New California Law Prohibits Courts and the DMV from Suspending a Driver’s License Because of Unpaid Traffic Tickets

California motorists who fail to pay traffic violation fines no longer face the possibility of license suspension.

On June 27, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 103 into law. Prior to the enactment of the new legislation, California law required courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend a driver’s license for unpaid traffic ticket fines. A.B. 103 amends several statutes—Penal Code section 1463.007 and Vehicle Code section 13365—the effect of which is to prohibit the courts and DMV from suspending a driver’s license because of an unpaid traffic citation. The only exception if for traffic offenders who fail to show up for their court dates. A.B. 103 became effective on June 27, 2017, but doesn’t apply retroactively.