Va. lawsuit challenges state’s right to take driver’s licenses for unpaid tickets

Taylor is part of a class action suit which alleges that drivers have been treated unfairly under the state’s License-for-Payment system.
News Story (Virginia)

Perry Chiaramonte
Fox News
July 31, 2016

Tags: Driver's license suspension

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Justice Center (Virginia)


irginia is one of nine states that automatically suspends a license if they have not received fines of fee payments within 30 days. The state does so without any inquiry into non-payment or consideration for a driver’s financial circumstance.

According to the Legal Aid Justice Center, which filed the suit against Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, hundreds of thousands of low-income residents are trapped in a cycle of debt and poverty. Nearly one in six drivers in Virginia has a suspended license for failure to pay court costs and fines.

“It’s a problem for low-income individuals because of the volume and the high amount associated with the fines,” Angela Ciolfi, LAJC lead attorney, told “It’s fundamentally unfair to punish people for not being able to pay in addition to being punished for their infractions.