Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is pushing for Congress to support states that help low-income Americans get their licenses reinstated after suspensions for reasons other than improper driving.
Schmidt, along with 23 other attorneys general, wrote in a letter to Congress that claimed 40 percent of all driver’s license suspensions in the United States are issued for conduct other than improper driving. Many licenses are suspended for failure to pay unrelated fines and fees, which results in millions of Americans being unable lawfully to drive.
The attorneys general urged passage of the Driving for Opportunity Act, a bipartisan proposal to establish a federal grant under the Byrne JAG program to make available additional funding for states that repeal these suspension laws. The added funds could be used to defray the costs of reinstating licenses.
Nearly a dozen states have ended the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and fees. Legislation mirroring the Driving for Opportunity Act was introduced in the Kansas House but failed to advance during the 2020 session.