When you are sentenced in a criminal or traffic case the court may order you to pay a fine, civil penalty, various surcharges, court costs and victim restitution. You may be ordered to pay the full amount all at once or the court may grant you a pay plan. These plans are court orders and you must comply with them.
If you fail to comply with a court-ordered pay plan:
- You may be subject to probation revocation proceedings.
- You may be subject to contempt of court (or show cause) proceedings.
- Your Iowa income tax refund may be applied to the outstanding balances you owe to the court.
- A hold will be placed on your ability to register a motor vehicle.
- Your driver's license may be suspended.
Setting up a pay plan with the County Attorney may help resolve these issues.
- County Attorney Driver's License Reinstatement Pay Plans (CAPPs)
Your license is suspended because of unpaid court fines. Normally, the fines must be paid in full before you can get your driver’s license back. A County Attorney Driver's License Reinstatement Pay Plan (CAPP) may allow you to reinstate your driver's license while consolidating payments on all of your unpaid fines and Department of Transportation (DOT) civil penalties.
In plain language, a CAPP allows you to “rent” your license while you pay down your fines.
- Applicants with pending Johnson County serious misdemeanor, aggravated misdemeanor or felony charges will not be considered until those charges have been resolved.
- Applicant must submit a completed Payment Plan Application.
- Applicants should review Other Issues and FAQs before applying.
- Participation in a Driver's License Reinstatement Agreement requires the full cooperation of the applicant.
- Acceptance or refusal of an agreement application is subject to the full discretion of the Johnson County Attorney's Office.
Other License Issues
Bars and Revocations
These are holds on your license that last for specific periods of time. Nothing will end them early. Even if you are barred or revoked, a CAPP may still be helpful if you need a Temporary Restricted License (TRL) for work, school, child care, health care or other reasons. Click here for more information about TRLs.
Applicants are advised to check with the DOT regarding their eligibility for a TRL. Entering a CAPP does NOT guarantee issuance of a TRL.
DOT Civil Penalties
DOT assesses a "civil penalty" each time it bars or revokes your license. If possible you should pay these before setting up a CAPP. But if you cannot pay DOT civil penalties in full we can include them as part of a CAPP. For information about paying DOT civil penalties online or by mail, click here.
Drinking Driver’s Class (12-hour) and Substance Abuse Evaluations and TreatmentContact the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) for provider list. If you think you have completed these requirements, contact your service provider and ask them to notify the DOT.
- Vehicle Registration Holds & Lifts
There will be a hold on your ability to register a motor vehicle in Iowa if you have any outstanding fines payable to the court. This includes all criminal and driving-related fines. The hold will remain in place until all fines are paid in full.
However, if you are current on a satisfactory pay plan with the County Attorney we can grant a temporary ten (10) day lift of the hold to allow you to register your vehicle.If you stopped making payments on a previous pay plan you will have to bring yourself current with the terms of that plan, plus an additional payment to be determined before we will enter a new plan and grant a lift on a vehicle registration hold. You will have to submit a new financial statement and pay stubs.
Contact us with your current residing address, mailing address and phone number. If we agree that you are current on your plan we will notify your County Treasurer to lift the hold.
- Contempt Of Court / Show Cause Hearings
In some cases we file contempt of court (sometimes called Show Cause) proceedings to help collect fines. We will work with you to set up a pay plan. If you do not comply with the pay plan, you must appear in court and explain why you have not done so.
- Deferred Judgment/Probation Discharge
The law prohibits discharge from probation if you still owe money to the court -- unless you are on a satisfactory pay plan with the County Attorney.
If you are up-to-date on an existing plan with either your probation officer or us we will usually adopt that as your discharge pay plan. We reserve the right to revise the plan based on your current circumstances.Complete and return the Payment Plan Application.
- Where do I apply for a CAPP?
Not every county offers a CAPP program:
- Contact the County Attorney(s) in the counties where your tickets were issued. If those counties do not offer CAPPS then,
- Contact the County Attorney of the county where you reside. If that County Attorney does not offer CAPPs then,
- Contact any County Attorney that offers CAPPs.
- What kinds of fines can be included in a CAPP?
If there is a suspension against your license due non-payment of a fine we can include it in a CAPP.
If the Clerk of Court has issued a Notice to Suspend your license due non-payment of a fine we can include it in a CAPP
- Can DOT civil penalties be included in a CAPP?
Yes, provided you have an unpaid court fine that has caused your license to be suspended.
- Can a CAPP include cases from different counties?
Yes. Though sometimes you may have to set up more than one CAPP if each county offers the plans.
- Can a CAPP include an out-of-state fine?
No. You must pay out-of-state fines to remove those holds from your license.
- My license is barred. Can I still set up a CAPP?
Bars are holds on your license that last for specific periods of time. Nothing will end them early. A CAPP may still be helpful if you need a Temporary Restricted License (TRL) for work, school, child care, health care or other reasons.
Entering a CAPP does NOT guarantee issuance of a TRL. Check with DOT regarding your eligibility for a TRL.
- My license is revoked. Can I still set up a CAPP?
Revocations are holds on your license that last for specific periods of time. Nothing will end them early. A CAPP may still be helpful if you need a Temporary Restricted License (TRL) for work, school, child care, health care or other reasons.
Applicants should check with DOT regarding their eligibility for a TRL. Entering a CAPP does not guarantee issuance of a TRL.
- What is a Notice of Non-Compliance?
If you do not comply with the Court’s payment order the Clerk of Court will send you a Notice of Non-Compliance (or Notice of Past Due Court Fine and Costs).
The Notice lists the court case and citation numbers. It explains what might happen if you continue to ignore the court’s order. It also provides information about how to pay the fine.
A case with this Notice but nothing more cannot be included in a CAPP.
- What is a Clerk of Court Authorization – Notice to Suspend?
The Clerk of Court will send you a Notice to Suspend if your payment is past due and is from a charge related to operating a motor vehicle.
The Clerk will also notify DOT to start the process of suspending your driver’s license due to non-payment of the fine.
DOT will send you a separate notice (to the last address you gave them) telling you when the suspension will begin.
A suspension for non-payment will remain in place until you pay the fine or set up a CAPP with the County Attorney.
A case with this Notice can be included in a CAPP.
- What is a wage assignment?
A wage assignment is an agreement where you authorize your employer to deduct payments from your checks and send them in for you. Your wage assignment will include ALL delinquent court debt you owe in Johnson County, plus any other cases and DOT civil penalties that may be part of a CAPP. A wage assignment works like an informal garnishment, but is typically not as harsh. We will work with you to set a reasonable payment
Your payments should come in as long as you keep your job. But it is your responsibility to monitor your pay stubs, especially right after submitting a wage assignment, and to verify that your payments are arriving.
A few employers will not accept wage assignments. If that happens you will be responsible for making payments on your own.
Your wage assignment with us WILL NOT include amounts due on new cases with court-ordered pay plans. You will be responsible for complying with those plans in addition to the terms of our wage assignment.
- Can I perform Community Service to pay off my fines?
Write a letter to the court describing your financial situation and including your case numbers. Only the court has authority to approve community service as payment of fines. Community Service is credited at the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 per hour. If you are on a CAPP you must make money payments in addition to any community service you may perform.
- I'm on a CAPP. Why can't I register my car?
- I got another ticket. Can I get another CAPP?
Iowa law allows you to enter five (5) CAPPs in a lifetime.
- I defaulted on CAPP. Can I get another?
Iowa law allows you to enter five (5) CAPPs in a lifetime.
We may agree to put cases from defaulted CAPPs on another CAPP after reviewing your situation.
- Do CAPPs replace court-ordered pay plans?
No. If you are on a court-ordered pay plan in a criminal case or a new driving-related case, you must comply with the court-ordered pay plan in addition to making payments on your CAPP.
- What happens if I stop making payments on my CAPP?
Your CAPP will default if you stop making payments. The suspensions related to the cases included in your plan go back in place until the balance on the defaulted plan is paid in full.
- Where do I make my payments?
For court fines: Pay online at www.iowacourts.gov or send payments to the clerk where your ticket was filed. Be sure to include your case number(s)!It is your responsibility to monitor your pay stubs for deductions and to ensure that payments are arriving.
It is your responsibility to monitor your case balances to ensure payments are being processed.
- I signed up for a CAPP. When can I start driving?
When the DOT hands you your license.
Filing a CAPP is only one step in the process of restoring your driver’s license. The Clerk typically requires a day or two to set the plan up on the court’s system. Then they notify DOT to withdraw the suspensions against your license for the cases included in the plan. This process is usually fairly quick. It may take two weeks for DOT to clear your license holds. Calling us or them will not speed up that process.
Filing a CAPP does not mean you can go out and start driving. Only DOT can tell you when it is okay for you to drive.
- I discharged my deferred judgment. Why is it still visible at courtsonline?
The law prohibits expungement of files with outstanding balances owed to the court. The Clerk will expunge the file when you pay off your balance.
Clerks we frequently have plans with:
Johnson County Clerk of Court, 417 S. Clinton St, Iowa City, IA 52240. (319) 356-6060
Cedar County Clerk of Court, 400 Cedar St., PO Box 111, Tipton, IA 52772. (563) 866-2101
Des Moines County Clerk of Court, PO Box 158, Burlington, IA 52601-0158. (319) 753-8272
Henry County Clerk of Court, PO Box 176, Mt Pleasant, IA 52641. (319) 385-3150
Jasper County Clerk of Court, 101 1st St. N., Newton, IA 50208. (641) 792-3255
Keokuk County Clerk of Court, 101 S Main St, Sigourney, IA 52591. (641) 622-2210
Linn County Clerk of Court, 3rd Ave Bridge, PO Box 1468, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406. (319) 398-3411
Muscatine County Clerk of Court, 401 E. 3rd St., Muscatine, IA 52761. (563) 263-6511
Polk County Clerk of Court, 500 Mulberry St. Rm. 212, Des Moines, IA 50309. (515) 286-3772
Poweshiek County Clerk of Court, 302 E Main St, Montezuma, IA 50171. (641) 623-5644
Scott County Clerk of Court, 416 W. 4th St., Davenport, IA 52801. (563) 623-8648
Wapello County Clerk of Court, 101 W. 4th St., Ottumwa, IA 52501. (641) 683-0060
Washington County Clerk of Court, PO Box 391, Washington, IA 52353. (319) 653-7741