one of those, then definitely get the problem fixed as soon as you can and bring in proof; some kind of receipt or documentation, and if applicable, some kind of photographs, so the judge can see that you did fix the problem.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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