Traffic tickets and naturalization (threads merged)


Registered Users (C)
Based on my Interview Experience. I was told any traffic tickets were less than $500 and didn't lead to be arrested or license suspend you don't have to include them. So I had 6 normal traffic tickets two of them were dismissed and the other four were no more than $180. So I didn't mention them on my application. Also I didn't have the court paper work. so I went to the county court and get certified letter that shows that I don't have any records and never been arrested. also I had renewed my driver license two weeks before my interview. During my interview when IO get to the question Have you ever been arrested, detained ,.......etc. I was clear with her about there is no arrests but there is traffic tickets. she asked me how old they are?. and if they were more than $500. she said OK and she wrote No arrests on that section of my application. then she went over to the next part..... My interview was very easy and quick and I think that's how it was for every person was with me in the waiting area because while I was waiting for my interview all persons finished their interview were waiting for their oath letter, and all of them were taking oath with me. What I mean that it's different from stat to another and from city to another. so please check with people experiences from your district to find out what to be concerned about>.​
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Registered Users (C)
Thanks for all response.

One ticket is about 4 years ago in my current state. I went to DMV and court, none of them have any record. That ticket is about 'didn't full stop at the stop sign". It is under $500. I paid fine with traffic school. Should I go to police station to get such record?

Another one is 13 years ago in another state.

I really like to mail my N400 out. But I couldn't remember exact date for my traffic tickets, I couldn't find records from DMV, I had to put off for quite a while.

Can I just put a rough date for traffic tickets with outcome and mail N400 out? Rough date for traffic tickets in N400 will harm my application or not?


Registered Users (C)
Hi all,

I received a notice to appear for interview and then today received a yellow letter asking me to bring my drivers license and as I had said I had been arrested (cited for traffic violations) they asked that I bring original or certified copies of all arrest and court dispositions showing how each incident was resolved. I have one which was in 2010, copy of payment received and traffic school completed. The other one was in approx 1997. I have tried to call the court involved and got the run around. Does anyone know where I go from here. I do not want this to stop me becoming a citizen. I did put on my N 400 the dates. Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks all.


Registered Users (C)
FYI for everybody, Asked 2 of my friends and both had traffic tickets and accidents in distant and near "pasts", both had entered "No" to the "Citation" question. One of then was asked about traffic tickets by the officer during the interview and he answered that it did not involve in DUI/Arrest/<$500 fine. Both are now citizens.

My 2 cents.



Registered Users (C)
My local Police dept. said they have records only for the last 4 years :( and then do not have records of out-of-state tickets/citations :(
So now I have no details like exact date and the court where my 2005 ticket happened. I also was hoping to get the incident date for my out-of-state ticket. Not sure what all should I mention on N-400. Any suggestions are most welcome.



Registered Users (C)
I have lived in a few states and am looking to get driver history reports in these states, is that required for naturalization interview? Will the IO ask what ticket I got in each state? Also all on them are minor tickets < $500, all paid...pls let me know
N-336; no response yet

Hello, everyone.. longtime reader first time questioner

I applied for citizenship back in 03/2011
Denied 02/2012

applied for n336 - 03/2012

interview for the n336 came and attended on 08/2012 - the IO told me he would mail a decision.

i have a lawyer, he is telling me that he is talking to the immigration officer everyweek and the IO are telling the lawyer they are very close in choosing a decision.

Now its 04/2013 no new news.

i am getting furstrated, i am newly married and want to bring my spouse on K3 visa (citizen).

I just want to know what is the process and the expectation for N336.


Registered Users (C)
Traffic tickets are NOT an issue and no documentation is necessary to be sent with N-400. See below.
Let's read carefully what you are posting:

Typically if an individual only has minor traffic citations with no arrests resulting (i.e. speeding tickets), they will not be equired to submit any additional information with the N-400.
However, if, during the course of the interview, an adjudications officer determines that there are circumstances that warrant further investigation, (e.g. there is an indication that the applicant has failed to pay fines associated with the citations), the officer may request additional documentation. (e.g. payment, certified police/court documents indicating such).

No need to send additional documentation, just be sure that it could be provided as needed.

Iranian girl

Registered Users (C)
Hi everyone,
I am going to apply for citizenship and I have a question:
what should I answer to questions 15 through 18 of the good moral character?
1. I went through the EZPASS lane unintentionally and couldn't pay the toll fee, I received a toll violation notice in the mail, immediately paid the toll fee and explained what happened, and they dismissed the administrative fee.
2. as I am a lisenced nurse assistant I am required to change my address with the board of nursing whenever I move, last time that I moved I didn't realize I hadn't change my address with them and they fined me for $10 and I paid the fine immediately.
I would really appreciate your advice on how to answer questions 15-18. thank you


Registered Users (C)
Put "No" on all. You were not cited or detained by a law enforcement officer - that is what matters. EZPASS toll violation is akin to a parking ticket (i.e., issued to a car, not a driver).


Registered Users (C)
ok so I'm getting ready to apply for citizenship based on the 5 year rule. I have a few tickets that I paid. Based on my memory they were not over $500 and I was not arrested for them. Meaning was given a ticket and the officer waived good bye. Have no record of payment and even tickets.

How does one go about getting those darn records? For example, I got in touch with the court where I had lived 10 years ago and they say I either need a ticket number or else no luck searching based on name, DL # or even car plate #. Apparently that particular municipal court doesn;t have anything that's paid and a year old. The guy said I should get in touch with DMV and ask them for the ticket number.

So how does one go about collecting the ticket records? Auto insruance companies do it and most DMVs check for unpaid tickets within the same state.

Anyone figure out the formula yet? I mean I am willing to provide a written statement with my efforts of trying to locate these things and say that I can't locate them despite my best efforts. Is that better? Or simply answer No and hope the office is not paranoid.


Registered Users (C)
This an opinion from Ron Gotcher, another very competent attorney:

"There is a great deal of controversy over the issue of reporting traffic tickets on an N-400. Being cited for a traffic infraction is not an "arrest" and payment of a traffic fine does not constitute a "conviction." If you want to include them, other than a possible delay in processing, I can't really see any harm since such infractions do not provide a legal basis for denying a naturalization application."


Are there any other opinions from established lawyers, our own respected Rajiv Khanna or Murhty?


Registered Users (C)
In MA, when you request online dirving record, it be default shows you last 10 years. But if you have someting beyonf 10 years, you can request the records from their RMV Adminstrative offices for $20 (walk in). If you need proof that the ticket was paid, you need to ask for that specifically when you are there in person.

In NJ, I had a ticket which was paid in local municipal court. When NJ DMV was asked about it, they said there's no record meaning the record is clean. But when asked specifically about the one ticket paid at municipal court, they said oh yeah tha was paid and was never put on record whatever that means.


Registered Users (C)
Rajiv's answer to traffic ticket question

First of all I have to say that I'm honored and pleasantly surprised that Rajiv remembered me as an old forum member and recognized my contribution to the forum in today's conference call. I really appreciate and value that. So Thanks Rajiv :) That really meant a lot to me..I can finally brag to my wife (and possible others on the forum) that jefkorn is was recognized by Rajiv ;)

It's an honor to be a member here and help others by our shared experiences!

I had posted few questions here for the community conference call with Rajiv.

"1. What's your opinion on disclosing traffic tickets especially when one doesn't even remember where and when was the traffic ticket given? Should one request a driving report from all states where the applicant lived and attach that with the N400 application even if driving history report simply says "no offense found"? I know in some cases the record may not be present in the state's central system but going by memory the applicant has some vague recollection of getting a ticket and paying it but can't locate the exact details.

Start of transcription of the relevant part:

jefkorn oh I think I know this particular member of our community, yeah because he is been member since June 2002, almost a 1000 posts wow. yeah I remember you, we have talked also before. Now you are filing your naturalization excellent, ok very good.

You can attach a letter, you can say that there are traffic ticket that I don't remember the exact details and you can also put down whether they were moving violations or misdemeanors or minor violations such as parking tickets so it's always a good idea ti disclose it and let the Govt do what they want to do with it. If you can't find out and don't know where they are, in the FBI check they should be able to pull out any serious problems. So usually a good idea and you can put down the fact that when I look at he driving history I can't find anything but I know there were some things so go ahead and attach a letter or statement.

Cover letter is not really required but I want you to talk about your traffic offenses in the cover letter.


Anyhow good luck and it's great to see that you are still around 1000 posts wow! you have worked hard with us.
End of transcription of the relevant part:

Hope it helps others who might be at a loss as to what to fill in if they don't have the details or it's been purged out of the driving history, you could write a statement and explain things and it should be fine.
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Registered Users (C)
This thread has been around for more than a decade, and throughout it folks have been searching for a "perfect" formula when it comes to traffic tickets. The reality is that there is no such thing, and the more you read people's testimonies, the more you realise this fact. There were many useful practical advices on how to disclose the tickets and what to say at the interview, but the question "to disclose or not to disclose" is as far from being answered as it was 10 years ago.


Registered Users (C)
Here's excerpt from AILA's Liason Meeting in Texas in July 2013:

4. Some members have expressed concern about the practice of AO’s asking for dispositions for all traffic tickets in naturalization cases. Page 5 of the N-400 instructions clearly states: “Note that unless a traffic incident was alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine of less than $500 or points on your driver's license.”

Can you please clarify whether the local office recognizes this distinction, or whether it is putting in place a new policy that is contrary to the N-400 instructions?

USCIS Response:
Houston follows all required policies, including Naturalization Quality Procedures (NQP), which relevantly states:
Officers are required to request certified court dispositions for the following:
All arrests/convictions for criminal acts committed during the statutory period;
Any arrest/convictions for any crimes where the applicant would still be on probation at the time of adjudication of the N-400 or may
have served 180 days incarceration during the statutory period.If there is a concern about what is requested, bring it up to a Supervisor before you leave the building.