x
Breaking News
More () »

Inslee OKs bill curbing debt-based license suspensions in Washington

The bill eliminates failure to pay fines as a reason for license suspension, though drivers could face suspension if they fail to appear in court.
Credit: KING

SEATTLE — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has approved a measure aimed at preventing tens of thousands of people a year from having their driver's licenses suspended for failure to pay fines. 

An estimated 46,000 people have their licenses suspended annually because they don't pay court-imposed fines for noncriminal moving violations. Activists say that punishes people for being poor and makes it harder for them to get to work, to take care of sick family members or to get children to school.

The bill signed by Inslee on Monday eliminates failure to pay fines as a reason for license suspension, though drivers could face suspension if they fail to appear in court.

The measure passed the Legislature with bipartisan support.

RELATED: Activists want change to debt-based Washington state license suspension bill