Mar 30, 2023 - News

Polk County eases financial burden of reinstating driver's license

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin in a car's rear view mirror, with a dollar-symbol air freshener.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Polk County residents who lost their driving privileges due to unpaid traffic violations can get their licenses reinstated more easily now.

Driving the news: The county attorney's office announced this week it revamped its License Reinstatement Program. Once you're in the program, you can drive again.

  • Previously, people in the program were required to enter a payment plan and pay a $100 initial fee and at least $50 a month until their debt was paid off. Now, that amount will be based on income.

Why it matters: A suspended license creates more barriers for people trying to earn money to pay off debts.

What they're saying: "Dangerous drivers should lose their licenses, but not people who simply cannot afford to pay a traffic ticket," Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham said in a statement.

Of note: The new income-based plan is not retroactive and only applies to traffic cases.

Between the lines: Graham was elected last year as the first Polk County Attorney since John Sarcone’s 30-year tenure.

  • This initiative fits with her promise to shake things up and focus on inequities and especially those that impact people of color.

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