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Actions Against An Adult's California Drivers License

Posted by attorney Matthew Wallin

Actions Against An Adult's License If you are stopped by a police officer and cited for a traffic law violation, you sign a promise to appear in traffic court. When you go to court, you may plead guilty or not guilty, or you may forfeit (pay) bail. Paying bail is the same as a guilty plea.

Failure To Appear and/or Failure To Pay

If you ignore the traffic ticket and don’t keep your promise to appear in court, the failure to appear (FTA) goes on your driver record. If you fail to pay a fine (FTP), the court will notify DMV and this will also show on your driver record. Even one FTA or FTP can cause the department to suspend your license. Ending the suspension will cost you a reissue fee of $55. Each time you are convicted of a moving traffic law violation, the court notifies the DMV and the conviction is placed on your driver license record. Convictions reported by other states are also added to your driver record. Points on The Driver Record DMV keeps a public record of all your traffic convictions and accidents. Each occurrence stays on your record for 36 months or longer, depending on the type of conviction. You may be considered a negligent operator when your driving record shows any one of the following “point counts" totals regardless of your license class:

  • 4 points in 12 months (one year)
  • 6 points in 24 months (two years)
  • 8 points in 36 months (three years)

Some examples of one point violations:

  • A traffic conviction.
  • An at-fault accident.

Examples of two point violations:

  • Reckless driving
  • Hit-and-Run driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
  • Driving while license is suspended or revoked

If you get too many points, you will lose your driver license. A violation received in a commercial vehicle carries one and one-half times the point count normally assessed.

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