Parking violations can quickly turn into hundreds of dollars in fees and often prevent drivers from registering their cars if fines go unpaid.
This problem is especially burdensome for low-income drivers and Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Lancaster) wants to help.
Under Lackey’s Assembly Bill 503, which was passed will all “aye” votes by the Assembly on Wednesday, low-income Californians would be offered monthly payment programs to pay back parking ticket fines and fees.
Three assembly members did not vote on the bill.
“It’s shocking how many Californians owe hundreds of dollars in parking ticket fines and late fees that they simply cannot afford to pay,” Lackey said in a statement. “Local governments need to create fair payment programs that allow drivers to responsibly pay their debts and this bill would make sure that happens.”
If the bill passes the Senate, California cities would be required to offer monthly payment programs and reduced fines for low-income individuals before the Department of Motor Vehicles can withhold their car registration.
Under current law, the DMV is required to refuse to renew vehicle registration if an individual has unpaid penalties.
According to Michael Herald, Director of Policy Advocacy for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, the bill is “long overdue.”
“Just because someone is on a fixed income or low income shouldn’t be a barrier to registering their car as long as they are making payments on the ticket,” Herald said in a statement.
AB 503 will now go to the Senate for a vote.