Suspended driver's licenses to be reinstated in 2018 - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Suspended driver's licenses to be reinstated in 2018

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

After having their driving privileges taken away, nearly 100,000 Mississippians are expected have their suspended licenses reinstated after the New Year.

Mississippi is one of five states leading this change across the nation. 

READ MORE: Mississippi will reinstate thousands of driver’s licenses suspended for failure to pay fines

Drivers like Christopher Reed Jr. have been living without a license for months after failing to pay a traffic ticket -- a problem that has been weighing on him emotionally and economically since Reed says it's been hard for him to find work.

"I'm just really happy cause it's gonna change people's lives," said Reed. "I know it's going to change some folks lives cause, like I said, there are plenty of jobs out there looking for drivers."

Caren Short, staff attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center, says this change will help those in poverty.

"The state of Mississippi has one of the highest poverty rates in the country," said Short. "For a lot of folks, getting a traffic ticket meant choosing to pay traffic fine and fees or paying off their rent, child care or medical bills."

With the change coming, some fear many drivers will not follow the rules of the road or pay fines, but Short says that won't be the case.

She says when tickets are written, you will still be expected to pay them that is unless you can prove to a judge that your limited income stops you from doing that.

"The court can do a number of things," explained Short. "It can put a person on a payment plan, it could remit the fine all together or it could assign someone to community service."

This non-suspension rule will only apply for those who have misdemeanor traffic fines, not for those who are behind on child support payments.

If you have had your license suspended, start looking for a reinstatement letter from the DMV in the mail after the beginning of the new year.

You will not be able to get a license until you receive that letter. 

People who have questions about the status of their Mississippi driver’s license can call 601-987-1224 for more information.

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