If I don’t sign my ticket, can my license be taken by the police?

Question Continued: I got tickets for open alcohol, expired insurance (by a few hours), and speeding.


Answer: They can definitely take your license.  It hasn’t been required that they take it when they issue a ticket since a law change in January of 2015 but they do have the option to take it.  This is to ensure that you comply with the court’s orders.  In the event that you fail to comply, they can suspend your driving privileges indefinitely until compliance is made.  In practice, this isn’t really a problem so long as you don’t miss court and pay all fines owed.  Once all the fines are paid or the ticket is dismissed, you should receive your license back if it is not expired.  With a traffic attorney, it may be possible to modify your bond so as to allow you to post cash in exchange for taking back your license back.

Regarding the insurance ticket, the expiration date being only a few hours prior may be enough for courts to cut you a break but in reality, this is not an absolute defense.  I have personally witnessed judges refuse to throw out these tickets when the date of the insurance is hours off.  For this ticket, you would be best served contacting the insurance company to see if they can produce records saying you were covered that day.  If you cannot produce these records, you should expect to receive no better than court supervision and a requirement that you maintain an SR-22 policy for a period of 36 months.  This is a special type of policy that most insurance companies can add onto an existing policy often for no charge.  Failure to maintain this policy can result in a suspension of your driving privileges until you comply.

The biggest issue is the alcohol ticket which carries mandatory suspension ramifications if you are underage.  If you are convicted, you will be suspended for 12 months.  If you are given court supervision, you will still be suspended for 3 months.  For these reasons, hiring a traffic attorney is highly advised for these types of tickets.