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Traffic Amnesty Program

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Traffic Tickets/Infractions Amnesty Program

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Background 

On June 24, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a program that will allow Californians who have unpaid traffic or non-traffic infraction tickets to participate in a one-time Statewide Traffic Tickets/Infractions Amnesty Program. The program will begin on October 1, 2015 and will continue through March 31, 2017.

Note: Because the statutory deadline for filing amnesty requests falls on March 31, 2017, which is a judicial holiday, by operation of law, the deadline becomes the next court day, which is Monday, April 3. (See Code of Civil Procedure section 12a.)

To qualify, individuals must have an unpaid traffic ticket that was due by January 1, 2013 or have a suspended driver license and are making payments on the ticket.

For more information, visit California Courts Traffic Tickets/Infractions Amnesty Program.

Purpose 

The purpose of the one-time amnesty program is to provide relief to qualified individuals who have found themselves in default of a court-ordered obligation because they have unpaid bail or fines for traffic and non-traffic violations. The program also may provide relief to individuals who have had their driving privileges suspended.
 
Encouraging payment of old debt, that has remained unpaid, will allow court and county collection programs to resolve older delinquent cases and focus limited resources on collecting the more recent cases.

This amnesty program does NOT apply to parking tickets, reckless driving, and DUI offenses.  

Applicants can contact the superior court in the jurisdiction(s) where they received the traffic ticket(s) to determine whether they are eligible to participate in the amnesty program. Those eligible for amnesty will not have to go before a judge. 

Anyone qualified to receive a driver license, including undocumented individuals who are eligible for a driver license under AB 60, are entitled to participate in the amnesty program if they meet the necessary requirements.

Fees 

Besides the reduced fine amount based on income level, courts, counties, and third party collections vendors are permitted to collect an amnesty program fee of $50 payable to the superior court or county.

The DMV will charge a $55 driver license reinstatement fee, if the license was suspended, as it does for any driver license reinstatement.  

If a duplicate driver license is needed, the applicant will need to make an appointment to visit a field office and expect to pay $27 fee for a basic Class C non-commercial driver license. If the license is expired or cancelled, the applicant will need to make an appointment to visit a field office, and apply for a new driver license, and pay the $33 fee for a basic Class C non-commercial driver license. Commercial drivers will be required to pay slightly higher fees for a duplicate or renewal driver license. If the driver license was suspended, the applicant will have to clear ALL Failure to Pay/Failure to Appear (FTP/FTA) on the record before the license can be reinstated.  

You may obtain a copy of your driver record in order to identify any FTPs or FTAs. The cost to obtain your Driver Record is $2, $5 in person or by mail.

How Will DMV Be Notified

If an individual is in good standing in a comprehensive collections program (current on an installment payment plan) and he or she has appeared in court, has paid the fine in full, or has agreed to the terms of the amnesty payment plan, or has otherwise satisfied the court, the court must notify the DMV. A participant must initiate the process, however, by contacting the court in the county where the violation occurred to determine eligibility and enroll in the program. 

The Amnesty Program Court Information and the DMV will use existing reporting processes to release a hold or reinstate a suspended driver license for amnesty-eligible cases.

For more information, visit FAQs - Traffic Amnesty Program.

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