Why did my North Carolina Driver’s License Get Suspended? If you didn’t show up to court or pay your fine or fee you can lose your driver’s license.

Why did my North Carolina Driver’s License Get Suspended?  If you didn’t show up to court or pay your fine or fee you can lose your driver’s license.

Most people in North Carolina do not know that you can lose your driver’s license for failing to shop up to court and for failing to pay a traffic ticket.  Most people show up to court and pay their fines and fees.  Some people ignore their Noorth Carolina traffic ticket or simply forget about it.

FTA or Failure to Pay has Consequences!

Whether intentional or not, failing to resolve a traffic ticket carries serious consequences. Failing to handle a ticket results in the Clerk of Court marking the file “called and failed.” Once a file is marked “called and failed” because you did not show up to court you have twenty days to appear in court and either attempt to have the file placed back on the court calendar or (for offenses where the appearance is waivable) to pay the ticket fines and court fees. If after twenty days you have still failed to coordinate with the Clerk’s Office, the Clerk will record a “failure to appear” on the file. The court assesses a two hundred dollar late fee in addition to the original court costs and fines associated with the ticket. The clerk of court then notifies the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. The DMV sends a letter to the last known address of the license holder warning that the driver’s license will be suspended within sixty days if the issue is not addressed.  The sixty day period begins on the day the Clerk of Court records the matter as a “failure to appear.” On the sixtieth (60th) day with no action taken to correct the failure to appear by the defendant, the NC DMV revokes the driver’s license. This DMV revocation results in an indefinite suspension of the license. If you keep driving and get caught, the first additional conviction for a moving violation that occurs during this period of revocation (such as speeding or DWLR) causes the defendant an additional one year revocation. A second conviction during the revocation period extends the loss of the license for two years. A third traffic conviction revokes the license permanently.

Similarly, if you have gone to court and been ordered to pay a fine or a court fee for a ticket your failure to pay results in a similar process and timeline with the NC DMV.  A twenty day grace period begins on the day the payment was due but not received by the Clerk of Court. If the money is not paid by the end of the grace period, the file will be marked as a “failure to pay.” A fifty dollar late fee is assessed and the Clerk of Court sends notice to the NC DMV. The DMV then sends notice to the license holder warning of the potential loss of the license and the license holder again has sixty days in which to pay before revocation begins. As with the “failure to appear,” the sixty day period begins to run on the date the file was marked as “failure to pay” by the Clerk of Court’s Office.

So by not showing up to court or not paying your court costs/fines for a minor traffic ticket you can lose your North Carolina driver’s license.

What can I do if this has happened to me????

If you have lost your license or have received a DWLR charge because of the failure to appear or pay the costs/fine contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel, PLLC for a free consultation.  You can reach us at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.  You can also contact traffic ticket lawyer Wiley Nickel directly by e-mail at wiley@wileynickel.com.  Our office is located in Cary, NC and we handle Wake County driving charges.  We focus on traffic citations that result from a failure to appear or to pay a fine and can walk you through the process and discuss your options to fix the matter to get you back on the road.


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.