Duval County rolls out drivers license restoration program

Mike Williams Melissa Nelson

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and State Attorney Melissa Nelson on Wednesday rolled out the ‘KEYS 2 Drive’ (Knowledge Empowers Your Success) diversion program.

The program will help those facing primary charges of driving without valid licenses, or suspended or revoked licenses, to get valid drivers’ licenses.

Of the 12,000 people faced with that fate last year, estimates are that half of that number — at least — could have been helped by this program.

For State Attorney Nelson, a proponent of “smart justice,” this program is a potential reprieve for many from “the cycle of license suspension … ballooning of fines and fees” and a “costly and complicated” process of license restoration.

Eligible offenses include misdemeanor driving while license is suspended or revoked, expired or otherwise invalid, or driving outside of classification.

Sex offenders are ineligible for the program, as are non-Florida residents and those with licenses suspended in major criminal traffic offenses.

The criminal justice system, in concord with the Jacksonville Re-Entry Center and Operation New Hope, all had a role in the development of this program, one that sees as its sole metric of success getting people back on the road.

For many, not having a driver’s license is a bar from gainful employment.

“There is no downside,” Nelson said. “This is a win for the whole system.”

Sheriff Williams extolled the program, saying that it will save taxpayers money, and that JSO supports it “100 percent.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


  • Rene Ellis

    May 31, 2018 at 12:08 am

    I would love to enter this program I have a suspended license and I was stopped and this is the second time in a lot of tickets I believe this would help me out a great deal please if there’s any more info on this contact me ASAP because I have a quick date on the 26th of June. Thank you

  • Louis Paige

    May 31, 2018 at 1:58 am


  • Eric Fleming

    May 31, 2018 at 8:01 am

    How do I sign up?

  • FRegistryTerrorists

    May 31, 2018 at 8:32 am

    “Sex offenders are ineligible for the program”

    Wow. If you want a simple indication of just how disgusting and pathetic the U.S. is (and always has been, of course), this is a great example. We actually have people living in the U.S. who think it is acceptable to have a Nanny Big Government (NBG) Registry of people that everyone can call names forever (i.e. “$EX offenders”). Some of those people actually think it is acceptable to exclude the pariahs on the list from trivial, idiotic programs such as this one that helps people manage driver’s license problems. The U.S. has always been morally bankrupt (e.g. segregation wasn’t all that long ago) and the NBG $EX Offender Registries ($ORs) are just the latest manifestation of it.

    People who support the $ORs and calling people “$EX offenders” are not Americans. They are disgusting pukes. They are not people that we need have any concern for. They are harassing terrorists who cannot mind their own business or leave other families alone. They are people who use NBG to give themselves benefits and perks (such as this program) and try to exclude pariahs. They deserve to have war waged against them. They deserve death.

    I have a simple question for the terrorists – how is it even slightly conceivable that you have so miserably failed at getting the rest of your NBG Registries created? Please tell us all some more lies about how it is all for public safety and protecting children.

    MAGA? So funny. Nope, let the hate flow and grow.

  • FRegistryTerrorists

    May 31, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Duval County should be sued for this. Since they acted like the scumbags that they are and attempted to exclude some citizens. F all criminal regimes. Never support them or their law enforcement criminals.

  • Malfada

    May 31, 2018 at 9:04 am

    I can see why those with licenses suspended in major criminal traffic offenses are not eligible, as that is pertinent. But why exclude those required to register as sex offenders?

    Mr. Gancarski, any chance you can find out and provide an update? Otherwise one has to assume the reason is pettiness and a desire to punish these folks for eternity.


    May 31, 2018 at 10:12 am

    So… If you are a convicted murder, arsonist, child abuse, animal abuser, tax fraud, burglar, drug dealer, DUI, DUI manslaughter, white collar crime, ID theft, produce meth etc. you can use utilize this program and get your drivers license back.

    If you have an offender record that can be a myriad of things from custodial interference, streaking, consensual sex with an age difference to real bad things ( most likely in prison ) you can’t use this program.

    Who writes this crap? I’m sure all groups have people including children who depend on them to get around town in a car.

    Logic doesn’t even make sense. Let’s not let offenders get their license back so that we can easily track these dangerous people. Instead let’s let them walk or use mass transit , uber etc and whereabouts be unknown with public and kids who can’t afford cars.

    Real sense Duval

  • David_X

    May 31, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    There are 1,000,000 Americans listed on the Country’s S. O. Registries. Their conviction may be 20, 30, 40 years old and may well have been for something minor such as streaking, public urination, etc., but they continue to be targeted and scapegoated by lawmakers and law enforcement. Why?? Convicted ex-sex offenders have an extremely low recidivism rate (approximately 0.5 %). Additionally, many youth are being caught up in this S. O. trap with such offenses as sexting (leading to charges of CP production and distribution – even if it is a pic of their own body that they took and sexted! Brilliant, they are perpetrator AND victim at the same time!) Really, Florida needs to grow the @#&% up and get over its ridiculous S. O. hysteria!

  • don

    June 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    To Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and State Attorney Melissa Nelson: Both of you should be ashamed of yourself for rolling out any program in Florida that excludes any citizens of your state. Before you exclude a group of people maybe you should educate yourself on that group, in this case those listed on our Sex Offender registry. Let me help direct you and others like you with your education. In 1998 there were 8 laws that would place a person in our prisons on our registry. Today 2018 there are 38 laws most of the additional 30 laws consist of a non-violent offense that can a will place a person on our sex offender registry. 20% of the 900K names on our registry were listed when the person was a minor the youngest was a girl age 10 for a non-violent act. Here is a link for your continued education on a subject you obviously know nothing about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-ct5YLdRUk

  • Don

    June 1, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    To Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and State Attorney Melissa Nelson: Both of you should be ashamed of yourself for rolling out any program that excludes any citizen of Florida. It is pretty obvious you need to educate yourself on who is or can become a sex offender. Let me start you both off with your education. In 1998 there were only 8 laws that would place a person in jail, prison and on our registry. Today 2018 there are 38 laws most consisting of non-violent offenses. As a parent to today I fear more that my loved one may end up on our sex offender registry more than I ever feared them becoming a victim of a sexual assault. Here is a link if you care to continue your education on a subject it is clear you know nothing about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-ct5YLdRUk

Comments are closed.


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