South San Francisco, CA August 19, 2015 by The Judicial Branch of California Courts
On June 24, 2015, the Governor signed into law a one-time amnesty program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets. Here is what you should know:
When will the amnesty program be available?
Start: October 1, 2015
End: March 31, 2017
Who can participate in the amnesty program?
There are two groups of people who can participate in the amnesty program:
- Persons with unpaid tickets whose fines were originally due to be paid or had a court date on or before January 1, 2013, are eligible to have their debt reduced by 50 or 80 percent depending on income AND have their driver’s license reinstated.
- Persons who are currently making payments for unpaid tickets both before and after January 1, 2013 are eligible to have their driver’s license reinstated but are NOT eligible for a reduction in the amount they owe on their payment plan(s).
Any persons eligible to have a driver’s license, including undocumented individuals who are eligible for a driver’s license under AB 60, are entitled to participate in the traffic amnesty program if they meet the eligibility requirements.
Who cannot participate in the amnesty program?
Otherwise eligible persons may be excluded from the amnesty program if they owe victim restitution on any case within the county or have certain outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants.
What if I made a payment after January 1, 2013?
People ineligible due to timing may still have their driver’s license returned, but will not have their fines reduced.
What tickets will be eligible for amnesty?
Any infractions will qualify for amnesty. Unpaid tickets and related failure to appear violations with an initial payment due date or court date on or before January 1, 2013, are eligible.
Individual superior courts and counties may extend this program to include some misdemeanors.
What tickets will not be eligible?
This amnesty program does not apply to parking tickets, reckless driving, and DUI offenses.
How much will I have to pay?
Under the amnesty program, eligible participants will not have to pay any civil assessments. Once the civil assessments are deducted, the remaining balance owed will be reduced by 50 to 80 percent depending on income level.
- The discount will be 80 percent for those who certify that they make less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level — $14,712 for an individual, or $30,312 for a family of four — or who receive public assistance.
- The discount will be 50 percent for all other eligible participants.
How do I participate in the amnesty program?
Beginning on October 1, 2015, contact the superior court in the jurisdiction(s) where you received the traffic ticket(s) to determine your eligibility to participate in the traffic amnesty program. People who are eligible for amnesty will not have to see a judge.
Will there be a fee to participate?
Courts or counties are permitted to collect an amnesty program fee of $50 payable to the superior court or county. The Department of Motor Vehicles will also charge a $55 driver’s license reinstatement fee as it does for any license reinstatement.
Will there be an installment payment option?
Yes, a payment plan option will be available through the superior court or the county and the payments under the plan will be based on the ability to pay.
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