In June, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a one-time amnesty program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets.
So if you have old traffic tickets that haven’t been paid off yet, you may be getting a break: Starting Oct. 1, 2015, you can pay them off at half the amount owed, or even 80% off if you are low-income. The program will run through March 31, 2017.
Who is eligible for the amnesty program? People with unpaid traffic tickets whose fines were due to be paid, or who had a court date on or before Jan. 1, 2013.
In addition, those who are now making payments on traffic tickets (due both before and after Jan. 1, 2013) are eligible to have their driver’s license reinstated. They are not, however, eligible for a reduction in the amount still owed.
There are a few exceptions: Parking tickets, DUI citations, and reckless driving citations are not eligible for the fine reduction. You are also ineligible if you owe restitution or have an outstanding warrant.
The discount is 50% off the amount owed, or 80% off for those who can show they make less than 125% of the federal poverty level ($14,712 for an individual, or $30,312 for a family of four), or those who receive public assistance. Payments plans are allowed. Civil assessments will be deducted, and will not have to be paid.
However, in addition to paying a portion of the fine, there will be a $50 fee to the Superior Court, and the Department of Motor Vehicles also will charge a $55 driver’s license reinstatement fee.
For more information, California Courts has added a question and answer page and an informational video about the amnesty program to their website.
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