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Can't Afford to Pay Paper Option

If you are unable to pay your traffic ticket or fine, you have the right to ask the Court to consider your financial circumstances. Please be sure to follow all instructions on your ticket and any notices sent to you, including payment deadlines, to avoid late fee penalties.

To have the cost of your ticket reduced or request an alternative to full payment of your fine, your case must be adjudicated (meaning you must plead guilty or be found guilty by the Court).

Visit the When You're in Court page to learn more about appearing in court and resolving your ticket. Once your case has been adjudicated, if you are experiencing financial hardship you can use the Ability to Pay form to ask the Court for a lower fine, an affordable payment plan, more time to pay, and/or community service. There are guides in Spanish and Chinese to assist you, if needed. Print the form (or pick one up at the clerk’s window), complete it, and return it to the clerk’s window with proof of your financial situation (if available). The Traffic Clerk is available Monday- Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 850 Bryant St., Room 145.

There are community organizations that can help you complete the form.

The Ability to Pay Flyers below provide more information about this process.

Who is eligible for discounts:

Are you low-income? 

People who fit into one or both of the categories below can have their traffic fines and fees reduced by 80 percent or more:

  • People who have household incomes below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. Review the Federal Poverty Line guidelines to find out if your household income is within these guidelines.
  • People who receive means tested public benefits such as: Medi-Cal; CALFresh (Food Stamps); CalWORKS or Tribal TANF; Supplemental Security Income (SSI); General Assistance (GA) or County Adult Assistance Program (CAAP); In Home Supportive Services (IHSS); or Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

Are you experiencing homelessness? 

People experiencing homelessness may be able to clear certain citations if they receive 20 hours or more of social services assistance. Learn more about the San Francisco District Attorney's Office CONNECT program. Read the FAQs for this program to see if this option will work for you. If you would like to apply, print out the CONNECT form and follow the instructions.

Citations referred to Alliance One: 

The Court has entered into an agreement with Alliance One to collect unpaid fines and civil assessments. If your citation has been referred to Alliance One and you can’t afford the outstanding balance, you still have the right to ask the Court to consider your financial circumstances as described above. You can also arrange for a payment plan with Alliance One for as low as $25 per month. To learn more about the status of your outstanding balance with Alliance One, call 1 (877) 541-8420. Be sure to have these items ready when you call: Name, Driver’s License Number, Citation Number.

License holds for failure to appear: 

If a hold has been placed on your license because you failed to appear in court for your citation, the Court will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles to lift the hold once the Court makes a decision regarding your ability to pay form. You do not need to pay off your entire balance to get a failure to appear license hold lifted, even if your citation has been referred to Alliance One.

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