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

Follow and amplify #FineFreeFriday on Twitter

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 29, 2021

After 3 Trips to 36th District Court and 3 Trips to SOS, Devin Finally Got His DL Back!

Devin has multiple family members who rely on him for transportation, but while driving his his new car home last year he got two tickets for a missing plate and registration. Following that incident, his driver's license was suspended for failure to appear in court, he needed our help getting back on track.  
He was eager to take a new job opportunity that relied on him having a valid drivers license. His license was suspended for 6 months while we raised the money to pay off his clearances. 
SOS visit 1 - He was given a list of citations (posted in a previous update) that had to be paid before he could get his driver's license back
Court visit 1 - He was not allowed to pay his citations until he appeared before a judge
Court visit 2 - Hearing to address reason for failure to appear (incarceration)
Court visit 3 - Devin was finally allowed to pay the citations and clearances were sent electronically to SOS
SOS visit 2 - Systems were down at the branch and without verification Devin was unable to have his license restored
SOS visit 3 - SOS was able to view the clearances in their system and Devin's license was restored.

 Now his once suspended license is restored and thanks to your contribution Devin can drive worry free, stress free and most importantly fine free! Devin is looking forward to switching from his 12hour shift labor intensive job to a new driving opportunity that depended on him having his valid drivers license

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Back to all updates

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