Traffic Court Frequently Asked Questions


How many points do I have on my license?

You may contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to determine how many points you have on your license. You may also check online at
Ohio BMV
1970 West Broad St.
P.O. Box 16520
Columbus, Ohio

How many points will be assessed to my license for a traffic violation?

Most moving traffic violations carry a penalty of two (2) points. Moving violations include such offenses as speeding, running a red light, improper lane change, and improper turn. Some violations carry a higher point potential. These include driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, driving under suspension, reckless operation, speeding over 30 MPH over the speed limit, and drag racing. These violations can carry anywhere from four (4) to six (6) points. Non- moving violations such as equipment, license, and seat belts usually are considered zero (0) point violations.

How do I plead not guilty to a traffic case?

You may plead not guilty to any traffic violation to be heard in Shaker Heights Municipal Court. You can appear in Court on the date and time specified on your citation or you may submit your plea in writing to the court prior to your arraignment (the court date listed on your ticket) . Please use the Not Guilty Plea Form found online or available at the clerk’s office during business hours. Mail the Court’s Not Guilty Plea form to the court using the address found listed on this website's home page. Download a Not Guilty Plea form (Not Guilty Plea). If you file a Not Guilty Plea, you do not need to appear for your arraignment. The Court will notify you by mail of your next Court date.

How do I get my car out of the impound?

If your car was impounded because of a traffic violation that involved the issuance of BMV form 2255, then you must file a motion with the court for the release of your vehicle. These forms are available at the Clerk of Court's office during normal business hours and online under the "FORMS" page in "CRIMINAL - TRAFFIC". The cost for filing a Motion for Release of Vehicle is $25.00. The judge then rules on whether the law permits your car to be released or if it must remain impounded for a number of days. All other violations where a BMV form 2255 was not issued normally do not require a court order. Contact the police department which seized your vehicle for further information.

The BMV says I have a warrant registration block on my license/vehicle. What do I do?

Ohio law allows the Court to issue a registration block with the BMV if you have a valid warrant for your arrest with the Court. Most of these warrants are for failure to appear for a traffic ticket with an outstanding balance. You have several options on how to proceed to clear the registration block. Option 1 is to come to the Court during normal business hours and make final payment on your case. The amount of cash you will need to bring is available on the website or you may call the clerk’s office during business hours for the total. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE COURT WILL ONLY ACCEPT CASH OR CREDIT CARDS FOR THESE TRANSACTIONS. NO CHECKS! You must be in line at the Clerk of Court's office before 4:30 PM to handle these transactions. Option 2 is to post bond on the case and then come to Court. Release of registration block will be issued by the Clerk of Court's office.

Can I pay my traffic ticket by phone?

No. All payments can either be made online, in person, or via mail.

My criminal/traffic case has been sent to collections, who should I call?

If a warrant is issued on your case for failure to appear for payment ability hearing or waiverable ticket, your case will be sent to collections. Once this process takes place, all communications about paying the case off will be handled by the collection agency.

How do I request a continuance?

Continuances must be requested in writing and accompanied with a check for $20.00 made payable to Shaker Heights Municipal Court. The clerk's office will notify you of your new court date through the mail. Please make sure your name, current address, ticket or case number, and a daytime phone number is included in your request. Requests for continuance which are received less than one week before trial may not be granted, and may still require your appearance in court.

How do I apply for a court appointed attorney?

Requesting a court appointed attorney requires the defendant to file a "Public Defender Packet" with the clerk of court's office. This form is available at the clerk's office during normal business hours. Once this form is filled out and filed with the clerk's office, the judge will make a ruling as to the merit of the request, and the defendant will be notified.

Please do not fax proof of insurance to the court. Proof of insurance must be shown at the time you received your citation, at the time you plead to a traffic offense or to the BMV.