San Jose, CA asked in Traffic Tickets for California

Q: What are my options for resolving a $537 debt in collections resulting from a fix-it ticket?

On 11/28/2020, I was cited in Santa Cruz County, CA, for failing to perform a change-of-address with the DMV after having to moved to Santa Cruz from a neighboring town months before. The police officer told me I could perform the address change online, which I did within 1hr or receiving the ticket.

Fast forward to today, 08/30/2021, I just received a court-ordered debt collections letter in the amount of $537 for the ticket.

I have a print-out of the change-of-address action I performed online back on 11/28/2020. Unfortunately, I never took the evidence to the local courthouse to resolve it, since I assumed performing the change-of-address online was sufficient. I was also avoiding public areas during that time due to COVID fears. Ultimately, though, I mistakingly thought performing the change-of-address online was enough.

My biggest concern here is my credit being affected by the debt being in collections, but I would also like to explain the situation. What should I do?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: By not going to the courthouse to resolve the matter you have changed a $25 ticket into a $500 ticket. You were assessed a civil penalty of $300 for failing to appear (fta) You made a common mistake, taking care of it with DMV but ignoring the Superior Court, and the SC does not like to be ignored. Your options now? Hire an attorney to make a motion to vacate the judgment for you- which will cost you more than the ticket- or pay the ticket. Be advised, you license can be suspended with this FTA on your record and your vehicle can have its registration suspended as well. Next time, take care of all the business, or if you don't know what to do, follow the instructions on the ticket you signed.

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