License Suspension and Child Support

Many children suffer unnecessarily because a parent fails to pay child support. This puts an innocent child under tremendous hardship over a situation he had not fault in. Everyone has heard about the problem with deadbeat parents and the government’s efforts to get dads and moms to support their kids. One of the latest efforts is collaborating with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to order a suspension of driving privileges. Unfortunately, sometimes people may find themselves with a suspension notice when they had legitimate circumstances hindering their child support payments. Dealing with this issue can be a chore, but since not being able to drive can be a real difficulty, it is important to find out the facts regarding your license suspension.


Why License Suspension?

California has developed an arsenal of tools to try to get parents to pay child support because of the hardship lack of finances places on innocent children. These tools include income withholding, bank levies, property liens, passport denial, interception of state or federal income tax refunds, garnishing unemployment benefits, etc. Another method is either refusal to issue a driver’s license, or suspending a current license. And while keeping a deadbeat parent from driving might not produce any money for the children, it does have a definite purpose. The goal: make life as difficult as possible until the parent finally pays the required support. Most people consider driving to be a right which cannot be denied, but the government sees it as a privilege which can be withheld.

When are Licenses Suspended?

Parents in California are required by law to pay court ordered child support. This support must be paid on time and in full. Late payment or insufficient payment can result in the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) taking steps allowed by law to address the situation. If a person is 30 days or more delinquent on paying required child support, their name may be submitted to the DMV to request suspension of driving privileges.

What Happens if My License is Suspended?

Upon being notified by the DCSS, the DMV will send a letter to the parent, giving them 150 days to resolve the issue with the DCSS. If they parent fails to make arrangements with the DCSS by the 150 days, the driving license will be suspended. If a notice of intent to suspend has been sent to the same person in the past, their license will be automatically suspended with no grace period. If your license has been suspended and you are pulled over for a traffic offence, you can be automatically arrested and remanded to prison. Driving with a suspended license has serious consequences.

Can I get My License Reinstated?

If your license has been suspended, you must get in contact with the local child support agency to find out the details for reinstatement. This often requires payment in full of any outstanding child support bills. These are serious issues, and can often be better served by enlisting the assistance of a qualified attorney. Many times an attorney can provide excellent guidance in getting the license reinstated, and can work on your behalf to provide reasonable explanation of late payments.