Does a traffic ticket need to be signed?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Does a traffic ticket need to be signed?

I was given a citation for being in the HOV lane I was trying to go around a seemingly stalled vehicle. Police officer said that cannot be in that lane for any reason. The ticket that was issued has a place for a signature by the accused there is also a box next to it declaring that, if checked, accused refuses to sign. The box is not checked, nor was I told to sign the ticket. Is it still valid?

Asked on July 25, 2019 under General Practice, Hawaii


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is still valid. Courts have the power to amend or revise citations and tickets (and other legal papers) to correct harmless errors--errors that do not go to the core or essential elements of the paper (i.e. that you were in the HOV lane) and which could be considered the equivalent of a "typo." The failure to check the box does not alter anything about what you did or were accused of, and does not prejudice or damage your rights. Therefore, the court can simply amend or correct the ticket.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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