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Photo Enforcement in Boulder

Speeding and red-light-running are two of the most common causes of traffic crashes in Boulder. The city uses photo enforcement devices including photo radar and red-light cameras to improve traffic safety, prevent crashes and save lives.

If either device takes a photo, a Notice of Violation is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle.  

Pay a Photo Enforcement Fine 

There are several different ways to pay the fine detailed in your citation:

Pay online using a MasterCard/Visa. 

Call 866-790-4111 and pay using a MasterCard/Visa. 

Follow the instructions on your Notice of Violation. Payment is accepted via personal check, money order, cashier's check or MasterCard/Visa. If you are paying by check or money order, make it payable to "City of Boulder" and reference the notice number located on the top right side of the payment stub.  Please do not send cash through the mail. 

Mailed payments should be sent to:

City of Boulder
Photo Enforcement Program
PO Box 35131
Seattle, WA 98124-5131

Drop off your payment in the drop box located at the entrance of the parking lot across the street from the Boulder Municipal Court (1777 6th St.). Personal check, money order, cashier's check or MasterCard/Visa pyaments are accepted. If you are paying by check or money order, make it payable to "City of Boulder" and reference the notice number located on the top right side of the payment stub.  Please do not drop off cash in the drop box. 

Pay in-person at the Boulder Municipal Court (1777 6th St.) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Acceptable forms of payment are cash, personal check, money order, cashier's check or MasterCard/Visa. 


How to Contest a Photo Enforcement Citation 

Photo enforcement citations differ from traditional citations in that you can view the photographic evidence of your alleged violation prior to paying fines or appearing in court. The violation notice you receive in the mail will include a URL, which you can visit to view the evidence. The photographs must provide the evidence necessary to support an allegation of red-light running.

To contest the violation, you need to appear in court. You can schedule your court date by completing this form. You should bring your driver's license and a copy of the Notice of Violation you receievd when you appear in court. Court costs are not assessed on photo enforcement cases. 


The law requires that the driver of a vehicle drive at a speed that permits the vehicle to be operated in compliance with all applicable traffic laws and weather/road conditions. This means that the following are not legally accepted defenses:

  • Equipment malfunction 
  • Weather and/or road conditions
  • Driving a heavily loaded vehicle 
  • Driving behind a vehicle that blocked the driver's view


Frequently Asked Questions

Photo radar is used to prevent speeding. It is used by officer in an unmarked vehicle on the side of the road and consists of an automated camera system, a radar gun and a display that shows the speed of each passing vehicle. When a vehicle is detected to be traveling 10 mph or more over the posted speed limit, the photo radar system takes a picture of the driver and the license plate. The registered owner of the vehicle then receives a Notice of Violation in the mail. 

Red light cameras are mounted on traffic poles at certain high-collision intersections. Radar-based technology mounted on poles is used to monitor traffic. The system is not activated until the light turns red. If a vehicle crosses the stop line after the light turns red, these sensors will detect the vehicle and trigger the camera, taking a picture of the driver and the license plate. The registered owner of the vehicle then receives a Notice of Violation in the mail. 

These intersections have red-light cameras:

  • 28  th  Street and Arapahoe Avenue
  • 28  th  Street and Canyon Boulevard
  • 30  th  Street and Arapahoe Avenue
  • 27  th  Way and Baseline Road
  • 47  th  Street and Valmont Road
  • Table Mesa Drive and North Foothills Highway
  • Broadway and Pine Street 
  • Foothills Parkway and Arapahoe Avenue 
  • Diagonal Highway and 47th Street (to be operational Dec. 15, 2020)

Failure to respond to the Notice will result in personal service of the Notice. You will receive an additional $60 fee to cover the cost of service. Once the Notice has been personally served, you must pay the amount due (including additional $60 fee) indicated on the notice prior to the court date, or you must appear in court as scheduled. If you fail to appear for court, you will be found guilty by default, assessed applicable fines and fees, and your case will be referred to a collection agency, which will increase the amount due by 25 percent. Failure to appear for court is also a separate violation that may result in a warrant for your arrest.

A Notice of Violation is issued to the registered vehicle owner, as determined by the photo of the license plate. The Notice of Violation is sent via first class mail. Most notices are mailed within seven days of the violation date. A final notice is mailed to the same address by first class mail 20 days later if there is no response to the first notice.

If you are not the driver pictured, you can identify the actual driver by completing the Affidavit of Non Responsibility on the reverse side of the violation notice sent to you in the mail. You must include the mailing address of the nominated driver and a photocopy of your driver's license. If the city determines you were not the driver, your Notice of Violation will be dismissed and a new notice will be sent to the appropriate party. 

When a photo red light violation is issued, the license plate that is pictured is tracked through motor vehicle license plate registration. The address on the registration is used to determine where to mail the citation and to whom it is issued.

If you moved since obtaining your license plates and did not update your address with Motor Vehicle Registration at your county's Clerk and Recorder Office, or if you believe that you may have received a citation but did not receive a notice in the mail, you can call the Boulder Municipal Court at 303-441-1810 and ask if there is a ticket for your license plate number.

Colorado Revised Statute §42-3-113(7) states whenever any person moves to a new address, he or she has 30 days to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of both the old and new addresses. As indicated above, notification is made to your county's Clerk and Recorder Office.

The registered owner will be sent notice of the violation. The registered owner at that time may "nominate" the actual driver and the citation can be re-issued to you. The citation will not be dismissed simply because it was issued to a business or public agency. Most rental car agencies simply pay the citation and then charge the fine back to the person to whom the car was rented at the time the violation occurred. They frequently add an additional service fee.

If you were driving someone else's vehicle and believe you may have received a photo enforcement ticket, you can call the Boulder Municipal Court at 303-441-1810 and ask if there is a ticket for the license plate number of the vehicle you were driving for the relevant date and/or location.

If the ticket is located, you can pay the ticket and avoid additional fees or charges. Once the citation is paid, the case is closed. Alternatively, you can acknowledge that you were the driver of the vehicle and set the case for trial.

No. Photo enforcement violations are zero point Traffic Infractions that are not reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

It will not affect your driving record in any way. Since these violations are not reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, your insurance company is not aware of them.

No. The beam on these units is very narrow and so could not have picked up a nearby vehicle. Also, if two vehicles happen to fall within the beam at the same time, it will not be able to detect the speed for either vehicle.

Automated vehicle identification systems ("photo enforcement") are authorized by both the State of Colorado (C.R.S. §42-4-110.5) and the City of Boulder (Boulder Revised Code section 7-4-74). Both laws have been upheld against constitutional challenges. Further, Boulder's photo enforcement program has always been operated in compliance with state law.

Yes. The Boulder Municipal Court has conducted extensive evidentiary hearings and determined that red-light camera technology is scientifically reliable and legally admissible in Boulder Municipal Court cases.