The Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court is a single court with two separate locations in Tiffin and Fostoria. The Traffic Division of the Tiffin location handles traffic violations that have taken place within the geographic jurisdiction of all of Seneca County excluding Jackson and Loudon Townships and the City of Fostoria. The Traffic Division of the Fostoria location handles traffic violations that have taken place within the geographic jurisdiction of Jackson and Loudon Townships in Seneca County, Washington Township in Hancock County, Perry Township in Wood County, and the City of Fostoria, which lies within Seneca, Hancock, and Wood Counties.
You may visit the Tiffin Traffic Division, 103 E. Market Street, Suite 201, Tiffin, or the Fostoria Traffic Division, 213 S. Main Street, Fostoria - second floor Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The waiver schedule can be found in the Bond and Waiver section of this web site.
The court accepts payment by cash, personal check, money order or Discover/Visa/MasterCard. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Municipal Court. Please sign the back of the citation and include this when mailing your payment.
Court costs are a minimum $90.00 for violations. If you go to trial, there may be additional costs incurred for subpoenas, witness fees, etc. These fees are in addition to the minimum court costs.
"Not Guilty" Explanation
If you wish to plead not guilty you must either:
- Appear in court on the date and time specified on the citation and enter a verbal not guilty plea, or
- Enter your not guilty plea in writing by the date and time on the citation. This is normally done by an attorney, but you may do it yourself and must have the case number, your complete name and address and a phone number where you may be reached. Based on the not guilty plea the court will set a trial date and will notify you by mail of your court date.
Generally, the clerk's office may grant one extension of your original arraignment date for up to seven days.
What to Bring to Court
- Proof of insurance for the vehicle and driver for the date shown on the ticket
- Valid operator’s license or a valid renewed license
- Proof of vehicle ownership if car was impounded
- Adequate funds to pay for possible fines and costs
Trial Day Procedure
A trial is a proceeding in which the prosecutor and/or the State of Ohio will try to convince the court that you have committed the traffic violation with which you have been charged. The prosecutor is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
You should arrive at court several minutes prior to your scheduled appearance time. Check in at the clerk's office. You will then be asked to have a seat in the courtroom until your case is called.
Please be prepared to spend several hours at court on the day that you appear. While the court makes every effort to move its docket swiftly, cases are scheduled closely together and there are often delays. Please do not bring children to court with you.
Aquiring Driving Privileges
Below is information on how to obtain driving privileges for just some of the suspensions imposed by the court or the BMV.
- Administrative License Suspension:
- Your attorney will be able to file the paperwork to obtain occupational driving privileges. If you are not represented by an attorney, you may obtain the ALS packet at the court. You will need to provide on the journal entry your place of employment, hours of employment and route traveled for employment purposes. This journal entry should be submitted to the court along with current proof of financial responsibility.
- Non-compliance (driving without insurance):
- You may file for occupational privileges in the municipal court of the county in which you reside. That court will need to see proof that the reinstatement fee has been paid and the proof of financial responsibility has been filed with the BMV. A filing fee may be required in some courts.
- Drug Suspension:
- In order to obtain occupational privileges, you must pass a urine screen provided by the probation department. Occupational privileges may then be granted provided you show proof of financial responsibility, proof of employment, counseling sessions or enrollment at school or college along with times of travel and route of travel. You will also be subject to random drug testing during this suspension.
- DUI Suspension:
- Provide the probation department with proof of financial responsibility, proof of employment, counseling sessions or enrollment at school or college along with times of travel and route of travel.
- 12 Point Suspension:
- Attend a remedial driving class.
- Take the certificate of attendance of the remedial driving class, proof of SR22 bond and the reinstatement fee to the BMV in Toledo or Columbus. If all your paperwork is in order, the BMV will give you a letter authorizing you to retest.
- Schedule an appointment with your local BMV to retest for a driver’s license.
- Once you have successfully retested, contact the civil division of the municipal court in which you reside to obtain occupational privileges.
Please remember when you are dealing with the BMV, you must have your birth certificate, social security card, and one other form of ID, such as a credit card, state ID, or passport. You may contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (614) 752-7600.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much is my citation?
- See the waiver schedule. If you still have questions, call the Tiffin Traffic Division at 419-448-5411 or Fostoria Traffic Division at 419-435-8139.
- Do I have to appear in court?
- If the court appearance box is checked on your ticket indicating a non-waiverable offense or if this is your third moving violation in the past twelve (12) months, then you must appear in court. If you have a waiverable offense, you can admit guilt and pay fines and court costs by mail or in person without having to appear before the judge.
- Do I need an attorney?
- If jail is a possible sentence, it may be wise to consult with an attorney, but you are not required to have attorney representation. If you are unable to afford an attorney and qualify for a court appointed attorney, one may be appointed for you.
- I need a different court date.
- The Traffic Division may grant one extension of your original arraignment date for up to seven days. Contact the court prior to the appearance date on your ticket to request a continuance.
- A second continuance of your court appearance must be granted by the judge. You must request this continuance in writing explaining the reason for the request. The court will notify you of its decision.
- Can I call to request more time to pay my fine?
- Yes. The traffic division clerk may grant you a one week extension. If you need more time, then you must appear at court to request additional time to pay. If your fines and costs exceed $100.00, the court will allow you additional time to pay your fine. This is referred to as a payment agreement. There is a $15.00 fee for being placed on a payment agreement.
- I forgot to pay my ticket on time. Can I mail it on the court date?
- No. The court must receive full payment by your court date unless other arrangements have been made with the court. If it is not taken care of, further legal action will be taken against you.
- I did not show my insurance card to the officer. If I bring it in now, can I just pay my fine?
- Yes. If you have a waiverable citation, you can mail or bring in a copy of your insurance card or policy showing coverage. The proof of your insurance must show your name, the vehicle you were driving at the time the citation was issued and that the policy was in effect at the time the citation was issued.
- I did not have insurance on the day I received my citation. Will my license be suspended? For how long?
- Yes. Your license will be suspended on a first offense indefinitely until you show current proof of a SR-22 bond and pay a $150 reinstatement fee.
- Can I get driving privileges while my license is suspended?
- Contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (614) 752-7600.
- Will my fine be different if I appear in court? How do I know how much money to bring?
- The judge determines the fine amount depending on the nature of the offense and any prior record. The judge reviews the records, listens to your comments, and bases his decision on all the information given.
- If you do not have money on the day of your appearance and your fines and costs exceed $100.00, the court will sometimes allow you additional time to pay your fine. This is referred to as a payment agreement. There is a $15.00 fee for being placed on a deferred payment plan.
- If you plead not guilty, go to trial, and are found guilty, there may be additional costs incurred for subpoenas, witness fees, etc. These fees are in addition to the minimum $90.00 costs.
- I forgot to show up to court when scheduled. What will happen?
- Failure to appear in court will result in a warrant for your arrest. You will be required to post a bond if you are subsequently arrested.
- The court will notify the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles of your failure to appear. The BMV will withhold the issuance or renewal of your driver's license and registration and suspend your driving privileges.