Eleven million Americans face the suspension or revocation of driving privileges because of unpaid fines and fees. Suspending and revoking licenses for the collection of court debt, and not public safety, is bad public policy. Losing a license, even temporarily, jeopardizes a person’s ability to support themselves and their family.
What should legislators do?
- Sponsor legislation to repeal the suspension, revocation or non-renewal of a driver’s license for unpaid fines and fees.
- Avoid superficial legislative fixes, such as temporary fee amnesty or restricted licenses.
- Empower judges to forgive or reduce court debts and penalties (1) based on a person’s ability to pay including using payment plans, or (2) in exchange for community service.
To contact the Institute for Justice about reforming state laws, complete the online form at 2021 Initiative: IJ’s Customized Legislative Service
IJ’s attorneys will assist state legislators in researching, drafting and promoting legislation to more constructively collect past due court debt and foster individuals’ productive participation in society.