Report: Millions in U.S.Without Driver’s License Due to Unpaid Fees

The report "Driven by Dollars" finds 43 states and the District of Columbia suspend licenses due to unpaid court debt. Nearly one million Virginians do not have their driver's license because of that.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Matt Talhelm
WVIR (local NBC, Charlottesville)
September 26, 2017

Tags: Debtors Prison, Driver's license suspension

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


Virginia is one of 19 states with mandatory license suspension of people who fail to pay court fines and fees. The report says only four states consider a person’s ability to pay before suspending their license.

“These practices, drivers license suspension, is maybe no more effective than other existing means of collecting the debt … So, you have to wonder why are we spending all of these resources and keeping so many of our community members on the margins, unemployed, isolated at home, just because they don’t have enough money to pay their court debt on time,” Mario Salas of LAJC said.