The majority of driver license suspensions in Florida occur due to unpaid fines and fees. The loss of the ability to drive represents a significant disadvantage for individuals who need to get to work, the grocery store and medical appointments.
A better understanding of the laws regarding suspensions could help reduce the number of suspensions.
A list of reasons for suspensions
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles agency catalogs some of the main reasons a person could lose a driver’s license. These reasons include medical issues as well as financial matters. Here are 6 common circumstances that could result in the loss of driving privileges:
- Unpaid traffic tickets
- Failure to comply to court rulings
- Point suspensions
- Habitual traffic offender
- Child support delinquency
- Medical or vision issues
Depending upon the reason for the suspension or revocation, an individual may pursue the possibility of applying for a reinstatement. In some cases, such as the loss of driving privileges due to failure to hold vehicle insurance, the FHSMV will contact such individuals under certain circumstances.
A look at the fairness of suspensions
The Reason Foundation looked at reforms initiated by a 2019 U.S. Supreme Court case that ruled that excessive state and local fines violated the U.S. Constitution. The ruling questioned the widespread use across many states of suspending driver’s licenses due to unpaid fines and fees.
Many states do not look at a person’s ability to pay a fine, and state governments also suspend licenses for reasons that have nothing to do with bad driving habits. For example, Florida can suspend a license for a drug conviction unrelated to a driving offense. Florida also charges late fees and increased charges for delinquent tickets. These laws often have an increased impact on people with less means.