What is "masking" on charges sent to DOL from a court of limited jurisdiction?

"Masking" occurs when a person pleads guilty to a charge, is found guilty, pays a fine or court costs on the original charge, and then the sentence or prosecution is deferred and/or charges are dismissed.  According to RCW 46.20.270, if payment of any kind is made, DOL must keep the payment on the driving record until such payment has been refunded.


A defendant sends money to the court to pay his/her fine, along with a request for a court date.  (Usually this happens when the defendant is paying late, after an FTA has been issued.)  The money is applied to the case as a fine payment. The judge or commissioner allows the defendant a court hearing, at which the judge or commissioner dismisses or defers the charge but does NOT refund the money already paid and applied as a fine payment to the charge.

DOL will not remove the charge from the defendant's DOL record until the court refunds the payment to the defendant and provides proof of this action to DOL.

RN id: 1601