Beginning in July 2016, it’s going to be much easier to get traffic violation charges dismissed. North Carolina is introducing an alternative to appearing in court: the Electronic Compliance and Dismissal option (ECAD). Find out more about ECAD and how you can benefit from it.
Traffic Tickets: The Old Way
Currently, if you’re pulled over by a police officer while driving with an expired registration or driver’s license, you receive a ticket, a fine and a charge. If you renew your registration or license within a given time frame, you have the option to pay the fine and request that the charges be dismissed.
To get the traffic charges dropped online, you need to go to the courthouse. For many people, going to court in the middle of the day is disruptive to their time and possibly income if they don’t have the benefit of paid time off from work. Getting the charges dropped often costs money, time and convenience.
Traffic Tickets: The New Way
ECAD in North Carolina is brand new. Here’s when it will be available:
- May 2016: Wake County
- July 1, 2016: the entire state
With ECAD, you’ll have the option to request the dismissal of some charges online without having to set foot in a courthouse. In the near future, when you receive your citation from the police officer, it will include on it that you “may be able to request dismissal online at OnlineServices.NCCourts.org.”
When you are charged you will be assigned a court date. If you correct your violation – whether it’s renewing your vehicle registration or getting a valid license – on or before the court date, you will be able to go online and submit a request for the charges to be dismissed.
You’ll enter your information, and the website will connect with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles’ database. This step verifies that you’ve renewed your registration or license or have resolved whatever issues caused you to receive the charge during the traffic stop.
From there a district attorney will review your charge and determine whether it should be dismissed. Either way, you’ll receive an email with the final decision.
What’s Covered Under ECAD
An estimated 200,000 charges eligible for compliance dismissal, such as the ones below, will occur in the next year in North Carolina. If you’ve been charged with any of the following, you can use ECAD to request dismissal of the charges once you meet the requirements to correct the violation:
- No operator’s license
- Registration violations
- Failure to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles of change of address for a driver’s license
- Expired license
- Unsafe tires
- Inspection violations
- No registration card
- Failure to obtain a commercial driver’s license
- Allowing an unlicensed person to drive
- Failure to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles of change of address for a certificate of title or registration
- Rearview mirror violations
- Safety equipment violations
- Child restraint violations
- Motorcycle and moped helmet violations
ECAD in North Carolina
As an added bonus for everyone in North Carolina, this new method of payment and dismissal request also costs less than going to the courthouse. If you choose to go to court in person, you will pay $50. If you use ECAD, you will only pay a $10 service charge.