You may have a suspended license due to a failure to appear in LA.
This can be a terribly stressful process, and you probably want to find out how you can get your license back NOW.
That’s why I’ve outlined below the 3 steps for getting your license back in a Los Angeles traffic court.
STEP #1 – Schedule a Traffic Court Date with GC Services
Be careful when dealing with GC Services, they will often try to sucker you in to paying THEM.
GC Services is an independent collections agency, and in the case where you have a failure to appear that is not 5 years old or older yet, you shouldn’t pay them because:
- pay GC Services means you will be convicted of the failure to appear charge as well as the underlying traffic ticket charge(s);
- you may receive a misdemeanor failure to appear charge on your criminal record;
- you’ll have to pay the maximum fines on all charges without the ability to negotiate your fees down; and
- you’ll have to pay extra money because you’ll have to pay GC Services their collections fee.
Paying GC Services only makes sense when you’re case is in failure to pay status (versus failure to appear status).
Failure to pay status means you’ve already been convicted by the court, you haven’t paid the court, and now GC Services is trying to collect for the court. If you have a ticket in traffic court that is in failure to pay status, and it’s holding your license up, then unfortunately, that is the one situation where you have to pay GC Services.
Otherwise, if it’s in failure to appear status, you can calendar a court date with GC Services and proceed to step #2.
STEP #2 – Arraign Your Case to Clear the 40509.5 Hold
When you fail to appear in traffic court, a Vehicle Code 40509.5 hold will be placed on your driver’s license.
The act of arraigning your case in court will cause the court clerk to notify the DMV, which in turn clears the 40509.5 hold from your license so you can get your license reinstated.
STEP #3 – Get Your License Reinstated with the DMV
It usually takes 24-48 hours for your hold to clear with the DMV (unless the court clerk tells you otherwise).
Once that happens, if you had a California license and want to get it reinstated, you have to go to the DMV in person and pay a $55 reinstatement fee. Before you waste a trip down there, call the DMV Mandatory Actions Unit at 916-657-6525 to make sure the hold has cleared.
If so, then you can make the trip down to the DMV to pay the reinstatement fee. It must be paid in person, unless you are an out of state resident and don’t want to get a California license – in that case, you can call the number I listed above and pay the $55 reinstatement fee over the phone (in some cases you still have to reinstate your California driving privileges in order to clear your California hold, even if you won’t get a California driver’s license).
Get Help from a Traffic Ticket Attorney
If you’d rather not go through the hassle of all of the above yourself, you can hire a traffic ticket attorney to help you out. For a free consultation with me personally, click here:
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