Kansas senator pushes to change suspended driver’s license laws to help low-income residents

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Kansas senator is pushing for changes to the way the state handles suspended driver’s licenses.

Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, added an amendment to a driver’s license bill on Tuesday. The amendment would waive the application fee for getting a restricted license, which costs about $25.

She said she’s been working on adding these changes for a while, originally introducing it as a standalone bill, Senate Bill 100, but decided to expedite the process by adding her amendment to another bill up for passage.

The senator said she was inspired to fight for changes statewide after hearing the story of a mother in her area.

“Her daughter has cancer, and she was rushing her to the emergency room one night, and she got pulled over,” Faust-Goudeau said. “She didn’t realize that her insurance was canceled due to nonpayment because she was struggling financially.” 

Since the mother didn’t have insurance, she lost her license. Had the proposed bill been in place, Faust-Goudeau said it would’ve made it easier for the mother to renew her license.

Faust-Goudeau said she hopes the amendment will help people across the state who are facing financial hardship and struggling to make payments on traffic fines after a suspension.

“It’s going to help them on their quest to get a restricted driver’s license, where, in year’s time, they can make payments on their fines while being able to drive back and forth to work and school,” she said.

In addition to waiving the fee, the bill would also remove the extra 90 days of suspension that’s tacked on anytime someone’s caught driving on a suspended license.

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