About Your Violation Notice
A violation notice or "ticket" may be issued by a federal law enforcement officer for violations of certain federal laws and, if occurring on federal property, certain state laws. Violations include improper parking, illegal camping, speeding, civil disturbances, fish and wildlife infractions, and other offenses.
Violation notices are mailed by law enforcement to the Central Violations Bureau (CVB) for processing. CVB will mail you a Notice to Appear in court approximately four (4) weeks prior to your court date. If you have not received a Notice to Appear within 45 days of receiving your ticket, call CVB at 800-827-2982.
If you wish to appear in court to contest your ticket, you must appear at the time, date, and court location indicated on your ticket or on your Notice to Appear.
For general information regarding your ticket or if you have moved since receiving your ticket, telephone CVB at 800-827-2982 during normal business hours.
Paying the Ticket
If an amount due is shown on your ticket or Notice to Appear, you may avoid appearing in court by paying the amount due. Tickets are paid directly to CVB. There are several ways in which you may make payment:
You may pay by phone by calling 800-827-2982.
You may pay on-line by using pay.gov or by visiting the CVB website
You may mail a check or money order, payable to:
Central Violations Bureau
P.O. Box 780549
San Antonio, TX 78278
Make sure to include a location code and the violation number on your payment.
If you pay the amount due as indicated on the ticket or notice before the court date, your case will be closed. You can call CVB at 800-827-2982 to verify the status of your ticket.
By paying the amount due you may be admitting to a criminal offense and a conviction may appear in a public record with adverse consequences to you. You have a right to know more about the charge against you, and you may obtain a complete statement of the charge by calling CVB at 800-827-2982. By paying the amount due you waive your right (1) to contest the ticket, (2) to a trial, and (3) to be represented by counsel. If you are charged with a motor-vehicle violation, your payment may be reported to your state’s motor-vehicle or driver-licensing agency. As a result, points may be assessed against your driving record, your license or registration may be suspended, and additional fees may be imposed by your state.
If your ticket is marked Mandatory Appearance – or if there is no amount due shown on your ticket or Notice to Appear – you must appear at the date, time, and court location indicated on your ticket or Notice to Appear.
Failure to Pay or Appear
If you fail to pay your fine or appear in court at the date and time scheduled on the ticket or Notice to Appear, the court may issue a summons ordering your appearance or issue a warrant for your arrest.
Who do I call to reschedule my hearing date?
If you are going to miss or have missed your scheduled hearing date, please immediately contact the Court at one of the following numbers:
Billings - (406) 247-2304
Butte (406) 542-7260
Great Falls - (406) 454-7814
Glacier – (406)454-7814
Helena – (406) 542-7260
Missoula - (406) 542-7260
Notice to Appear in Helena/Butte/Kalispell/Missoula
1. If you wish to contest the charge you have two options:
a. Appear in court for an initial appearance at the time and place after which a trial date will be set. If you appear in Helena, Butte, or Kalispell, your appearance will be via a live video teleconference connection with Judge DeSoto presiding over the proceedings from Missoula. As an alternative to appearing by video in Helena, Butte, or Kalispell, you may appear in person before Judge DeSoto at U.S. Magistrate Court, Russell Smith Courthouse, 201 E. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802.
b. Call the court at 406-542-7260 prior to the date set for the initial appearance stating that you wish to contest the charges. A trial date will be set.
2. Failure to appear in court, or to telephone the court prior to your initial appearance, will result in an arrest warrant being issued.
3. For your convenience, as an alternative to appearing by video in Helena, you may also appear before Judge DeSoto in person at U.S. Magistrate Court, R.E. Smith Courthouse, 201 E. Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802.
Notice to Appear in Billings
1. Upon receipt of this Notice to Appear, please contact the CVB customer service line in Billings, MT at (406) 247-4462 to verify receipt.
2. If you wish to contest the charge, you have two options:
a. Appear in court for an initial appearance at the above location and time after which a trial date will be set; or
b. Call the CVB customer service at (406) 247-4462 prior to the date for the initial appearance stating that you wish to contest the charges. A trial date will be set.
3. Failure to appear in court, or to telephone the court prior to your initial appearance, may result in an arrest warrant being issued.
*Please note, the CVB customer service line is an unstaffed telephone number. Please leave a message and your call will be returned, if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do you offer driving, traffic or defensive driving school in place of the ticket?
No. Please appear on your scheduled court date to make special requests.
- I want to contest my ticket in court, but I do not have a court date written on my ticket.
You will be notified by CVB of your court date by mail. You will receive a "Notice to Appear in Court" usually within 4 to 8 weeks from when the ticket was issued.
- How can I check the status of a ticket? I received a notice to appear, but I mailed my payment some time ago. Did you receive the payment?
Contact CVB by calling (800) 827-2982. Use option 4 to hear an automated recording using the Voice Case Information System about the status of your ticket or payment.
- Where can I find directions to the court?
Click here for courthouse locations in Montana.
- Is there more information about CVB?
Yes, at the CVB website or you can call CVB at (800) 827-2982.