San Francisco Ends “Poverty Penalty” - Clears All Driver's License Suspensions for People Who Missed Traffic Court Dates.

Driver's license imageMayor London Breed and Treasurer José Cisneros announced in April 2019 that the City partnered with the San Francisco Superior Court to clear all outstanding holds on people’s driver’s licenses for missing a traffic court date. The San Francisco Superior Court had ended the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for Failure to Appear in traffic court, and in partnership with the Financial Justice Project identified more than 88,000 holds that had been filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that had not been cleared. The courts lacked the resources and capacity to lift the holds that had already been filed. The Financial Justice Project partnered with the Mayor’s Budget Office to bring resources and capacity to the effort and remove this barrier to employment for thousands of local residents. “Missing your traffic court date has nothing to do with dangerous driving and everything to do with poverty,” said Anne Stuhldreher, director of the San Francisco Financial Justice Project, to the San Francisco Chronicle, “A lot of employers require a valid driver’s license to get a job. We can hold people accountable without putting them in financial distress.” The reform was also covered by KRON 4NBC Bay Area and Univision. If your driver's license was suspended for failing to appear in the San Francisco Traffic Court, you can click here to find out what steps you can take.