Report: Minorities, Poor Residents More Likely to Have Their Driver’s License Suspended

A new study highlighting racial and socioeconomic disparities in license suspensions is the latest call for states to make reforms.
News Story (California)

Mike Maciag
April 14, 2016

Tags: Court Debt, Debtors Prison, Driver's license suspension, Fines and Fees

Organizations mentioned/involved: Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP) (CA), Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)


But some of the most common suspensions result from failing to pay fines or appear in court. And it’s those suspensions that led to stark disparities among racial minorities and poorer groups across California, according to the new study by the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. The report makes the case that driver’s licenses are too frequently suspended for reasons unrelated to protecting public safety, often imposing detrimental consequences on those living in poverty.


“Low-income people are getting into very serious debt problems, and are then expected to make payments they simply can’t afford said,” said Mike Herald, a Western Center on Law & Poverty policy advocate who contributed to the report.