Driver's License Restoration and Reform: Addressing the Impacts of License Suspension

About this Sprint

  • When Americans have their driver's license suspended, they lose their ability to drive, which is often their only means of accessing their job, the grocery store, the doctor, and other necessities
  • To tackle these negative consequences, the Durham Expungement and Restoration (DEAR) program works with residents with potentially dismissible traffic charges and fees that resulted in license suspension to restore their license 
  • The Cities and Driver's License Restoration and Reform Sprint helped cities explore how this issue directly affects their own residents, learn about the local license restoration and reform effort carried out in Durham, and develop a similar program for their own communities

What you'll learn

  • Gain an understanding of how license suspensions affect residents in your city, including how to identify data and analyze data that allow for an understanding of the scope of the problem in your city
  • Gain an understanding of local approaches for license restoration and reform—in particular, the Durham model for license restoration and the key relationships and processes required to make it successful
  • Obtain a clear picture of the particular policy and political contexts for their license restoration work, including an understanding of applicable state and city laws and ordinances, as well as key stakeholders
  • Build a team, consisting of the necessary members to successfully execute a license restoration project
  • Align efforts in support of statewide advocacy strategies to change license suspension laws that are the major drivers of the problem
  • Develop an immediately actionable plan to achieve a set of city-specific restoration goals, including the reduction of harm as a result of license suspensions

Sprint partners

  • Lead Partners: City of Durham Innovation Team, Fines and Fees Justice Center

An overview of the role state and local laws and court systems play in creating the license suspension problem

The story of how the City of Durham built strategic collaborations to scale-up driver's license restoration efforts

Background on the City of Chicago's Fines and Fees Access Collaborative and an exercise to set goals and priorities in your city

The history of Durham's approach to addressing the license suspension problem

Best practices in diversion and delayed prosecution, non-prosecution, and mass relief 

Best practices for integrating racial equity considerations into government decision-making 

Information on performance measures, process evaluation, and best practices for implementation