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DMV No Longer Suspends Licenses for Failure to Pay

In the past, when a California driver couldn’t afford to pay their traffic ticket, the “failure to pay” would eventually result in a driver license suspension. Time however, proved that suspending people’s driver licenses because they couldn’t afford to pay their traffic tickets was impractical.

Usually, drivers needed their licenses to get to and from work to earn the money to pay their traffic tickets, but when their licenses were suspended they’d have two options: 1) drive on a suspended license and break the law, or 2) don’t drive but don’t make money to pay the traffic ticket. Neither option proved practical and fortunately, California legislators figured this out.

Governor Brown Signs Assembly Bill 103 (AB 103)

On March 15, 2018, the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a press release stating that Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. had signed Assembly Bill 103 (AB 103) on June 27, 2017, which eliminated the DMV’s requirement to suspend people’s driver licenses because of the failure to pay their traffic fines.

The good news is that AB 103 is retroactive, which means that once it went into effect, it essentially removed all license suspensions for the failure to pay traffic fines, including those that were active before AB 103 took effect.

The DMV went so far as to notify California drivers that their failure to pay suspensions had been cancelled. However, some drivers have suspended licenses for other reasons, such as driving under the influence and having too many points on their driving records, etc., so those suspensions shall remain in effect until the driver takes the appropriate steps to resolve them. If you question if you have a suspension for any reason, you can contact the DMV directly to find out.

“Do I need to do anything to ensure my failure to pay suspension is cancelled?” If your license was suspended solely because of the failure to pay a traffic ticket and your license is otherwise legally valid, you do not need to take any further steps. If your California driver license has since expired, you’ll need to set up an appointment at the DMV to get your driver license renewed.

Related: Court Appearances in Alameda County

Need help with a suspended or revoked license or another traffic ticket case? Contact the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed for help.

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