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Official Format for a Real Ticket

How to Tell the Difference between a Real Ticket and a Fake/Snitch Ticket

Fake Tickets

Senate Bill 1303 (of 2012), effective Jan. 1, 2013, formalized the design layout of fake/Snitch Tickets.  The author of the bill included, in the formal/published version of the bill, this drawing of the permitted layout of the page:

Fake ticket format, per SB 1303

Here is an example of a fake/Snitch ticket:

Fake red light camera ticket -
                you can ignore!

Real Tickets

Every real ticket must include this Notice to Appear section ...

Official form, California red
                light camera ticket
Official Notice to Appear, as of 2013.
The shaded areas indicate spaces that can be modified for local or agency requirements.
Unshaded areas may not be modified.
The most current version will be available on the website of the Judicial Council of California.
The Judicial Council provides separate instructions for the Notice to Appear, and they get very specific.
The Notice to Appear cannot legally be used on a fake/Snitch Ticket - as of Jan. 1, 2013
there is a separate official form for the fake/Snitch tickets, with a very different layout - see above.

... but there is no law specifying the layout of the rest of the page.  As a result, there can be a lot of variation, discussed below.

 Sample Real Ticket from a RedFlex Town

  This is a what a real ticket by RedFlex looks like.  It includes the required Notice to Appear form, four photos in a column on the right, and a "Certificate of Mailing" declaration designed by RedFlex and executed by a RedFlex employee (see Defect # 8).

Sample of real RedFlex Ticket
                  - Calif. only
Sample Real Ticket from a RedFlex Town

Another Layout for a Real Ticket

The top three-quarters of the real ticket below (which was printed on 8-1/2 x 14 paper) looks a lot like a fake/Snitch Ticket.  The only solid clue telling us that it is a real ticket is the presence of the Notice to Appear section - sideways at the bottom of the page! 

Unlike the RedFlex ticket above, there is no "Certificate of Mailing" declaration signed by a company employee.

Also note that in this sample, the Late Time is given - it is just above the close-up photo of the license plate, and says,
"Crossed stop line 1.75 seconds after red."  
( Some cities choose to leave the Late Time off the ticket.)

Sample real ticket by Nestor -
                Calif. only
Sample Real Ticket

Snitch Stories

Here is a page with stories from people who have dealt with their Snitch Ticket.