All traffic court late fees from before July 1, 2022 have just been wiped out, and capped at $100 for any fees since then, as a new state law just eliminated tons of late fees on traffic fines.
It did not get a ton of attention when a fairly obscure bill called SB 199 passed the state legislature in late June, eliminating back debt on traffic tickets. But it’s rightly getting more attention now that the law is in effect, and courts are figuring out how much less money their cities’ citizens owe them. And here in San Francisco, KPIX reports that it means that $50 million of fine debt on more than 180,000 tickets was just wiped away last week.
That’s the assessment of San Francisco Superior Court, who ran the numbers once the new law was passed. Moreover, the courts no longer get that money. Per KPIX, “the money will now go to the state's general fund, rather than to fund local courts. The move is meant to curb the incentive courts have for raising revenue through issuing citations."
"California should not fund our local courts by asking the courts to impose fees that they benefit from. Courts should be funded separate and apart from these fees," SF Treasurer Jose Cisneros’s director of The Financial Justice Project Anne Stuhldreher told KPIX. "Eliminating the debt from this unfair and unnecessary fee and lowering it is a commonsense reform and an important step forward. It will bring relief to hundreds of thousands of Californians."
Did you get a fine wiped out? The SF Standard points us to a link to the SF traffic fine lookup tool where you can enter your drivers license and see any fines. Of course, you’re not getting any money back, you just don’t owe the late fines anymore.
All late fines were eliminated that were applied before July 1, 2022, after that date, they’re capped at $100. And it’s a significant move, as KPIX estimates that “about a third of all traffic fines were not paid on time and assessed a late fee.”
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