How Long Will an Unpaid Traffic Ticket Hold My License?
If you received a traffic ticket and have a failure to appear in court, normally this ticket will hold your driver’s license.
Even if you no longer live in California, an unpaid traffic ticket in California can prevent you from getting an out of State driver’s license until you clear up this ticket in California.
The good news is that for really old tickets, the hold will be “purged” after 5 years. This means a ticket that has been holding up your license will no longer be an issue once it is 5 years old. However, you may have to pay a reinstatement fee to the DMV before you can get your license, even though you don’t have to pay the ticket anymore to clear the hold.
Normally the DMV reinstatement fee is about $55.
What if My Ticket is Not 5 Years Old Yet?
If you have a traffic ticket in Los Angeles County with a failure to appear charge that is not 5 years old yet, your license will be on hold and you will be referred to a collections agency called GC Services.
But don’t pay GC Services simply to get your license hold removed, because you are shooting yourself in the foot when you do that.
When you pay GC Services on a Los Angeles traffic ticket you are pleading guilty to it, and will receive a conviction on your DMV record.
This means you:
- will pay fines significantly higher than the original traffic ticket amount;
- may receive points on your DMV record, causing your insurance premium to rise;
- may be stuck trying to get GC Services to clear the hold from your license, even though you paid them.
It is much better to handle a traffic ticket with a failure to appear in traffic court where it belongs, because most of all you can still clear the hold from your license, and also:
- get your fines dismissed entirely if not drastically reduced;
- get your FTA charge dismissed or significantly reduced from the $300 civil assessment GC Services will try and collect; and
- keep points off of your DMV record by getting your ticket amended or dismissed.
If you have an FTA on your Los Angeles ticket, you can Contact Me Here for a Free Consultation
How Long is it Before a Point on My DMV Record is Purged?
A point on your DMV record is never truly purged. However, generally a point on your record will not be considered by an insurance company for the purposes of raising your insurance rates after 3 years.
For purposes of whether your license will be taken away by a negligent operator suspension, you will be notified of the suspension after receiving:
- 4 points in one year;
- 6 points in two years; or
- 8 points in three years.
If you are facing a negligent operator suspension, you have a right to a hearing – but don’t delay because you will lose this right if you don’t request a hearing within the proper amount of time.
How Long Do Charges Stay on My DMV Record Before They Are Purged?
Convictions may appear on your DMV record indefinitely, but different agencies will consider convictions and points for different periods of time.. Insurance companies usually consider:
- A failure to appear on an infraction in the past 5 years.
- A failure to appear on a DUI case in the past 10 years.
Various employers may consider convictions and points for different periods of time, depending on company policy.
Get Help Clearing the Hold from Your Driver’s License
As a Los Angeles traffic ticket attorney, I have handled thousands of traffic tickets with failures to appear for my clients, helped them get back their driver’s license, and done so in a way to help them pay the lowest fines possible in traffic court.
If you need help getting your license back and resolving your traffic ticket without the hassle of GC Services, you can reach me personally for a free consultation here: