How to Get a Suspended Drivers License Back After U Pay Off a Failure to Appear Case

Sorry about the long title on this one. But here is a common question we get at, and the answer:

Question from Ronald:

I moved to San Francisco in March. I had a court date in Los Angeles County Superior Court – Traffic Division in August for a standard traffic ticket with infractions. I missed my court date on the citation and called the court clerk to check on my ticket. I was told it was in collections and i paid the fees immediately. I don’t know if my license has been suspended. If it has, and all my fees are paid, how long will it be suspended for and how do i get it cleared right away?

Answer from

Well, if you did this right, you can get your suspended drivers license back today. If you did it wrong, you have work to do.

To get a California Drivers License reinstated after a Vehicle Code section 40509.5 suspension, you must:

1) get the court to notify DMV that the cause of the 40509.5 hold has been resolved; 2) go to DMV in person to deal with their obstacles and pay their reinstatement fee.

Your drivers license will not get reinstated automatically after paying a fine. Don’t drive until you have a new, valid drivers license in your pocket.

TO find out if your drivers license is current valid or suspended because of the case, you need to contact the DMV. I recommend calling the DMV driver safety office where the higher paid DMV people work.

If you paid the court directly (as I always recommend), the court should have released the VC 40509.5 hold automatically by notifying DMV electronically immediately. But sometimes, some clerks will screw you and not release the hold unless you specifically ask them to do it when you are there. That is why paying the court clerk in person is the best way to solve these problems.

If you paid a collection agency like GC Services (los angeles – trademark owned by GC Services, LTD we are told) or Alliance One (San Diego, etc) – in my opinion you’re screwed.

But I could be wrong. Make your own decision on that one. You have to wait until they do something. Problems abound in this morass when you pay the collection agency over the phone instead of handling the matter in person at the courthouse.

If you are stuck here, visit the court clerk to check on the status of the Veh Code 40509.5 hold. Ask the court clerk to release it if necessary. Keep all your paperwork. Dont lose anything.

Questions? Leave a Reply.

This entry was posted in Los Angeles County, Missed Court Dates, Suspended Drivers License, Tickets in Collections and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to How to Get a Suspended Drivers License Back After U Pay Off a Failure to Appear Case

  1. ShaCan says:

    I was issued my ticket about two hours from where I live. I don’t have some sob story for you so here’s the important facts. Ticket was due 2/20/13. I mailed it, they said they never got it, and now I have a 40509.5 hold and I owe $889 and was sent to GC collections for payment. Ok fine – It is what it is, that’s what I get for using the postal service – and not sending it certified – shame on me. Anyway, I just want to pay the $889 and be done with it but you said you don’t recommend paying through GC. Is there any other way for me to pay besides driving (or rather suckering some poor sap into driving me) two hours to the court house to pay in person?

    • Shacan,

      If you cannot go in person, get instructions from the court on how to pay by mail. Pay by US Postal Service Money Order. Send it via US Postal Service (not UPS) Priority Mail. Get copies and receipts of everything. Check the internet 4 days later to confirm delivery. Print proof of delivery. Call the court clerk to verify the case is closed. Contact DMV to verify your drivers license hold is in fact released. Go to DMV in person to get a new drivers license card.

  2. clint jones says:

    I lost my licence about 8 years ago . I have 3 driving on suspention ,,1 dwi and 1 reckless driving…Im off probation in 2 weeks…How soon can I get my licence back and how would I go about it?

  3. Lisa says:

    Michigan license suspended since 2010. After paying all fines and fees, how long will it take to get a Texas driver’s license, which is where I now reside?

  4. Anshantanice Acevedo says:

    Can u reinstate your license online? I have a ticket in washington but I live in Chicago now and not to certain if I can go back or not

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