Parking and Traffic Ticket Debt Reduction Hearings for Low-Income People

Seattle Municipal Court offers hearings for low-income people who cannot afford to pay their court debt from overdue Seattle infraction ticket fines and fees.

The hearing is an opportunity for you to explain your situation to a Magistrate and ask for fines to be reduced and removed from collections.

Sign Up

You can sign up for a Debt Reduction Hearing by filling out the form below, or by calling (206) 684-8747 Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM- 4 PM.

You can participate in a Debt Reduction Hearing calendar starting the week after you sign up.

Eligibility

You are eligible if you are:

  • Low income
  • Have debt from parking, traffic, or camera infraction tickets in Seattle Municipal Court that you can't afford to pay
  • Have tickets that are past their due date*

At your hearing, the Magistrate may ask if you:

  • Receive or qualify for government financial assistance
  • Are unhoused/live in your vehicle
  • Need to reduce your ticket debt to renew your vehicle registration (tabs)

*Tickets issued during the pandemic (March 2020-present) have not been charged late fees and are eligible for a regular court hearing. Please request a mitigation or contested hearing instead of a Debt Reduction hearing.

At this time, Debt Reduction Hearings are not intended for customers who currently have a booted or impounded vehicle. Please call customer service at (206) 684-5600 to learn about options if your vehicle is booted/impounded.

How to Attend a Hearing

Debt reduction hearings are held by phone every Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. PST. If you need a phone to use, the court's Community Resource Center on the second floor is open Thursdays to assist you. Hearings are on a first-come, first-served basis.

  1. Call the number provided during registration between 11:00-11:45 a.m. If the line is busy, please hang up and call back.
  2. A staff member will ask for your name to make sure you are registered.
  3. A Magistrate will call you back within an hour. Please be available for at least one hour after you call for your hearing.
  4. Explain why you are asking the Magistrate to reduce your debt. You may want to explain your employment situation, housing status, vehicle registration status, or other factors that are preventing you from paying fines.

The Magistrate will make a decision on your case and explain the next steps. They may decide to reduce your debt and remove your tickets from collections. They may ask if you want to set up a monthly payment plan for any remaining debt.

During the week after your hearing, a staff member will contact you to help with any next steps.

Language Interpretation and Accessibility

The court provides free interpreter services and disability accommodations. Please note your request for interpretation and/or accommodations when you sign up for a hearing. 

Contact

Call (206) 684-5600 and press 0 to speak to a representative if you have questions.