The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 18, 2013

Paying of NC traffic tickets enters digital age

The Daily Southerner
John H. Walker

TARBORO — A new, online payment system will allow motorists who receive traffic citations in North Carolina to save time by paying their ticket online, rather than going to the courthouse.

Edgecombe County Clerk of Superior Court Carol Allen White said the new system offers a convenient method of payment by credit and debit card for traffic and other offenses that will not be contested in a court of law.

“Our new payNCticket online payment system has become a convenient method of payment for waivable traffic offenses,” White noted. “Citizens can pay online from any place where there is internet connectivity. This feature is especially helpful for out-of-state residents in terms of saving valuable time spent on gas and in the courtroom.  I encourage citizens to go online to pay the traffic citation if it is a waivabIe offense, and if they are certain that they want to plead as charged.  However, it is important to proceed with caution and if you are not sure, you may want to seek legal advice because a simple traffic ticket may quickly add up to increase insurance premiums and points on your driver’s license”.

The payNCticket system was built by the judicial branch’s N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) to provide benefits to both citizens and court officials and staff. In addition to providing a more convenient payment option for citizens, payNCticket allows for quicker disposition of cases because of its automatic updates of case records.

“The notion of payNCticket was born out of need to reduce processing and transactional work that requires a great deal of time for clerks of court,” said Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court Martha Curran, who presented the idea of such a system. “Building a system to specifically address the workload for traffic citations makes great business sense, as this is one of the highest volume work areas for courts statewide.”

Statewide, the payNCticket program has saved citizens hundreds of thousands of hours, and it has saved courthouse staff more than 7,600 hours by eliminating the need to manually take receipts. Nearly 56 percent of waived offenses are paid using payNCticket. In 2012, more than 123,000 waived offenses across the state were processed via the online system. Edgecombe County received a total amount of $44,100.50 and 213 total receipts for waived offenses in 2012 via payNCticket. Prior to payNCticket, Edgecombe County citizens had to pay fines and related court costs by going to the courthouse to pay in cash or by mailing a money order or cashier’s check.

“The payNCticket system demonstrates how technology is modernizing the way citizens interact with courts statewide,” said NCAOC Director John W. Smith. “The system also improves efficiency to clerks of court by streamlining the payment and waiver process.”

(A press release from the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) contributed to this report.)