Many of us have them. Old, yellowing, stained, ripped up, and rotting traffic tickets – stuffed in the back of a drawer somewhere. Tickets that had gone long forgotten amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, that were never taken care of in the past. Many of us however, were soon to realize that these tickets go into a system of collections where they receive additional assessments. After a certain period they begin to accrue more and more mounting interest and fines. Once in collections in no time at all, a $100 broken tail light ticket can turn into a $1000 court nightmare. If you can’t pay these obnoxiously high fines there are generally only a couple of options that are available to you. Either you can make up the fees through community service hours (If you have a spare month or two), or you can get on a payment plan for the rest of your life, or serve jail time. (Continued Below)
Well now, a new California program aims to provide limited amnesty for certain ticketed drivers, who’s tickets have wound up in collections during a specific time frame. The LA Times reports, that with this program drivers who have outstanding traffic ticket fines from before January 1, 2013, will get a discount of 50% to 80% on what they owe. The program which is available now through 2017, hopes to reduce the amount of unpaid tickets in the court systems collection agency, GC services.
The California bill will also be available to assist anyone that lost their license because they couldn’t afford to pay the fines, they’ll be eligible to have it reinstated. Amnesty will not apply to drivers with DUI tickets, a conviction for reckless driving, or traffic fines from more recent years.
Lawmakers considered the amnesty appeal when legal aid groups pointed out that over 4.2 million people have lost their licenses due to unpaid tickets that have gone into collections over the past decade. Many of the high assessments added onto tickets passing through the court system was during a court budget crisis.
If you or someone you know would like to participate in the program, there is a charge of $50 which will be issued by the court to the program. The DMV will also charge a fee of $55 to reinstate a driver’s license, because they have to stick it to you somehow. $50 is much better than the $1000’s people have been looking at prior to the program.
You can find out more about the program by contacting your local court www.courts.ca.gov/find-my-court.htm