ADA
FTA/FTP (Failure to appear or pay) violations

This section tells you about what happens if:

  • you do not go to court when you are supposed to (failure to appear), or
  • you do not pay your fine (failure to pay).

This page tells you about:

  1. What is Civil Assessment?
  2. What is a Failure to Appear?
  3. What is a Failure to Pay?
  4. How do I clear a hold on my driver’s license?
  5. What else should I know about Vehicle Code 40508a and 40508b?
  6. More about citations
  1. What is Civil Assessment?

    Pursuant to Penal Code 1214.1  an additional $300 Civil Assessment fee may be added to your case when you fail to appear and/or when you fail to pay your court ordered fine. Up to $600 in Civil Assessment fees may be added to your case and your case may be referred for collection.

    Under certain conditions and time restraints, such as hospitalization, military service or incarceration (being in jail), you may ask the Court to vacate that additional fee by filing a Petition to Vacate the Civil Assessment. Written documentation must be submitted with the Petition.

    You will be notified of the Court’s decision by mail. It is important that you supply the Court with your correct address and telephone number to ensure you receive the Court’s ruling on your request to Vacate the Civil Assessment. Click here for Civil Assessment Petition and Order form .


  2. What is a Failure to Appear?

    If you sign a citation or an agreement to appear at a court hearing and violate your written promise to appear at court, you have failed to appear. Your failure to appear may be deemed your consent to a Trial by Written Declaration (In Absentia) pursuant to VC 40903 .

    A failure to appear may also result in your bail being increased, a $300 Civil Assessment being imposed pursuant to PC 1214 , a hold/suspension being placed on your driver’s license pursuant to VC 40509.5a , and in some instances a misdemeanor VC 40508a  may be added to your charges and/or a warrant may be issued for your arrest.


  3. What is a Failure to Pay?

    If you don’t pay your fine before the court’s deadline, you have failed to pay. A failure to pay may also result in your bail being increased, a $300 Civil Assessment being imposed pursuant to PC 1214 , a hold/suspension being placed on your license pursuant to VC 40509.5b , and your case being referred to collections.

    In some instances a misdemeanor VC 40508b  may be added to your charges and/or a warrant may be issued for your arrest.


  4. How do I clear a hold on my driver’s license?

    If you do not take care of your Failure to Appear (FTA) or Failure to Pay (FTP), the court will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Motor Vehicles will place a hold and/or suspend your license.

    To clear the hold/suspension, you must pay the bail/fine in full. Once the court has proof of payment the Court will notify the DMV to release the hold on your license. A payment by check will delay the release of your license.


  5. Read about Vehicle Code 40508a and 40508b

  6. Visit the Vehicle Code website for more on 40508a and 40508b 

  7. More about citations

    See more pages in this section about citations:

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