Virginia Will No Longer Suspend Drivers’ Licenses for Court Debt

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Virginia Will No Longer Suspend Drivers’ Licenses for Court Debt

Virginians who do not – or are unable to – pay their court or administrative debts will no longer face the suspension of their driver’s license. Governor Ralph Northam announced the change to state policy this month, although legislators will have to approve it when they convene next year.

 

Under current practice, Virginia drivers who incur court or administrative debt can have their driver’s license suspended. Currently over 600,000 state residents have their licenses suspended for debt. The state faced a 2016 lawsuit to end this practice.

 

Those who support ending license suspension note that if someone cannot drive, then he or she will have a more difficult time going to work. They say that license suspensions result in a cycle of debt that is hard to break. There have been some who sound caution on this plan, however, noting that it will result in a loss of state funds.

 

Governor Northam, a Democrat, announced this change in policy following the introduction of a bill to accomplish this by a Republican senator. There appears to be bipartisan support in both houses of the Virginia legislature to ratify this policy change.

 

Do you think that someone’s driver’s license should be suspended if that person has court debt?

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