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.  


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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!

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    “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!”

December 6, 2021

Not Everyone Has A Lawyer for A Father

When Raenay was referred to us, she requested help with getting a replacement state ID because her name was incorrectly spelt on it. After connecting with her, we covered the $78 cost for her to order her birth certificate to use to obtain her replacement state ID ($10) with her full name spelt correctly. 

While living in the shelter and with the support of our Fund4Fines program, she found that her driver's license had been suspended due to several unpaid driving citations. We connected with her while she was living at a women's shelter and worked with her throughout her residency as her goal was to be legally driving by the time she was discharged. Fortunately, Raenay's father, an attorney, offered to help her with settling her fines after she trnasitioned out of the shelter. Now with her father's legal expertise, her vital records replaced and corrected ID in hand she had everything that she needed to appeal her citations through the district courts. 

Now Raenay's suspensions have been lifted and she's FineFree. 

Like Raenay, some of our clients our not only struggling due to unpaid citations, but they also struggle as a result of lost records that make it difficult for them to resolve their fines and fees, but not everyone's father is an attorney. We always help our clients obtain any lost records towards getting their ID, but the Fund4Fines was created to support our most difficult ID cases. 

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