LIFT Wisconsin announces the launch of its driver’s license reinstatement tool that offers Wisconsin residents the ability to access publicly available data using an online program that will identify driver’s license suspensions and automate the ability to reinstate a license.
Wisconsin residents are often trapped in a no-win situation after getting a traffic ticket that they are unable to pay, most often for a non-safety related reason. Failing to pay can lead to a judgment and additional fees, and result in a suspended driver’s license – further jeopardizing employment options and placing people at risk in the criminal justice system. Lack of a driver’s license is a significant barrier for workers in areas where most employment sites are not served by public transportation or when a driver’s license is used by employers as a screening device. Residents who drive without a valid license further place themselves at high risk within the criminal justice system – for illegal driving, increased police scrutiny, and vehicle searches during police stops, all of which particularly impact communities of color.
As Marsha Mansfield, Director of LIFT Wisconsin explains,“Over 14,000 Dane County residents have suspended driver’s licenses and this tool can easily help them find out what they owe and the steps that can be taken to reinstate a license - all in one place.” Valuable ‘Tune Up Tips’ available through the tool provide information, guidance, and forms when a license is suspended for other reasons such as too many demerit points or an OWI (operating while intoxicated). Eligible DaneCounty residents also can get financial assistance to pay the $60 reinstatement fee and help with training and employment opportunities – all available on theLegal Tune Up tool, found at: legaltuneup.org. Theory and Principle, a legal technology product design and development firm based inPortland, Maine designed and built the application.
LIFT is grateful to the CUNA Mutual and Nimick Forbesway Foundations for supporting the development of its driver’s license reinstatement tool and the driver’s license reinstatement fund.