Report: Millions impacted by driver’s license suspensions due to court fees

The practice is enforced across 43 states and Washington, D.C., according to the report, and almost 40 percent of all states have laws that require mandatory suspension upon nonpayment of court debt.

News Story (NATIONAL, Virginia)

Dean Seal
Daily Progress (VA)
September 26, 2017

Tags: Debtors Prison, Driver's license suspension

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


The Legal Aid Justice Center has fought to have the “license-for-payment” system eradicated in Virginia, and in December 2016 filed a lawsuit against the Department of Motor Vehicles in to have the practice declared unconstitutional and the suspension of more than 900,000 Virginians’ licenses lifted.

In March, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit for jurisdictional reasons, saying that “however meritorious” its claims may be, the suit should be taken to the state’s appellate courts “and, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court.” That decision is currently being appealed.