Check with the clerk of courts. Some will set up a payment plan that will allow you to pay a little each month, and as long as you are paying every month, they will issue a notice to the DMV that will allow you to get your DL back.
But some won't do this. The fact that the tickets are in collections is a bad sign, but it can't hurt to ask.
It seems you are in Los Angeles; If your courthouse is Metropolitan (downtown Los Angeles), all you have to do is go to the Clerk's window on the first floor. They have a dedicated window for "GC Services" which is likely where you'll need to be since you are in collections.
Something you should be aware of is the fact that it is very likely that you have a Failure To Appear ("FTA") on your record since you state that you didn't pay your ticket and likely did not appear in court.
FTA's are quite expensive and nearly impossible to successfully defend against by pleading 'Not Guilty.'
What will likely occur is that you walk into the courthouse and speak to the clerk. The clerk will tell you how much you owe and you will likely be unable to pay the full amount. Something you may want to consider is telling the clerk that you want an arraignment date since you never had you "day in court" (assuming that you didn't have notice of your court date perhaps?). Clerk will likely schedule you for a date a few weeks in the future. At that time, you will appear before the judge (you should certainly remember to appear this time) and have the opportunity to plead either Guilty or Not Guilty. If you decide to do the former, consider mea culpa and hope for mercy in a reduction in fines. If you opt for the latter, prepare a defense. Hopefully, the links below will help you in your quest!
This is NOT legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists.
If you never dealt with these tickets they have failures to appear on them. You need to get holds lifted and a court date. Once the holds are lifted your license will no longer be suspended. You must attend the court date given to you by the clerk.
If you have already been to court and fined, you need to get these matters back on calendar and request a payment plan or community service ( if you are eligible) . This is not easy to do if you are in Metro.
Don't put off handling this. In all likelihood, these tickets have failures to appear. Until you get these cleared up, there won't be anything you can do. Prolonging the situation only makes things worse.
Criminal defense Arraignment for criminal cases Criminal fines Court-ordered community service for criminal conviction Traffic tickets Speeding tickets Traffic fines Driver's license penalties for traffic tickets License suspension for traffic tickets Traffic court Failure to appear in traffic court