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SMC to reinstate electronic payment transaction fee December 1, 2023

Beginning December 1, 2023, Seattle Municipal Court will reinstate a $3.60 transaction fee for payments made by credit or debit card by phone or via the court’s website to recoup associated payment processing expenses including bank fees. This transaction fee has been suspended since March 2020 to help individuals during the economic uncertainty of the COVID pandemic.

Individuals paying by credit or with debit card in person at the courthouse, paying by check, or cash will not be charged the $3.60 transaction fee.

The costs associated with electronic processing of payments are a significant expenditure for the court and an unbudgeted expense without a transaction fee in place. By reinstating the $3.60 fee, the court aims to continue our fiscal responsibility to manage a balanced budget and ensure continuation of essential services to our community. Seattle Municipal Code 5.22.020 authorizes City departments to apply a fee to each credit or debit card transaction to recover costs for accepting and processing payments.

Seattle Municipal Court is committed to evaluating the impact of this fee on court users and is actively exploring ways to mitigate this expense. The court will continue to keep interested parties informed via our website, social media, and through engagement opportunities.

For more information on how to make payments to the court, please visit:

If you can’t pay your ticket(s) in full, you may be eligible for a payment plan or community service plan. You may be able to set up a payment plan for as low as $10 per month or perform community service work at an approved charitable organization instead of paying.  

If you are low-income and have Seattle tickets that are in collections, you can sign up for a Seattle Ticket Debt Reduction Hearing. Hearings are held every Thursday starting at 11 AM via telephone. Registration is required.  

If you have questions or need help, contact the court’s customer service team at (206) 684-5600.