Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

New Mexico lifts debt-based suspensions of driver’s licenses for 100,000 residents

New Mexico’s motor vehicle division announced Wednesday, July 26, that it has lifted the suspension of driver’s licenses for more than 100,000 residents.

Back in March, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation to end the widespread practice of suspending driver’s licenses for overdue traffic fines or failure to appear in court, and since then, at least 23 other states have taken the same legal steps to end debt-based license suspensions.

License suspensions have been cleared for roughly 160,000 out-of-state drivers with New Mexico citations, according to the Taxation and Revenue Department.

Underlying citations and fines on a driver’s record will remain there but there is no fee under the new law to reinstate a once-suspended driver’s license. (Note: payments may be required for licenses that expired while under suspension.)

Both Republican Senator, Crystal Diamond (Elephant Butte), and Democratic Representative, Christine Chandler (Los Alamos), sponsored the bill and agree that debt-based license suspensions are counterproductive. (AP, 7.26.23)

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