If you owe past due child support and don’t make payment arrangements with the child support agency they may suspend your driver’s license. The ability for child support agencies to suspend driver’s licenses is a state law not a federal law. This means depending on which state you reside in the child support agency may or may not have the legal authority to suspend your license.
Why Does Child Support Suspend Licenses?
The main reason child support agencies suspend driver’s licenses is to get the paying parent to contact them in order to get their driving privileges back. The child support agency wants your money, not your license. Often license suspension is used only when other collection actions are not available or successful.
For example the most standard way to support is through garnishing pay checks. This works well for those that have employers but for obvious reasons does not work for the self employed.
Often if a self employed person has their license suspended for non-payment of child support they will start making payments to get it back.
When Will Child Support Suspend My License?
As stated above suspending a driver’s license is a remedy of last resort. Typically you will have to owe at least 6 months of unpaid support and not have been in contact with the child support agency before they will suspend your license.
Prior to taking you license the child support agency will have to serve notice on you that they intend to do so. Once you receive this notice you will have 21 days to contact them in order to negotiate a payment agreement to prevent them from taking your license.
If you are served notice and do not contact the child support agency to make payment arrangements then you license will be automatically suspended after the 21 day waiting period has elapsed.
How Do I Get My Driver's License Reinstated?
The child support agency will work with you on re-instating your license. They want you to be able to drive, work and pay your child support so should be willing to negotiate with you on a fair repayment agreement.
If your child support is too high and you honestly cannot afford to pay it then ask for the child support agency to help you modify your child support order to an amount you can pay based on your income. Often they will assist you in the modification.
If you are disabled and unable to work or pay your child support provide them with any documentation you have regarding your disability. If you show reasonable evidence that you are disabled and unable to pay there is a good chance they will reinstate your license and help you lower your support order.
What Happens If I Get Pulled Over On A Suspended License?
At the very least you will get an expensive ticket. At worst, depending on where you live and are pulled over the police officer may impound the car you are driving.
If you are willing to work with the child support agency and meet them half way then there is no reason why your driver’s license should be suspended.
Often people think if they can’t pay the full amount then child support will not give them back their license. This is not true, they will work with you on getting your license back if you are willing to make reasonable payments and even if you can’t explaining why you can’t make payments.
So if your license has been suspended for not paying child support pick up the phone and call. More often than not you will be surprised at how willing the child support agency is to work something out with you.