Re: Hold on my License from an Old, Out-of-State Ticket
The "statute of limitations" applies to the period between the time when the act was committed and the time the case (the citation in this case) is filed in court. Once those charges are filed, the case will remain open until you appear or pay!
The "radar" you speak of does not only include NYS & CA... There are a few compacts out there (Driver's License Compact, Driver License Agreement, Non Resident Violator Compact, National Driver Registry...) And most, if not all states participate and are required to report driver's license issues under the terms of one of those agreements. In this case, and regardless of which state you go to, you will be asked if your have/had been licensed in another state and whether your driving privilege has been suspended in the past. Your application is then checked with (at the least) the National Driver Registry... Meaning, even if you say "no", then you can be found out either before you get a license or shortly thereafter.
Furthermore, and even if you are able to get a license in another state, your driving privilege in California (and NYS) will remain suspended until this matter is properly handled in NYS and until the hold is removed. (Yes, they can match your name/DOB to your original license and its status.
Point is, and until you can get this matter properly handled, I wouldn't get caught driving if I were you.
BTW, driving while suspended (in CA) can be filed and handled as a misdemeanor in CA (assuming that is where you reside). And in addition to the fine(s) the vehicle you are driving at the time can be towed and impounded. The impound alone will cost you in upwards of $2000...
I am right 97% of the time... Who cares about the other 4%!