Driving for Opportunity Act of 2021

The act permits the Attorney General to make grants to states in order to cover the costs of reinstating driver’s licenses previously suspended for unpaid fines and fees. The bill also repeals the law that reduces federal highway funding for states that do not suspend driver’s licenses for anyone convicted of a drug offense. 

The authors provide background on driver’s licenses suspensions for unpaid court fines and fees, highlighting the practice as a barrier to employment, particularly during the COVID–19 pandemic. The text also characterizes driver’s license suspension programs as costly to states and a distraction from public safety related law enforcement efforts. 

You can read the full text of the bill here

Key Provisions:

  • To be eligible, a state may not have in effect, or must repeal during the 3-year period ending on the date on which the State applies for or receives a grant, any state or local law that permits the suspension or revocation of, or refusal to renew, a driver’s license due the the nonpayment of a civil or criminal fine or fee or the refusal to renew the registration of a motor vehicle based on the nonpayment of a civil or criminal fine or fee. 
  • Within 1 year after receipt of the grant, states must report to the Attorney General, the population served by the program, the number of driver’s licenses reinstated under the program, and all costs to the State.
Senator Coons
Driving for Opportunity Act of 2021