Changing Course: Driver’s License Suspension in Florida

Florida suspended approximate 1.7 million driver's licenses in 2017. An estimated 76 percent of Florida's license suspensions are for non-traffic-safety related offenses. Suspensions cause great difficulty for drivers who rely on their vehicles to get work and risk losing income when they cannot do so. This brief examines Florida's driver's license suspension policy, outcomes from such a policy, and offers recommendations for reform. A complete list of offenses that can lead to suspensions is given. Non-traffic-safety-related offense include: failure to appear in court; nonpayment of fines and fees; drug offenses; and nonpayment of child support. Florida's policy places a burden on the poor, negatively impacts public safety, and generates major costs for taxpayers. Recommendations for reform include: stop suspending licenses for failure to appear or give judges discretion in such instances; stop suspending licenses for failure to pay fines and fees, and restore licenses to those suspendees; opt out of the federal mandate to suspend licenses for drug offenses, or reduce the period of suspension to six months; opt out of license suspension for failure to pay child support, or stop suspending licenses when income deduction orders are issued. The brief also recommends considering license reinstatement programs.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01726380
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 20 2019 4:26PM