Governor wants to end license suspensions for unpaid fees
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has called on state lawmakers to end the suspension of driver’s licenses of people with unpaid criminal or traffic court debt.
During a speech on his state budget plan this week, Northam said people often don’t pay court costs because they can’t afford it. He said suspending their driver’s licenses for the unpaid fees makes it even more difficult for them.
The change could affect more than 600,000 drivers in Virginia and millions of others in states around the country that have similar laws.
Advocates who have pushed for a change in the law say it unfairly punishes poor people.
The Legal Aid Justice Center of Virginia has sued over the practice. The group argues that the law violates due process and is unconstitutional.