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phem

Unpaid red-light ticket and citizenship application

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Hi! I just got a red light ticket in Culver City, which is in LA County. It is a common practice (although never encouraged) for people here in LA to just ignore the ticket completely, since LA County Court decided a few years ago to no longer inform the DMV of red light violations. I was just wondering if I ignored the ticket like everybody else, would the unpaid ticket issue come up during any sort of background check for citizenship application (which I plan to submit in a few years when I become eligible)? Thank you!

Edited by phem

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They do ask you both in the N-400 form and during the interview if you had any traffic violations/tickets. They also ask you what you did for those, if you paid or if you plead guilty etc. and they write the details down on your application during your interview. I don't think they have live access to your traffic violations and just one ignored ticket shouldn't impact your application much, but it is advisable to do the right thing and just pay off the ticket. You are supposed to explain what you did for each traffic incident/violation, and if you say I just ignored it that is problematic. You also shouldn't lie on the application or interview because lying on the N-400 (petition for U.S. Citizen) is grounds for revoking citizenship.

So just pay off the ticket and do the right thing.

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Probably.

It doesn't really seem to be "common practice" to ignore red light tickets. I live in the greater LA area, and have never heard this.

Pay the ticket, and you have one less thing to worry about.

Edited by JoeF

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