Ticket amnesty could benefit thousands

At least 300,000 Bay Area residents could be eligible for help under a California law that went into effect Thursday to cut old ticket fines and reinstate lost driver’s licenses, according to a legal service and advocacy group.
News Story (California)

Bay City News (California)
October 1, 2015

Tags: Driver's license suspension

Organizations mentioned/involved: Bay Area Legal Aid (San Francisco)


The state is allowing certain income-dependent reductions, ranging from 50 to 80 percent, on fines issued before Jan. 1, 2013. People who establish payment plans under this law can also apply to have their licenses reinstated.

More than 4 million Californians have lost their driver’s licenses because they didn’t pay a ticket. Many weren’t dodging responsibility but simply couldn’t afford the costs, said Gary Lewis, an attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid:

“These people aren’t just shrugging off their duty. … A $400 ticket is a lot when your monthly income isn’t (much more than that). People have been forced to make a choice between paying rent or paying a ticket.”