Returning citizens need three crucial things to rebuild their lives after being released from incarceration: affordable housing, a job, and reliable transportation. The key to all this is a driver's license. But here's the thing - many states suspend driver's licenses when the driver has unpaid fines, fees, or court debt. Oftentimes the only form of ID returning citizens enter the world with is an inmate identification card, which doesn't cut it for housing or employment. Crucial documents like birth certificates are lost in the shuffle of incarceration, losing contact with relatives, and losing housing. Without a driver's license, searching for a job is very difficult (86% of Americans drive to work), so there's no income to pay off those debts. The longer fines and fees go unpaid, the larger the interest becomes - and a growing cycle of debt is created, which is almost impossible to overcome without support. 

THE SOLUTION: Spread The Vote's new Fund 4 Fines. 

With your support, we will be able to pay our clients' reinstatement fees, fines, and other unresolved debt so they can finally get their driver's licenses back and begin to rebuild their lives. Funds raised will go directly towards reinstating our clients' licenses.

Most of our clients have between $250 - $2,500 in outstanding fines. Here's an example of one of our client's fees from Detroit, Michigan:

Expired plates - $228

Improperly displayed plate - $180

Failure to display operator's license - $95

No insurance - $95

TOTAL - $598

If you can, please consider becoming a monthly donor to this important effort. With your help, we can build an ongoing fund to assist as many of our clients as possible!


Here at Spread The Vote, we help people get the ID's they need to access housing, employment, healthcare, voting, and more. We have the know-how to get driver's licenses to the people who need them most - our hard-working staff and volunteers have helped thousands of people through this process, obtaining birth certificates, marriage and divorce records, and navigating the bureaucracy of Social Security and state DMV's. We also help our clients figure out exactly how much they owe, and set up manageable payment plans or get some fines forgiven where possible. But we need your help to clear our clients' fines and fees so they can truly be free from the cycle of debt.  


Follow @SpreadTheVoteUS for updates on the campaign

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The Fines and Fees Justice Center studies legal debt policy across the country - learn about this issue by following @FinesandFeesJC 

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • endorsed

    “Without this fund I know a few client's who still wouldn't have their IDs. This Fund4Fines is changing lives. I love what I do because work like this is critical!”

June 17, 2021

Another Client #FineFree but our work isn't done yet

SUCCESS! We were able to get clearances for another client this week! While we get more people fine free, we're finding gaps in communication between the courts and the state that leave our clients in limbo without our help.

When we initially met Chad and went to SOS to get his ID renewed in April, he had no idea about the two citations that were on his license from 2019. 

Over the following months we went back and forth between SOS and the local district courts to pay off his fines. Chad was able to match the support we gave him in order to get his fines cleared expeditiously. 

During our last visit to SOS, we were eager to pay the final $125 reinstatement fee when the clerk informed us that his license had been revoked. We were shocked as no one mentioned this iat our initial SOS appointment in April. While rebuilding his life Chad paid off his fines only to learn that wasn't enough. 

Fortunately with his clearances we were able to get him his state ID so that he'd have some type of valid identification while we request a hearing to have Chad's license restored. While we await a response from the state, we're committed to seeing all of our clients through the finish line. 

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