Better Than Black Friday: California Amnesty for Traffic Tickets

By Robyn Hagan Cain on November 18, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Everyone loves a Black Friday/Cyber Monday mega-deal, but great deals aren’t restricted to the holidays. Starting in 2012, the California Amnesty Program for Traffic Tickets will give traffic-fine payment-procrastinators a discount on their unpaid tickets.

(We all know that lawyers don’t speed, and they always promptly pay fines, so we’ll pretend that this news doesn’t apply to you. Tell your clients.)

California courts are offering a traffic ticket amnesty program from January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012. For six months only, drivers who have old, unpaid traffic tickets may be able to get a 50 percent discount on what they owe.

There are a few exclusions: The amnesty program does not apply to parking tickets, DUI penalties, or reckless driving citations.

A driver must meet all five of the following conditions to qualify for relief under the program:

  1. Outstanding traffic debt was due to be paid in full before January 1, 2009.
  2. Last date of payment was on or before January 1, 2009.
  3. Driver either failed to appear in court or failed to pay in full.
  4. Driver doesn't owe restitution to a victim on any case within the county where the violation was filed.
  5. Driver does not have outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants within the county where the violation was filed.

If other fees and assessments were added to the original fine, those will also be discounted 50 percent; the total amount owed can be cut in half. Payments must be made in one lump sum, but some courts may accept credit cards. Cash and checks usually work, too.

To check on California Amnesty Program eligibility for an overdue, court-ordered debt, contact the court that imposed the violation after January 1, 2012.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard