Report: Millions lose driver’s licenses due to unpaid court debt

According to a report released this week by the Legal Aid Justice Center, millions have seen their licenses suspended as a penalty for being unable to pay court costs and fines.

News Story (NATIONAL, Virginia)

Nick Iannelli
WTOP (Washington, D.C.)
September 26, 2017

Tags: Debtors Prison, Driver's license suspension

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


Across five states, including Virginia, more than 4 million drivers have seen their licenses suspended over unpaid court debt, the group said.  In Virginia alone, the number is nearly a million.

Other states reviewed in the group’s study were Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Michigan.

“A wealthier driver can go through court, write a check and be back on the road,” said Mario Salas, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center. “A low-income driver might have a really hard time paying off those court costs and fines.”