Fine Collection Center Information Sheet
Tickets Due in 30 Days Program


Background
In late 1997, the Supreme Court established the Fine Collection Center (then called the Central Violations Bureau) to process non-contested traffic, conservation, and watercraft offenses. Certain offenses are excluded from the center’s scope either by statute or policy. The center cannot process the following violations:

  • Any violation resulting in an accident or personal injury.
  • Operating a motor vehicle or watercraft while intoxicated or under the influence of intoxicants or drugs, or any other alcohol or drug related offenses.
  • Operating a vehicle with a counterfeited, altered, suspended or revoked license.
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
  • Speeding offenses of more than 25 mph over the posted limit.
  • Violations of Chapter 303, RSMo including failure to provide proof of motor vehicle liability insurance.
  • Chapter 142, RSMo (Motor Fuel Tax)

Section 476.385, RSMo enacted by the Missouri Legislature in 1996, is the statutory basis for the Fine Collection Center. The statute authorized the Supreme Court to appoint a committee consisting of at least seven associate circuit judges, who shall establish and maintain a uniform schedule of fines to be paid for violations of chapters 252, 301, 302, 304, 306, 307 and 390, RSMo. A 1999 amendment to the statute added coverage of child passenger restraint violations under section 210.104, RSMo effective August 28, 1999, and also ensured that a county would receive all fines and all county costs and fees on any case processed by the Fine Collection Center. A 2003 amendment to the statute added coverage of littering under sections 577.070 and 577.073, RSMo. Section 476.385, RSMo also authorized the Supreme Court of Missouri to establish a centralized bureau to accept pleas of not guilty or pleas of guilty along with payment of fines and court costs for violations of offenses listed on the uniform fine schedule.

Contact Information
The Fine Collection Center is located at 121 Alameda Dr., Jefferson City, Missouri. The center’s mailing address is P.O. Box 104540, Jefferson City, MO 65110. The center’s toll free phone number is (877) 866-3926. The fax number is (573) 522-8504. The center’s web page is found at www.courts.mo.gov. Doug Starr is the program manager for the Fine Collection Center. 

Policy & Procedure Highlights
This section provides an overview of the new process for counties utilizing the Fine Collection Center to manage eligible violations. The changes impact law enforcement, offenders, prosecutors, the department of revenue, and the local courts. These changes are highlighted below.

Officers writing tickets for qualifying offenses will inform offenders that within 30 days of the ticket issue date they must plead guilty and pay their fine and costs in full to the center or send their plea of not guilty to the center. The officer will provide the offender with a Fine Collection Center instruction sheet in an envelope addressed to the center. The instructions explain how to plead guilty or plead not guilty. For other questions that offenders may have, they are instructed to call the center’s toll free number where a customer service representative will assist them.

For those wishing to plead guilty and pay their fine and costs, the center will accept mail-in or walk-in payments by personal check, money order, cashiers check, VISA and MasterCard. Payment may be made over the phone by credit card. The center will provide the department of revenue with a record of conviction for all individuals who pay their fine and costs on traffic offenses. The center also will maintain a record of the disposition of every case it processes.

The Fine Collection Center also will send delinquency notices to those offenders who fail to respond within 30 days. In appropriate traffic cases, the center will notify the driver’s license bureau of the department of revenue to suspend the offender’s license for failure to pay or respond within the statutory time frames. The department of revenue will notify individuals of license suspensions and direct them to contact the court in the county where the ticket originated in order to pay the fine and have the driver’s license reinstated. The center also processes nonresident violator’s compact (NRVC) traffic notices on out of state drivers.

If individuals plead not guilty or fail to respond within the time allowed, their citations will be forwarded to the prosecuting attorney in the county where the violation occurred. The prosecuting attorney will decide whether to prosecute these violations. If a defendant pleads not guilty to the center, and the prosecutor files the case with the court, section 476.385(5), RSMo requires the clerk of the court to notify the defendant in writing of the court date. Supreme Court Rule 38.12 requires that not guilty pleas “be filed in writing only” at the Fine Collection Center.

The Fine Collection Center can only process voluntary payments of fines and costs and not guilty pleas. If the center mistakenly receives a ticket for an offense that it is not legally authorized to handle, the center will send that ticket to the prosecuting attorney in the county where the violation occurred. The center cannot grant payment delays to offenders or accept partial payment plans. The center has no authority concerning imposition of traffic points on an offender’s driving record. The department of revenue determines the number of traffic points assessed for a particular offense based on statutory guidelines. For offenders who appear in court, the judge has the authority to permit them to attend traffic school and avoid the imposition of traffic points. However, each judge makes this decision based on the offender’s driving record and the circumstances of the charged offense. If an offender wishes his or her case to be handled in the court system, he or she may plead not guilty by sending such plea in writing to the center. The center will then send the offender’s ticket(s) to the prosecuting attorney for disposition. The center will no longer be involved in such cases.