Bill seeks to prevent driver’s license suspensions in non-driving offenses


No one should lose their driver’s license over an infraction that isn’t related to driving.

That’s the premise of a bill (SB 1270) filed Friday by St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes.

“It is time to address the growing problem of non-driving related license suspensions,” Brandes said in a press release announcing the bill. “Stop the madness and quit taking away people’s driver’s licenses for unrelated offenses, especially failing to pay fines and fees.”

The bill would prohibit suspending someone’s driver’s license for various offenses unrelated to driving – except for failing to pay child support.

The legislation also helps solidify the right of a defendant in financial hardship to instead use community service as a form of payment for fees and fines. Individuals who have their licenses suspended due to financial reasons would instead be issued a “hardship license.”

Currently, someone who has been caught driving on a suspended license three or more times is given a felony. Brandes’ bill would prevent such action in instances when the driver had their license suspended for financial hardship.

“A relatively minor offense puts someone into the system where they may spiral downward and lose their job or end up serving prison time because they have to choose between driving to work and driving with a suspended license,” Brandes said.

The 2018 Session, which starts Jan. 9, marks the third time Brandes has tried to limit non-driving related license suspensions. Brandes’ bill last year died in Senate Appropriations.

Democratic Sen. Darryl Rouson, also of St. Petersburg, co-sponsored the legislation last year. Brandes notes that Sarasota Republican Sen. Greg Steube and Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young have also been supportive of previous measures.

Danny McAuliffe

Danny is a contributor at He is a graduate of Fordham Law School and Florida State University, where he served as the editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. Reach him at [email protected].


  • Rosanna sinibaldi

    December 15, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I believe child support should be in that as well. People loose license because they can’t pay the exact amount of child support but still getting taken out of their pay. They shouldn’t lose their license. It’s non sense how they suppose to drive and go see their kids if child support not paid then make them do community service something that fits crime.
    If license taken away then they can’t go get their child and then child misses out on one of parents. Soo sad

    • Dawn

      December 16, 2017 at 7:36 am

      Most people who don’t pay their child support don’t care about their kids. Not all but some. It is aimed at those who are deadbeats. Pay your support and there are no worries.

  • Juan Delgado

    December 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    I’m Juan Delgado in Jacksonville Fl.
    St. of Tx. claims I owe arrears from a 1988 case. Childsupport stopped in May of 05 when my son graduated high school. Tx. has kept payroll deduction on me until I found out in 2012 the $100 a wk they were taking $70 was for interest and $30 was for actual arrears. So I quit my job an started working for cash only. In 2016 Tx. got Fl. to suspend my D.L. I now have 3 driving on suspended license, the judge was kind enough to call it driving with invalid license. But now I owe a lot of fines an court cost. I did ask the judge if I could do community service to pay off fines. He said no and gave me another court date, after hurricane Urma I was in worst shape financially. And if you don’t show up for court in dress clothes they put you last in line. So I missed my last court date I currently have a warrant for my arrest. I don’t have a problem paying arrears “actual arrears” not the interest on arrears. They combine the both and say it’s childsupport arrears keeping me in a financial hamster wheel that will never stop because they take 70% of what I can afford to pay for interest and the remaining 30% towards actual arrears. Well I got tired of the financial hamster wheel that’s turn into a life sentence because I’ve had payroll deduction since 1988
    I recently look up suicides because of the childsupport system and there’s a lot of dead noncustodal parents out there, but they call mental illness.
    I don’t fit in society, I can’t date, what lady wants a guy with these legal issues and a suspended D.L.
    SB1270 gives me hope of “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”
    It should also be childsupport suspensions

  • Ray Tampa

    December 18, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Suspending a person’s driver license for failing to pay child support is the most ridiculous aspect of this proposed bill. How is a person who has lost his job, for whatever reason, supposed to get out and search for new employment if his license is suspended.

    Besides, the DMV should not be allowed to suspend a person’s license without making an attempt to notify the individual. They suspend licenses and people drive around without a clue that they are violating the law. This should be corrected.

    Overall, Senator Brandeis is on the right track in terms of addressing this issue.

  • Jerald Smith

    December 27, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I 💯 agree with this bill. My license is suspended due to non traffic-related incidences i e Court related cost public defender fees restitution fees administrative fees etc etc nothing to do with moving violations and they want $16,000 for me to get my license back it is almost impossible for me to obtain a valid Florida driver’s license with this law in effect it’s ridiculous and something has to change

Comments are closed.


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