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How to Pay Your Fine Online  

 

Pay Fines Online   

Access our convenient, online payment service that enables the payment of fines, surcharges and fees electronically, 24/7, with a major credit card.  To use this service you must know specific information, including the type of case, the county in which the charge or citation was issued, the case number or the first name of the person charged.  Pay Fines Online   

   

System Requirements  

This Web Based Electronic Public Access application requires a 128-bit Cipher Strength on your Internet Explorer. To verify this click on 'Help' menu item and select 'About Internet Explorer'. If your system is less than 128 bit, click on link 'Update Information' to update Cipher Strength. 

  

Please Note:  Citations issued by law enforcement typically are not filed in the clerk of court offices right away, and therefore, the information from the citation will not show up immediately on this site.  It may take as long as 10 to 14 days for a citation to arrive at the clerk of court office and be posted on this site.  If the citation was issued during a weekend or holiday, it may take longer for the clerk to receive the citation. 

  

Common Questions about Paying Fines Online and Paying Late or Overdue Fines 

  

How do I pay my fine online?  

I cannot find information about a recent citation or ticket.  

Will I receive confirmation of my payment?  

If I pay online, do I still need to appear in court?  

Is this site secure?  

Do you store personal credit card information?  

What is court debt? What type of debt is collected by the courts?  

How will I be contacted if I owe court debt?   

Where do I pay my court debt?  

What happens if I don't pay my court debt?
I cannot pay my fine on the schedule date. Can I get an extension? Can I get on a payment plan? 
 

I am 30 days past due, do I owe my court debt to my county attorney or the private debt collector?
What is the minimum monthly payment in a payment plan?
Will I go to jail if I don't pay my court debt?  
 

What are the penalties for not paying my court debt? Will I be unable to register my motor vehicle? Will I lose my driver's license if I do not pay my court debt?
Do I pay interest or additional fees with my payment plan?
My state tax refund was withheld, is that because I owe court debt?
Is it true the court can take my lottery winnings if I owe court debt?
Do I have any rights as a debtor?
 

I have a parking ticket. Do I pay the courts?
Where does my money go?
My friend only had to pay half his overdue court debt through an amnesty program. Can I do that, too?  
 

Can a county attorney from another county collect my court debt?  

  

How do I pay my fine online? 

Use our Pay Fines Online link or go to the Iowa Courts Online case search page and click on "payment search." You must have the following information: 

       Name of the county in which the fine was imposed or assessed, 

       General type of charge (traffic or simple/criminal), and 

       Case or citation number. If you do not know this number you may search using your name. 

  

After you submit this information the system will search for matching cases. Follow instructions to make your payment. 

  

I cannot find information about a recent citation or ticket. 

Clerk of court offices strive to post information as soon as possible. Nevertheless, because clerks' offices handle large volumes of work, information is not always posted the day a record is filed. 

  

In the case of citations or tickets, it may take a week or longer from the date the citation or ticket is issued to the date it is filed in the clerk of court office. This interval may be longer if a citation is issued on a weekend or holiday. If the information does not appear on this site after 14 days, please contact the clerk of court office in the county where the citation was issued. 

  

Will I receive confirmation of my payment? 

Yes, once the transaction is completed the system will provide confirmation. Make a print or screenshot of the confirmation screen for your records. 


If I pay online, do I still need to appear in court?  
 

When you pay a fine online it is a plea of guilty and the transaction is complete. Only if the box on the ticket is marked "court appearance required," would you need to appear.  

  

Is this site secure? 

Yes, this site is secure. Make sure that your system and network are equipped to make a secure transaction. 

  

Do you store personal credit card information? 

No, the state does not keep the credit card information provided through this site once a transaction is complete. 

  

What is court debt? What type of debt is collected by the courts? 

Court debt means all fines and fees ordered by the court. According to Iowa law, a judge may order any or all of the following:   

(1) Restitution for victims of crime.
(2) Fines, penalties, criminal penalty surcharge, and law enforcement initiative surcharge.
(3) Crime Victim Compensation Fund.
(4) Court costs, including correctional fees, court-appointed attorney fees, and public defender expenses.
 

All court debts are paid in the priority order listed above. 

  

How will I be contacted if I owe court debt?  

When the debt is assessed by the court you receive an order. When the debt becomes delinquent, you will receive a notice from the clerk of court in the county where the violation occurred.   

  

Please be aware of potential scams, spam emails falsely claiming to be from the Iowa Judicial Branch or a court official. The Iowa Judicial Branch does not issue official court communications by email unless the recipient is a registered eFile user and the document is clearly identified as a Notice of Electronic Filing or Presentation. A Notice of Electronic Filing or Presentation will never ask the recipient to send money, request a social security number, direct the recipient to call a certain phone number, or advise the reader to download a document. 

  

Where do I pay my court debt? 

Court debt is payable to the clerk of the district court in the county where the violation occurred. The clerk of court offices are list on the Judicial Branch website in the "About the Courts" tab in "Directories." 

  

http://www.iowacourts.gov/Administration/Directories/  

  

What happens if I don't pay my court debt?  

According to Iowa law, fines and fees are due to the clerk of court 30 days after the date it is assessed by a court order.   


I cannot pay my fine on the schedule date. Can I get an extension? Can I get on a payment plan? 
 

If the fines and fees are not paid within 30 days after the date it is assessed, the court debt is statutorily deemed delinquent. Iowa law, does not allow for the court to grant orders for extension. In order to avoid delinquency, you can set up a payment plan with the court. Contact the clerk of court office in the county where the violation occurred to inquire about payment plan options. The clerk of court offices are listed on the Judicial Branch website in the "About the Courts" tab in "Directories."  

  

http://www.iowacourts.gov/Administration/Directories/  

  

I am 30 days past due, do I owe my court debt to my county attorney or the private debt collector?  

This will depend on whether the county attorney is collecting court debt in the county where the offense occurred, [see map below.] If a county attorney has entered into an agreement with State Court Administration and has committed to collecting court debt, then the debt will be assigned to the county attorney at the time the debt is deemed delinquent. If the offense occurred in a county where the county attorney had not committed to collecting, then the debt will be assigned to a private debt collector that is under contract with the Judicial Branch to collect debt owed to the state of Iowa at the time the debt is delinquent. You will be notified by either the county attorney or the private debt collector when your debt has been assigned and they will inform you of payment options. 

  

 


Counties where the county attorney collects court debt more than 30 days past due. 

  

What is the minimum monthly payment in a payment plan?  

If a judge sets up a payment plan for the defendant at the time he/she makes a court appearance, the minimum payment is $50.00. However, if the debt is not paid within 30 days after the date it is assessed, it is collected by a party outside of the court system and the defendant will need to negotiate the monthly payment with that entity.   


Will I go to jail if I don't pay my court debt?  
 

No. However, a county attorney may file a contempt of court action for failure to pay your court debt. 

  

What are the penalties for not paying my court debt? Will I be unable to register my motor vehicle? Will I lose my driver's license if I do not pay my court debt?  

Statutory penalties have been prescribed by the legislature to encourage individuals to pay court debt within 30 days after the date is assessed. If court debt becomes delinquent, then an individual will be unable to register or renew their motor vehicle registration or driver's license. For any traffic or traffic related offense, if the person has not paid the court debt 30 days after it was assessed by a court order, the person's driver's license will be suspended by the Department of Transportation. An individual's driver's license or motor vehicle registration may be suspended until the person enters into a payment plan.   


Do I pay interest or additional fees with my payment plan?  
 

If the payment plan is established by a judge with a court order or through the applicable county attorney office, there is no interest involved. Iowa law authorizes the Judicial Branch to contract with a private debt collector for collection of debt owed to the state of Iowa. If a payment plan is established through this entity, there will be a fee up to 25% added to the total debt owed.

My state tax refund was withheld, is that because I owe court debt?  
 

Yes. The Department of Administrative Services recovers debt owed to the State of Iowa, including court debt, using income tax offsets through the Income Tax and Vender Offset Program. Money collected through the program is deposited in the state general fund. If your tax refund is being held due to outstanding court debt, you will receive a notice from the Judicial Branch.   

  

Note: There are also other state and county entities that may withhold fees owed to that applicable entity from the state income tax refund.

Is it true the court can take my lottery winnings if I owe court debt?
 

Yes. Anyone with lottery/casino/racetrack winnings of at least $1,200 is verified prior to payout to determine if the person has outstanding debt owed to the State of Iowa, including court debt. If it is determined that debt is owed, the Department of Administrative Services recovers the money through the Income Tax and Vender Offset Program. Money collected through the program is deposited in the state general fund. 


Do I have any rights as a debtor?  
 

Yes. There are federal and state laws that apply to debt collection. You should consult an attorney or an Iowa Legal Aid office for an explanation of your rights.  

  

http://www.iowalegalaid.org/resource/what-can-i-do-when-i-owe-taxes-or-other-debts?ref=snkxY 

 

I have a parking ticket. Do I pay the courts?  

A parking ticket is issued by local law enforcement (city, county) and is collected through the city 

or county clerk office. If you choose to challenge a parking ticket, then court fines and fees may be ordered by the court. Any court debt is payable to the clerk of the district court in the county where the violation occurred.   


Where does my money go?  
 

When a person pays his or her fines, fees, and court costs, it goes to the general fund of the state of Iowa. The state general fund distributes the monies to various state programs and agencies. According to Iowa law, the clerk of court is required to collect county sheriff jail fees (room and board fees) and fees for service of process if performed by county law enforcement. Those monies will be distributed to the county. If the violation involves a city ordinance or law and a judge orders payment of the fines and fees in a court order, these monies would be distributed to the city.   


My friend only had to pay half his overdue court debt through an amnesty program. Can I do that, too?  
 

The General Assembly enacted SF2428 (Delinquent Debt Collection Act) in 2008 and SF2383 (Debt Collection Act) in 2010. Both Acts made various changes to the existing debt collection programs and created new programs, including instituting a court debt amnesty program administered by the Iowa Department of Revenue from September 1, 2010, through November 30, 2010. The amnesty program allowed individuals owing court debt to pay only 50% of the fines and fees ordered by the court. The amnesty program concluded on November 30, 2010. No amnesty program has been statutorily enacted since 2010. 

  

Can a county attorney from another county collect my court debt?  

Any debt related to a violation of state traffic laws or laws of the road can be collected by any county attorney if the county attorney is collecting court debt. Sometimes a county attorney from one county may enter into an agreement with one or more contiguous counties to collect court debt for them. In this situation a county attorney other than where the violation occurred may collect the court debt. Except for these two situations, the county attorney where the violation occurred must collect the debt or a third party collected designated by the Judicial Branch.   

  

These answers are intended to be general in nature and may not address specific situations; therefore, if you need more information specific to your situation, please contact your attorney, the clerk in your county, or your county attorney office if your county attorney is collecting court debt in the county where the offense occurred 

 

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