Was Your Old Traffic Ticket Fine Sent to the Franchise Tax Board?



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Some California courts refer old traffic tickets and unpaid fines for minor non criminal offenses to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) for collection after the Defendant has lost the right to trial. The FTB has the power (according to them) to garnish a Debtor’s wages for these accounts. They assume the collection account is a civil judgment in favor of the State of CA, which the law allows them to collect.

We’ve found over and over that the County Superior Courts and the FTB do not communicate well, and just because you pay one off, does not mean the other will leave you alone.

Even if you’ve paid the FTB for the fine, the court may issue or maintain an arrest warrant or suspend your drivers license with a Failure to Pay Hold.

Here is what you need to know to take care of these problems completely, and avoid an unnecessary trip to jail.

In general, once a citation, fine or court judgment is sent to the FTB, it is out of the courts hands. In most traffic ticket situations, this means there is nothing an accused driver can do – except pay the fine off, and make sure the court and DMV get proof that it is paid. Here is one possible 5 step plan for you to consider:

1. Contact the FTB at (916) 845-4064 and request information on any and all fines or tickets they are collecting from you. You need: a. the fine amount; b. the case #; and c. the name of the courthouse where the case was originally. Search for and resolve all of them together if possible;

2. Pay the fines off with the FTB;

3. Get proof that you paid it off with the FTB, (a receipt listing the case # and payment amount);

4. Send or deliver proof of payment to the courthouse where the fine was originally, and request that they update their records; and finally,

5. Call the California Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Safety Office to verify that they do not show any holds or warrants from the case. Deliver proof of payment to DMV if necessary, pay the DMV drivers license reissuance fee if your drivers license was suspended.

Warning! If your drivers license is suspended due to a failure to appear on a traffic ticket, it does not get reinstated automagically after the court case or collections case ends. DMV requires a Drivers License Re-issuance Fee.

5.1 – Never, ever throw the proof of payment away. Make copies and scatter them in safe places throughout your house and yard in case you need the proof again in the future.

About Attorney Christopher Dort

Public Interest Attorney. CA State Bar #196832. Licensed to practice law in California 1998, and then the US Federal District Court in 2000. Civil Litigation Trial Attorney (Insurance Defense Firms) 2000-2003. Private practice 2003 - present. First Solo Criminal Jury Trial 1998 (Santa Cruz County). First Civil Jury Trial 2002 (Orange County). Santa Cruz County Public Defenders Office 1996-1999 (law clerk). BA in Politics from UC Santa Cruz, 1995. JD, University of California, Hastings, 1998.
This entry was posted in California Legal Help, Suspended Drivers License, Traffic Court Fines and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Was Your Old Traffic Ticket Fine Sent to the Franchise Tax Board?

  1. Carlos says:

    Do Parking Tickets in Collections by California Franchise Tax Board (under State Code 12419.8) have an expiration due to California’s 4 year Statute of Limitation to collect debt?

    • Carlos,

      Generally, a statute of limitations it a deadline to take court action, not a deadline to catch you. If the FTB is coming after you, I dont think you have a statute of limitations problem.

      But honestly, I dont know if parking citations ever expire. Some parking tickets are fake, private company debts that they try to enforce. Others are issued by governments, city, county or state (I suspect this is what you have).

      One thing I do not for sure – your car registration can be held up by parking tickets, but they will not suspend your drivers license. And they will not throw you in jail.

      I dont know anything about parking tickets.

  2. Sherrie brown says:

    Is there any way to reduce the civil assessment once it reaches the FTS ?? My $300 is now $1800 and I’m unemployed!

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