If you saw on a DMV report that you have a 40509.5 hold on your driver’s license due to a traffic ticket you received, you may be wondering: “What the heck is a 40509.5 hold?”
Perhaps you found out about your 40509.5 hold when you tried to pay a traffic ticket, or when you got a call from GC Services, the collections agency that collects for the Los Angeles Superior court on Los Angeles traffic tickets.
(Hint: don’t pay GC Services until you’ve read this, because paying them is usually not the best option!)
VC 40509.5 is the code section that allows the traffic court to notify the DMV to put a hold on your driver’s license when you have failed to appear in traffic court. It is the court’s way of coercing you into dealing with your traffic ticket.
For a quick and honest assessment on how to best handle your 40509.5 hold, you can reach me, Attorney Paul Denni, for a Free Consultation Here
Consequences of a 40509.5 Hold
A 40509.5 hold initially serves as a notification to the DMV. What will eventually happen if you don’t take care of it, however, is that you can be charged with driving with a suspended license.
Usually the DMV will mail you a notice instructing you to appear in court because a hold has been placed on your driver’s license, and if you do not appear in court, then the driver’s license hold will ripen into a driver’s license suspension.
You don’t want your driver’s license hold to become a suspension because once you have a suspension, it will go on your DMV record and can affect your insurance rates.
You will also have to pay an additional fee (usually $55) to the DMV to “reinstate” your license if your license has been suspended.
If your driver’s license becomes suspended and you get pulled over for another reason and the officer discovers your license is suspended, you may additionally get a traffic ticket for driving with a suspended license under Vehicle Code 14601.1.
Driving with a suspended license can be charged as an infraction OR as a misdemeanor, so what started out as a minor traffic ticket can soon become a much bigger problem. As an expungement attorney I can clear this offense from your criminal record, in the case where you already have a conviction as a misdemeanor.
If you have not yet received a conviction on your record, don’t wait too long before matters become worse!
How to Clear a 40509.5 Hold
In order to clear up the 40509.5 hold, the traffic court needs to notify the DMV electronically that you’ve either paid your ticket or have calendared a court date and have arraigned your case in traffic court.
If your traffic ticket is in Los Angeles County, you’ll be dealing with a collections agency called GC Services, which is a whole fiasco in and of itself.
GC Services will lie to you tell you the only thing you can do is pay your Los Angeles traffic ticket to get your license back. That is completely untrue in many circumstances!
When you have a failure to appear in court, you are still entitled to another court date, even though GC Services may tell you that you are not!
It is better to handle a traffic ticket with a failure to appear charge in traffic court rather than to pay GC Services, because paying GC Services may result in:
- the FTA charge showing up on your criminal background;
- paying extremely high fines, unnecessarily;
- points going on your DMV record if the ticket is a moving violation; and
- your license hold not being cleared by GC Services as it should’ve been.
As a traffic ticket attorney, I can save you money by handling your ticket in court for you so you don’t have t0 pay GC Services (this applies to FTAs only, not failure to pay – FTPs).
Get Help With Your 40509.5 Hold
Although a traffic ticket is usually a minor issue, it can quickly become a much bigger problem. You may get several different answers from different people you speak to when seeking advice on how to get your driver’s license clear and/or to handle your traffic ticket.
The reason for this may be because, every county and courthouse deals with these a bit differently.
Further, there are many agencies involved that may each be giving you a different story:
- the DMV
- GC Services, the collections agency, and
- the traffic court.
I can help you form a strategy to get yourself back on your feet. You can contact me (Attorney Paul Denni) for a free consultation here:
(Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net)