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Traffic Division

The Traffic Division in the 1st Municipal District handles traffic tickets within the boundaries of the City of Chicago. This Division is responsible for maintaining records and collecting fees/fines for all cases involving City of Chicago moving violations.  All cases related to parking tickets are not heard by the Traffic Division. Parking tickets within the city limits are heard by City of Chicago Administrative Hearing Officer. The Traffic Division cases are heard in accordance with Illinois Supreme Court Rules and Illinois Compiled Statues. See the web pages for suburban Districts 2-6 for information on Cook County tickets issued outside the city limits of Chicago.

Important Documents


Records Maintained

  • Case Types: Moving Violations within Chicago
  • Dates: Most Traffic Division cases are retained for five years and then destroyed pursuant to statute. Remaining cases are held.

Major Case
A major case is a misdemeanor. The judge is permitted to sentence the defendant up to one year in jail and fine the defendant up to $2,500. See 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-55
Minor Case
A minor case is an offense punishable by a fine and does not require jail confinement.

Q: What can I do to get my tickets expunged?
A: You may visit the Criminal Department, Room 1006 or the Traffic Division located in the lower level of the Richard J. Daley Center and request an expungement package. It will contain information regarding the requirements and qualification needed for tickets to be expunged.

Q: What should I do if I receive a traffic ticket?
A: The bottom right corner of your ticket will indicate whether or not a court appearance is required. A ticket marked "YOU MUST MAIL - NO COURT APPEARANCE IS REQUIRED" is issued for a violation that does not require a court appearance and is punishable by a fine only. Follow the instructions on the back of the ticket, choosing one of the three listed options:

  • Option A: Plead guilty, pay the fine and receive a conviction on your driving record.
  • Option B: Plead guilty, pay the fine, attend Traffic Safety School and avoid a conviction on your driving record.
  • Option C: Plead not guilty and request a court date.

If the ticket is marked "YOU MUST APPEAR," note the courtroom, date and time listed. You or your attorney must appear in court at this time. There are no automatic continuances, and court dates and times cannot be changed over the phone.

For additional information on Traffic questions, please refer to the following: Circuit Court of Cook County Traffic Court Information or Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/.

Q: I sent in a check to pay my fine(s), when should I expect to have my drivers license returned?
A: The driver's license will be returned when the case has been disposed of or if there is a judge's order to return the license.

Q: I missed my court date, what do I do?
A: You should contact the Traffic Division's Telephone Center at 312-603-2000 or 312-603-2945 for further information. Since each individual case may be different, you will be transferred to the appropriate area in Traffic for the best response(s). In addition, you may visit Traffic's Special Services Department located in the lower level of the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W Washington St., Chicago, Illinois 60602 to speak directly with Traffic's counter personnel.

Q: I missed my court date will a warrant be issued for my arrest?
A: In order for the Clerk's Office to determine the disposition of your ticket, we have to review the information entered onto the Clerk's System. Please contact Traffic's Telephone Center at (312) 603-2945 or (312) 603-2945 for further information.

View All Traffic Division Frequently Asked Questions

Article: Filing a Motion for Minor and Major Cases

This article explains the procedure on how to file motions pertaining to minor and major cases and list the various cases that are filed in Traffic Division/1st Municipal District. In order to file motions for minor and major offenses, a defendant must appear at the Special Services Department of the Traffic Division located at the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, Illinois 60602. 

Article: The Issuance and Acceptance of Subpoena Form

As the keeper of records, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County provides subpoena forms to all customers who have court cases that are heard at the Clerk’s Office. Subpoena forms are available at the Traffic Division/1st Municipal District, 5 suburban locations of the Clerk’s Office or the Clerk’s Internet. These forms must be completed in its entirety. Each subpoena form must bear the Clerk’s seal and signature for submittal.

Article: Criminal and Traffic Laws to Clear Your Record

Beginning January 1, 2004, Illinois law permits people with qualifying arrests, felonies, misdemeanor supervisions and misdemeanor convictions to ask the court to either expunge or seal the records related to their cases. The law is designed to allow people to clear their records with or without an attorney. On this page and the associated links, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County provides helpful information to assist customers in clearing their records.

Article: Court Diversion Ticket Online Services

Online Traffic Ticket Application Website is designed to improve operational efficiency and customer service by expediting the payment process by usage of online credit cards and court date assignments for Court Diversion Tickets only. This website provides effective time saving methods of payments and retrieving court hearing dates. Online credit card transactions are convenient for both the Clerk’s Office and customers. The idea of less paper and more convenient payment will serve as a major relief for our customers. The Clerk’s Office will receive payments and assigned court dates quicker as opposed to waiting for the defendant’s mail in copy. These transactions are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365-days a year. 

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