Crime & Justice

Traffic ticket amnesty window closes Monday

An LAPD motorcycle officer writes a traffic ticket. Those with unpaid ticket fines due before January 1, 2013 can apply for a discount under a traffic ticket amnesty program.
An LAPD motorcycle officer writes a traffic ticket. Those with unpaid ticket fines due before January 1, 2013 can apply for a discount under a traffic ticket amnesty program.
Chris Yarzab via Flickr

Sometimes dealing with the bureaucracy of a traffic ticket can feel worse than suffering its monetary cost. Now, and for a limited time, a unique state program is helping to bring relief to many who are caught up in the legal system for traffic violations.

If you have an outstanding traffic ticket that was due before Jan. 1, 2013, you may qualify for California’s one-time amnesty program. But you better hurry, the window to request relief closes Monday, April 3.

In 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a program that would allow Californians who have unpaid traffic or non-traffic infraction tickets to participate in a program to reduce the fees they owed and have a suspended driver’s license reinstated.

The program is not available to individuals with overdue parking tickets, or citations for reckless driving or driving under the influence.

So far the program has helped 200,000 individuals and returned $35 million to the state.

The DMV website says one purposes of the amnesty program is to resolve older cases so the courts can “focus limited resources” on current cases.

“If you don't have the money, you shouldn't lose your license,” said State Senator Bob Herzberg. “Because 47% of people who lose their license it affects their ability to earn a living - it's just horrible.”

Find more information about qualifying for the program here.

Here's an additional video explainer from the courts:

Video