After experiencing a historical election year, and witnessing many laws, bills and measures being approved in California, I realized that many of these laws will directly impact my community both positively and negatively. Positive aspects include funds being allocated for programs aimed at addressing specific needs. It is our duty to stay informed on the funds and or resources available within our communities and utilize them! The Amnesty Program has helped over 100,000 individuals restore their Driver’s License, with plans to extend Amnesty past its scheduled deadline will require us to spread the word and help as many people as possible utilize monies that were allocated just for them!
by Kentara Gaines, MSW, IPO Program and Case Manager
Purpose and Background of Program
Millions of people in California have been living in a cycle of debt due to numerous court fees after receiving a traffic ticket. To address this concern, Governor Brown’s 2015-16
Budget Agreement authorized an 18-month traffic amnesty program for delinquent debt on Drivers Licenses (Senate bill 881). This Amnesty Program is meant to help people get out of this cycle by reducing their total amount of debt and reinstating their driver’s licenses. The Amnesty Program is available October 1, 2015 – March 31, 2017. It is imperative that communities impacted by this barrier become informed of the program and its eligibility requirements. California Attorney General Kamala Harris warns Californians about debt collectors giving consumers inaccurate information about the Amnesty Program for unpaid traffic and non-traffic infraction tickets. Here is some information that will serve as your guide as you navigate the Amnesty Program process.
First, you will need to identify if your ticket(s) are eligible for Amnesty and which county debt is owed.
How do you do that?
Obtain your DMV H6 form (10-year Driver Record) by visiting DMV and completing the H6 Request Form (Pay $5 fee) or H6 Forms can also be obtained online at
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/online/dr you will need a credit card to make a $5 payment to DMV.
Understanding the H6 form
The H6 contains a lot of information, not all of which pertains to the amnesty. We are interested in the list of Failure to Appear (FTA) and Failure to Pay (FTP). For each violation, the following information is provided:
What to do next?
Each county has its own rules related to the Amnesty Program, so contact the Superior Courts in the counties where you have tickets.
What types of tickets are eligible/ineligible for amnesty?
Both traffic and non-traffic infractions are potentially eligible for the program, as long as they are handled by traffic court. Tickets that are NOT eligible are:
Once you have determined that your tickets are eligible, there will be two groups of people that will benefit from this program.
Group 1 (before Jan 1, 2013)
People who received tickets prior to January 1, 2013 may be eligible for
reductions from to 50%-80% (based on income) as long as no payments
have been made on the previous debt. Please note that after payments are
made, you become disqualified for the 80% reduction.
Group 2 (after Jan 1, 2013)
Tickets received after January 1, 2013 may be ineligible for the Amnesty
Program but eligible for an affordable payment plan (based on income,
minimum amount of $25.00 per month). NOT eligible for a reduction,
but eligible for License Reinstatement.
Comparison of each group
How to apply
You can be determined eligible over the phone, and you can also even begin making payments instantly, however, you will not be able to get the 80% debt reduction if you have already begun making payments. You must submit the application via mail and wait (at least 30 days) for Amnesty to review your application.
Cost and fees to enroll in Amnesty Program
If you are determined to be eligible yet do not have the funds right away, there is still time left to budget and come up with an efficient plan to ensure your success. Please contact Success Center staff member Kentara Gaines at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like assistance with applying for the Amnesty Program.
Still need help? Here are some more websites