Municipal Court - Court FAQ's

Judge Andra D. Sparks, Presiding
801 17th Street North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
205-254-2161
Municpal Court Building

FAQ

General Information

Q. HOW MUCH IS MY TICKET?

A. Look up your charge in the Uniform Traffic Citation Fine Schedule and Parking Ticket Offense Code list. See the Downloads page for other fine schedules, forms, and brochures.

Q. WHAT TIME DO YOU OPEN AND CLOSE?

A. We open at 8:00 a.m. and close and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Q. WHERE IS THE MUNICIPAL COURT LOCATED?

A. David J. Vann Municipal Justice Center
801 - 17th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Q. WHAT DO I SEND TO PAY A TICKET?

A. Send a check or money order payable to the City of Birmingham. No counter checks will be accepted. Enclose your ticket and/or notice with the payment. If you want a receipt, enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Q. CAN I PAY ONLINE?

A. Yes. Click here.

Q. WHAT IS THE MAILING ADDRESS FOR PAYMENTS?

A. Birmingham Municipal Court
David J. Vann Numicipal Justice Center
801 - 17th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203

Q. WHO CAN I TALK TO ABOUT A TRAFFIC TICKET?

A. On a ticket that requires a court appearance -- the court clerk. On a ticket that can be paid over the counter -- traffic citation personnel. To protest a ticket, see traffic citation personnel. On a ticket that requires a court appearance -- the court clerk.

Q. CAN SOMEONE ELSE COME AND PAY A TICKET FOR ME?

A. No, the clerk must witness your signature on the Waiver of Rights on the back of the ticket.

Q. WHAT CAN I DO IF I NEED MORE TIME TO PAY MY FINE?

A. If you need more time to pay your fine, you must appear in court and the judge will determine whether an extension will be granted. In order to see the judge, you must come to the Municipal Justice Center before the date on your ticket between the hours of 8:00AM and 4:45PM, Monday through Friday.

Q. HOW CAN I PROTEST MY TRAFFIC TICKET?

A. If you live in the Birmingham area, you come to the Municipal Justice Center between the hours of 8:00AM and 4:45PM to sign a protest bond. If you live out of the city, we will send you a protest Court appearance Bond by Mail. It must be returned, with a signature, for completion. a written slip is given to each defendant, with the court appearance date, as a reminder notice.

Q. HOW DO I GO TO DEFENSIVE DRIVING SCHOOL?

A. First, you must protest the ticket. See HOW CAN I PROTEST MY TRAFFIC TICKET? above. When you go to court, request the judge send you to DDS. If your request is approved, you will be given complete information about attending the class.

Q. HOW DO I PROTEST A PARKING TICKET?

A. You must come to the Municipal Justice Center and sign a parking ticket protest form. You will be given a hearing date. When you come in for your hearing be sure to bring any documentation or witnesses you may have. See the brochure How to Protest a Parking Ticket for further information.

SPECIFIC PROBLEMS

Q. I GOT A PARKING TICKET AT A DEFECTIVE METER. WILL YOU TAKE CARE OF IT?

A. Report meter problems to the Traffic Engineering Department, 254-6372. If they find it was broken, this office will void the ticket.

Q. I'M HANDICAPPED AND GOT A PRKING TICKET? WHAT DO I DO?

A. A request form and an explanation are required as to why your placard was not hanging and turned in at the window. A magistrate will consider your request and notify you of the disposition.

Q. I DO NOT OWN THIS VEHICLE ANYMORE, CAN YOU REMOVE MY NAME FROM THIS TICKET OR WARRANT FOR MY ARREST?

A. Until the new owner transfers the title into his name, we cannot make a change in our system. However, you can contact the Tag Registration Department at 325-5171, and ask them to put a flag on that tag number so that it will not be renewed in your name. If the vehicle or tag has been stolen, report it to the police and send us a photocopy of the police report.

Q. I GOT A FIX-IT TICKET. WHAT DO I DO TO GET IT DISMISSED?

A. State law allows tag, tail, brake and head light tickets to be dismissed if they are repaired within three days and verified by a police officer. Equipment violations for horns, broken windows, etc., and failure to turn on your lights in the rain are your obligation to repair and are not dismissable. Tickets for expired tags or license not in possession can be dismissed if you turn in the ticket plus a copy of your tag receipt and license before your court date. Come to the Traffic Court window so it can be verified which kind of ticket you have. You will be asked to sign a book, which is your proof of turning it in. It will be dismissed.

Q. I HAVE RECEIVED A TICKET FOR NOT HAVING A PROPER TAG. THE OFFICER TOLD ME IF I BUY MY TAG, BRING IT IN AND SHOW IT, I WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY THE TICKET. IS THAT CORRECT?

A. No. You are still liable for the ticket unless you have just purchased the vehicle, in which case you are allowed 10 days to buy a tag and produce proof of purchase to us.

Q. I PAID MY TICKET, WHY DID I RECEIVE AN INSUFFICIENT PAYMENT NOTICE OR WARRANT NOTICE?

A. Drivers receive notices when the ticket is entered in the system. Sometimes, people send their payment before the ticket is actually entered. A phone call to our main number can assure you whether the payment has been received. Notices also go out if tickets are not paid by the court date. A late penalty is then added to that notice. If you tell us that you mailed the payment "on time," we pull the ticket and postmarked envelope for verification. We verify the date the envelope was postmarked - not the check date.

Q. WHY IS MY LICENSE SUSPENDED?

A. If you did not pay your ticket on time, the Alabama Department of Public Safety was notified and they suspended your license for non-payment. In order to have your license reinstated, you must first pay the ticket to us and request a clearance letter. Then, contact the Department of Public Safety at 334-242-4400 for more information concerning the reinstatement fee which varies depending on the drivers' history.

COURT RELATED QUESTIONS

Q. DO I HAVE TO COME TO COURT IN ALL CASES?

A. Some tickets are court cases, some are payable and do not require a court appearance. If your are scheduled for court and are ill, submit a certificate from your doctor stating that you are not physically able to come to court. This must be presented to the court prior to the court date.

Q. CAN I CHANGE MY COURT DATE?

A. A court date cannot be changed. If an appearance is not made, the judge will enter a forfeiture order, and a writ of arrest will be issued.

Q. HOW CAN I GET MY COURT CASE PUT OFF?

A. One way only -- present a letter from your doctor stating you are unable to come. This letter must be presented to the court prior to your court date. Refer also to question immediately above.

Q. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DO NOT SHOW UP FOR COURT?

A. A writ will be issued for your arrest. In addition to which a charge of Failure to Appear in Court could be placed against you. For the charge of Failure to Appear in Court you can be fined up to $500.00 plus court costs and state fees and/or given up to 180 days in jail.

Q. HOW DO I GET AN EXTENSION ON A COURT FINE?

A. Come back to court and request more time from the judge.

Q. HAS A WARRANT BEEN TAKEN OUT ON ________?

A. In order to find out if you have any warrants outstanding, you must go to the magistrate's office with proper identification. Also you may come into the Municipal Justice Center and use the public access terminal.

Q. IF A WARRANT HAS BEEN ISSUED AGAINST A PERSON WILL THEY BE PUT IN JAIL?

A. Normally the person will be given an opportunity to make bond.

Q. CAN I DROP A WARRANT?

A. Once a warrant has been signed and issued, it cannot be dropped. Both parties must come to court.

TELEPHONE/CONTACT INFORMATION

Q. WHAT IS THE ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDING JUDGE?

A. Judge Raymond P. Chambliss
Birmingham Municipal Court
David J. Vann Municipal Justice Center
801 - 17th Street North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203

Q. CAN I TALK TO THE JUDGE?

A. The judge can only talk to you about a court matter in court.

Q. TO WHOM AND WHERE DO I SEND MY REINSTATEMENT FEE?

A. Alabama Department of Public Safety
Driver License Division
Driver Improvement Unit
Montgomery, Alabama 36102-1471
Phone: 334-242-4400

Q. WHO DO I CALL TO FIND OUT ABOUT MY DRIVERS LICENSE OR TO RENEW MY DRIVERS LICENSE?

A. 322-4691 or 325-5188

Q. WHAT IS THE MAGISTRATE'S NUMBER AND WHERE ARE THEY LOCATED?

A. Phone: 254-6512 or 254-6514
Address: 425 - 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205

Q. WHAT IS THE NUMBER FOR PAROLE AND PROBATION AND WHERE ARE THEY LOCATED?

A. Phone: 254-2592.
The Parole and Probation Office is located in the Municipal Justice Center.

Q. WHAT NUMBER DO I CALL ABOUT A TICKET ISSUED BY A STATE TROOPER OR SHERIFF?

A. 325-5309

Q. WHERE DO I OBTAIN AN ACCIDENT REPORT?

A. Police Department, Business Records: 254-6308

Q. WHO WOULD I REPORT A POLICE OFFICER TO?

A. Police Department, Internal Affairs: 254-1742

Q. MAY I SPEAK TO SOMEONE IN THE SOLICITOR'S OFFICE?

A. Yes we will transfer your call to the prosecutor of that court.

Q. WHAT NUMBER DO I CALL ABOUT DISTRICT COURT CASES, CIVIL OR CRIMINAL?

A. Civil cases: 325-5331
Criminal cases: 325-5309
Circuit Clerk, Anne-Marie Adams: 325-5355

Q. WHO DO I CALL ABOUT TAG TRANSFER OR RENEWAL?

A. Jefferson County Department of Revenue: 325-5171

Q. CAN YOU HELP ME WITH A MARRIAGE LICENSE?

A. Call the Probate Court, Jefferson County: 325-5420

Q. WHO DO YOU CALL ABOUT A STOP SIGN OR A RED LIGHT?

A. 254-2450

Q. WHAT IS THE NUMBER FOR FAMILY COURT?

A. 325-5491