Study: 100K Mich. drivers lose licenses for unpaid fees

A report issued Tuesday by the Virginia-based Legal Aid Justice Center finds Michigan is one of five states that require judges to seize people’s licenses if they fail to pay court fees after a trial or hearing.

News Story (Michigan)

Mike Martindale
Detroit News
September 26, 2017

Tags: Debtors Prison, Driver's license suspension

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Justice Center (Virginia), Equal Justice Under Law (DC)


Michigan has currently suspended the licenses of more than 100,000 drivers for an indefinite time, leading civil rights organizations to challenge the practice as too harsh. Five federal class-action suits seeking to halt the suspensions are pending, including one in U.S. District Court in Flint.

“These are citizens who have served their jail time, probation, or other punishment, and should be able to rejoin society,” said the nonprofit justice center in a news release accompanying the 20-page report.