449481136_f05f39b7d5When it comes to traffic offences, one of the common citations issued is the one for driving license suspension. But do you know that when your license is suspended for failure to appear in the court of law, you are required to pay something called as a “Z-abstract fee” in order to have your license reinstated? This may sometimes get confusing when you think that you only need to pay the court fines to have the license reactivated.

In the post below, we’re going to talk about an issue that frequently comes up where the suspension is not lifted even after the Z-abstract fee has been paid in full.

When Does The Court Charge With A Failure to Appear

When someone receives a traffic ticket, the issuing officer asks them to sign it, which equates to a “promise” to appear in court as directed. If the driver doesn’t show up, they can be charged with failure to appear, and they can face various penalties that include:

  • An automatic guilty verdict
  • Issuance of an arrest warrant and
  • Suspension of their driver’s license.

Handling a Suspended License

A person’s driver’s license could be suspended for several reasons, such as too many traffic tickets, failure to pay fines and failure to appear.

In order for the courts to reinstate the person’s license, they must comply with minimum conditions, such as attending driver education classes, paying fines or completing substance-abuse treatment. After they have proven their compliance, they must

  • Seek a reinstatement
  • Provide proof of insurance, and
  • Pay the required fee of between $24 and $125.

There’s always an option to contact an attorney and use their experience and knowledge to fight your case.

Problems with the Z-abstract

After the person has fulfilled these requirements, they will still need to pay the Z-abstract fee, which clears failure-to-appear charges or any holds on a person’s license.

  • The DMV abstract is an email from the court to the DMV letting them know that the person has paid the required ticket.
  • The DMV then removes the hold or FTA off the person’s driver’s license.
  • The person should look at the bottom of their traffic ticket and find the listed courthouse.
  • They will need to go there in person to buy the abstract, which usually costs about $10.
  • Once they have paid the fee, the information is sent to the DMV via email within two to three working days.

It has been observed lately that even when the person pays the Z-abstract fee, the courts do not always follow through with the email required to remove the driver’s license suspension.

  • This can have serious consequences for the person if they are stopped again as law enforcement will think they are flagrantly disregarding the laws.
  • Straightening out the problem can be complicated after the fact and the motorist could receive additional serious penalties and even spend time in custody.

If you find yourself in a situation similar to this, hire a traffic attorney and explore the various options available to you in law.

Resolving Z-abstract Problems

In order to ensure that the Z-abstract is sent, the driver has 2 options.

First, they might decide that they want to handle the matter themselves.

  • They can email or call the court and DMV to inquire about the status of their Z-abstract. However, this could take several phone calls as they might deal with different people at both agencies.
  • In the long run, the process could be very time-consuming and require additional time and energy from the driver.
  • They might also be able to request a copy of the Z-abstract to personally take to the DMV. However, this also takes time, and the courts might refuse to give them a physical copy.

The best option is for them to contact an experienced traffic attorney who might be able to handle the matter for them so a client does not face additional charges.

Once the DMV receives the Z-abstract, the person’s driver’s license can be properly reinstated.

Drivers need to pay Z-abstract fees in order to have their license reinstated. However, even when they fulfill that responsibility, the courts might not send the proper documentation to the DMV. A qualified traffic attorney can provide various options depending on the seriousness of the situation and help resolve this issue in a timely and legal manner.


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Scott Desind

Scott Desind | Traffic Ticket Attorneys The Traffic Ticket Attorneys, Desind and Klijian, have over 25 years of experience fighting traffic tickets. Our attorneys are well respected and known for their experience in fighting traffic tickets, specialized knowledge of the law and procedures and results by the court personnel, officers, deputies, competitors and clients.