failure to Pay

If you fail to pay a fine, the court will mail a Failure to Pay notice to the address noted on the citation. If mailed, there is a presumption that the notice has been received. There is no requirement that the court prove that you actually received the notice, only that it was mailed.

What are the consequences for failure to pay a fine?

If you fail to pay the amount due by the due date, the court will start a civil action against you. This civil action may include a $300 civil assessment, a wage garnishment and/or lien on your property. In addition, the court may notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (Vehicle Code §§40509.5, 40002.1), which may result in the suspension of your driver’s license and/or a hold on your vehicle registration.

If you feel the civil assessment should not have been imposed, you may submit a request that the court remove (vacate) the civil assessment. The judge will review the documents you submit and will either grant or deny your request. You are not entitled to a court hearing and the issue will not be addressed in court, unless the court orders a court hearing.

Questions About Failure to Pay

  • I don’t have enough money to pay my traffic fine. How can I avoid a $300 civil assessment for failure to pay by starting a payment plan?
  • By establishing a payment plan at least 10 days before the date on your Failure to Pay notice has expired and keeping your payments current you can avoid a civil assessment. To make payment arrangements online, click here.

  • I have already been charged with a $300 civil assessment. Why am I being assessed another $300?
  • A civil assessment may be imposed for a failure to appear and a failure to pay pursuant to Penal Code §§1214.1 and 1214.1(a).

© 2011 Superior Court of California, County of Riverside