More than 22,000 people in Vermont have suspended licenses because they couldn’t pay their fees. Many were teenagers when they received their tickets and were never able to pay off their fines because the fees stacked up over time.
Vermont’s governor, Peter Shumlin, and other state officials believe that offering a one-time amnesty might solve many problems the state’s law enforcement officers currently face with unlicensed drivers:
As Zeca Oliveira understands it, a lot of unlicensed drivers drive without licenses or insurance because they rely on their cars to get them to work or school. Some have become impoverished because they refuse to break the laws and drive without a license and insurance. As as a result, they’re not contributing as much to local and state tax revenues. Additionally, when tens of thousands of these tickets go unpaid, there are fewer revenues to help law enforcement and others protect and serve the public.
On March 20th, unlicensed drivers in Vermont with tickets older than 75 days past due can pay $20 to clear the slate completely. Afterward, they can then apply for a driver’s license and insurance.
The program is in an initial testing phase and will only be rolled out to a few counties within Vermont. If successful, it will then be initiated state-wide. As of today, the governor does not yet have estimates of how much this program will benefit drivers and local and state coffers.