Ways to Contact:
Legal services in this area are limited. Given that, this page contains INFORMATION about the Ticket Amnesty Program in San Francisco County to help you navigate the process. Note that this is NOT legal advice and, if needed, you should seek out individualized advice from the providers listed in the “Notes” below.
Below is the following: BASIC INFO, PROCESS, FAQs, and LEGAL PROVIDERS. To the right, under “Caseworker Tips” is background information and a consolidated list of links (note that the “Caseworker Tips” do not print or email when that option is selected below).
This page was created in partnership with the San Francisco Office of Economic & Workforce Development, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Bay Area Legal Aid.
NOTE: AMNESTY MAY NOT BE NECESSARY IF YOUR TICKETS ARE 5+ YEARS OLD
If all your tickets are older than 5 years, you may ask the Mandatory Actions Unit (MAU) of the California DMV to purge or clear those tickets from your record and have your license hold(s) lifted. However, if any of the tickets holding up your license are more recent than 5 years, you must deal with those tickets before you will be able to purge the older tickets. Note that if you enter a new payment plan on a ticket (through Amnesty or otherwise) you will not be able to purge it.
If you think you might be eligible, call the MAU at (916) 657-6525 before applying for Amnesty. The wait can be long and you may need to be persistent to get through.
BASIC TICKET AMNESTY INFO:
What does this Amnesty provide?
If eligible, you can get:
- a payment plan to pay off your ticket debt;
- your driver’s license out of suspension; and
- debt reduction for tickets due before 1/1/13.
What tickets are included in amnesty?
All infractions and traffic tickets (and the failures to pay or appear related to them) EXCEPT:
- Parking tickets
- Reckless driving
- Other serious driving offenses
Who is eligible for the program?
As long as you can get current with your ticket debts or commit to a payment plan (in every County in which you have qualifying tickets holding up your driver’s license), you can get your driver’s license out of suspension.
In addition, to get your pre-1/1/13 ticket debt reduced, you must:
- Have NO outstanding warrants in the county in which you are applying for amnesty;
- Owe NO victim restitution in the county in which you are applying for amnesty; and
- Have made NO payments toward your ticket debt after 9/30/2015.
For an interactive eligibility screening tool, click HERE.
How much does the program cost?
- Each county can charge a $50 program fee (SF charges $50, but HSA is paying this fee for those on CalWORKS + PAES – clients should speak with their HSA Employment Specialist about this)
- Additional $55 DMV fee to reinstate your license
- Additional $33 fee to DMV if your license is expired
A client’s process for applying to clear San Francisco tickets is below:
- Fill out the Amnesty application form. The application is HERE. If you have an advocate or caseworker who can be a secondary contact for AllianceOne, indicate that on the application. NOTE that applying is FREE (the program fee isn’t due until after you are approved), so if you aren’t sure if you have tickets or will qualify, you can still apply and see if you are approved. If you want to determine if you have tickets before applying, Request your DMV Driver Record if needed (the paper request form is HERE). It costs $5 and you can get it by going in-person to the DMV (it is faster if you make an appointment) or by mailing it in. If you go in-person, also ask the DMV staff for a list of all the tickets that are holding up your license (unfortunately the DMV Driver Record isn’t always complete). ALSO NOTE that if you received tickets as a juvenile (under 18), you can call the Juvenile Court Clerk at 415.682.5100 (8:30-12, 1-4) to determine if you have juvenile tickets holding up your license. The juvenile court has its own amnesty application form and process. Contact legal help, below, if needed.
- Mail the application to AllianceOne. Do not include payment at this time.
- Wait for AllianceOne to determine your eligibility with the San Francisco Superior Court. Watch for AllianceOne’s phone calls – they do not currently leave voicemails so you need to pick up the call. If you do not hear back from AllianceOne, you can follow-up directly at (877) 541-8420. If you do not hear anything within 2 months of your application, ask to speak to a supervisor and/or call one of the legal providers listed below.
- Negotiate a payment plan with AllianceOne. If you are low-income, you should not be paying more than $25/month on a payment plan under this program. You may have to advocate for this – don’t feel you have to accept the first number AllianceOne proposes. Ask to speak with a supervisor if needed. Once you have an agreement, confirm it by email with the person you spoke with (get their name, email, phone number).
- Begin payment + Release DMV hold. Once you have a payment plan and have submitted your first payment to AllianceOne (which includes the $50 program fee), the Court will tell the DMV to lift the hold on your license. Note that once you submit your payment, it will likely take at least 10 days for the DMV to get the information and lift the hold.
- Go to DMV to get your license reinstated. Once you have cleared all of your tickets (in SF and all other counties) and paid the fees to the DMV, the DMV will re-instate your license.
- Follow your payment plan. Be sure to make all of your payments on time to AllianceOne. If you don’t make the payments on time, AllianceOne may take measures to collect the debt, including potential wage garnishment.
Note that each county has its own Amnesty application process and tickets in each county have to be cleared through the program in THAT county. The information on this page is applicable to San Francisco County only.
What if I can clear my DMV hold in some, but not every, county. Can I still get my driver’s license reinstated?
Probably not. You have to clear your DMV hold in each county to get your driver’s license reinstated.
What if I have tickets due on or just after 1/1/13 – is it still possible to get the debt reduced through this program?
It may still be worth it to apply and see if the debt is reduced. Either way, you may be eligible to get your driver’s license out of suspension.
How do I read my DMV Record?
This is unfortunately complicated. For each violation, look for:
- the violation date;
- the court ID number, which indicates the County that the ticket is from (San Francisco Superior Court is 38460 and a list of all the County codes are HERE – note that the first two numbers are the relevant ones);
- the code that was violated; and
- whether there was an FTP (failure to pay) or FTA (failure to appear).
If you need help reading this form, contact the legal providers listed below.
What if I have other debt with Alliance One?
While this was an initial concern for people applying, Alliance One is not supposed to use this opportunity to pursue other debts that might be held with them. If you have concerns about your situation, you should consult with the legal providers listed below.
What if I establish a payment plan with Alliance One and then can’t make the payments?
If this happens, you will be at risk of Alliance One taking measures to collect the debt, including referring the debt to the Franchise Tax Board, which may garnish your wages. You should seek legal advice if needed.
What if I have tickets or infractions from before I was 18 years old?
These tickets have their own amnesty application form and process. Call the Juvenile Court Clerk at 415.682.5100 (8:30-12, 1-4) to determine if you have juvenile tickets holding up your license and to request an amnesty application form. Contact legal help, below, if needed.
SF LEGAL PROVIDERS:
- If you are aged 13-21: Legal Services for Children
- If you are on CalWORKS or PAES: Bay Area Legal Aid, Legal Barriers to Employment Project
- Everyone else: Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, Second Chance Legal Clinic
Governor Brown enacted a statewide Ticket Amnesty program that became effective on October 1, 2015, and lasts until March 31, 2017. As with most programs, there are some exclusions and eligibility requirements. However, this is potentially very helpful for clients who need to reduce ticket debt or get their driver’s licenses out of suspension.
Here are additional links to support you and your clients in applying:
- DMV Driver Record – ONLINE and PAPER
- SF Superior Court Ticket Amnesty page HERE
- SF Amnesty Application HERE
- LCCR page on PLL HERE
- BayLegal page on PLL HERE
Amnesty application + info for other Bay Area Counties:
Court locations to get a list of your court fees and assessments: