Alabama Failure to Appear or Failure to Pay Program
Omniholds Preventing Driver’s Licenses Renewal
The Failure to Appear or Failure to Pay program was implemented by the Alabama Department of Public Safety in order to keep track of alleged violators who have not taken care of their citations or complaints. According to the Alabama Transportation Code Chapter 706.004, a failure to appear is based on a complaint or citation to pay or satisfy a judgment ordering the payment of a fine and cost in the manner ordered by the court. When a person is given a citation of any kind (i.e. traffic ticket, assault ticket), that person is then subject to appear before the court in the city in which the violation is alleged to have occurred. Should the accused not appear at the scheduled court date, then a failure to appear compaint is issued by the court and warrants are usually made for each citation that was given. Once warrants appear for the citations, the Department of Public Safety is alerted of the failure to appear, and the accused’s citation and personal information is put in the “OmniBase” system.Contact Attorney
What is OmniBase and an OmniHold Warrant?
OmniBase is a program that the Department of Public Safety uses to ensure that people accused of Class C offenses are “held accountable” for their citations. The idea is that a central failure to appear tracking system will reduce the likelihood that an accused will ignore their tickets or warrants. Once the accused person’s information is put into the failure to appear system as having warrants, the accused person then begins to incur Omni Fees. Of course, this occurs without the accused person ever being found guilty of any charge or without the benefit of a hearing concerning their failure to appear accusation. These failure to appear fees are placed on an accused person’s driver’s license, and it typically costs about thirty dollars per warrant. An “Omni Hold” is the term used when an accused has amassed the fees and has yet to pay them. When an “Omni Hold” is placed on a driver’s license, the accused will not be able to renew their license until the Omni Fees are paid. If the accused has settled their case with the courts, but has not yet paid their Omni Fees, then the driver license may continue to be suspended until the Omni Fees have been remitted to the court where the case was filed.
Why can’t I renew my driver’s licenses?
Failure to appear may result in the suspension of an accused person’s license, but “Omni Holds” will prevent the renewal of a license. If an accused person’s license were to expire during court proceedings, as opposed to being suspended for their violations, and they have an “Omni Hold” on their account, they will not be able to renew their driver’s license until the court has made a ruling, and all fines including Omni Fees have been paid in full. The court has five days from the date of the ruling to report to the office of the Department of Public Safety, so that the hold may be lifted and the violator may be able to renew their license. Of course, what happens to the court if they fail to notify Alabama DPS promptly? Likely nothing, but you will suffer from continued license suspension. The placement of an “Omni Hold” on a driver license for failure to appear does not negate the offender’s ability to fight their tickets.Contact Attorney
While the subject of the “Omni Hold” applies specifically to failure to appear citations relating to traffic offenses, a failure to appear can be issued for any violation for which an accused person does not show up to court or pay their fines. A person can be refused license renewal for any failure to appear citation which has been converted to a warrant. Once the case is settled and all of the fines are paid, the hold will then be lifted from the party’s license, and they will be able to renew; this process can take two weeks on average. The Failure to Appear/Failure to Pay Program is a collection and enforcement scheme intended to augment the government’s ability to collect fees and fines.
Helpful Links to Find Information and Warrants
- Omnibase Services of Alabama
- Alabama DPS Failure to Appear Website
- City of Birmingham Ticket Warrants Online
- City of Arlington Ticket Warrants Online