In June 2015, Senate Bill 85 added section 42008.8 to the Vehicle Code to require a one-time Amnesty Program for Vehicle Code and Non-Vehicle Code infractions.
The statute authorizes and sets the general guidelines for a one-time Amnesty Program in each county for bail and fines meeting the eligibility requirements. The section requires that the Amnesty Program be implemented in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Judicial Council. The amnesty program will operate for 18 months, from October 1, 2015 to March 31, 2017.
Purpose of Amnesty Program
The purpose of the one-time Amnesty Program is to provide relief to individuals who have found themselves in violation of a court-ordered obligation because they have been unable to pay the infraction bail or fine amount due and who may have had their driving privileges suspended pursuant to VC 13365.
All adult and juvenile Vehicle and non-Vehicle Code infraction violations where bail or a fine was due on or before January 1, 2013, are eligible for the Infraction Amnesty Program. Under Vehicle Code section 42008.8, the terms "bail" and "fine" refer to the total bail amount or fine balance due in connection with a specific Vehicle Code or non-Vehicle Code infraction. Contact the court to determine your eligibility.
Violations are eligible for Amnesty only if each of the following requirements are met:
- The violation is an infraction filed with the court.
- The initial due date for payment of the bail or fine was on or before January 1, 2013.
- A failure-to-appear case is eligible for amnesty if the case is currently on failure-to-appear status and the appearance date was on or before January 1, 2013.
- A failure-to-pay case is eligible for amnesty if the fine due date was on or before January 1, 2013, and the last payment made on an installment plan or accounts receivable was on or before September 30, 2015.
- The defendant does not owe restitution to a victim on any case within the county.
- The defendant has no outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants within the county.
A defendant is not required to apply for Amnesty, but it must be requested, and both the case and participant must meet the eligibility requirements stated above. In addition, the requestor will be required to fill out and submit a Participation Form at the time of the request/payment. If it is later determined the participant is ineligible for Amnesty, they will be notified in writing of ineligibility and the due date for the remaining balance, which may be subject to further collection activity.
Driver’s License Reinstatement and Issuance
Concurrent with the amnesty program, and only between October 1, 2015, and March 31, 2017, the amnesty program may provide relief to individuals who have found themselves in violation of court-ordered obligation stemming from traffic and non-traffic infractions that have resulted in driving privilege restrictions. The $50 program fee applies. Contact the court to determine your eligibility.
Payment can be made by cash, money order, cashier’s check or credit card. Personal checks will NOT be accepted. Payments can be made in person or by mail (after determination of the amount owed, and depending on eligibility), as long as a signed participation form accompanies the payment. Payments and completed/signed participation forms can be mailed to: Kern County Superior Court, 1415 Truxtun Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301. Unfortunately payments cannot be made via the Web/IVR due to the Participation Form requirement.
Frequently Asked Questions
California Courts Traffic Amnesty Information FAQ
California Courts Traffic Amnesty Video (You'll need to sign in for access.)