When Virginians are unable to immediately pay their court fines and fees, the commonwealth suspends their driver’s license. This policy disproportionately affects low-income Virginians who need reliable transportation to get to work to make money and pay those fines.
This policy forces people to choose between losing their jobs or risking jail time for driving anyway.
Thankfully, Virginia lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 1013, which would change this misguided driver’s license suspension policy. Specifically, the bill would:
- Repeal the requirement that anyone convicted for any offense — no matter how minor — lose their license if they fail to pay associated fines and fees within 30 days.
- Remove the overly burdensome requirement that defendants present summaries of the other outstanding fines they owe.
- Require Virginia to return or reinstate any person’s license suspended prior to July 2019 solely for nonpayment of fines and fees, pending a small reinstatement charge.
S.B. 1013 has a broad base of support for reform. Send officials a message and tell them that now is the time to pass the bill and improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Virginians!