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!

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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 20, 2022

A mother, her children and a speeding ticket

It had been over four years since Alice was issued a speeding ticket, it was a traumatic event for her and her children, but the trauma of the stop didn't end with the officer telling her to slow down. 

The traffic stop didn't take more than 10 minutes, but the officer issued a citation that left a negative impact on the mother for many years. In the time between the traffic stop and Alice meeting Spread The Vote she struggled to maintain her lifestyle, being displaced from her home she was desperate to create some sense of stability for herself and her children. Her goal to register her children in school, but she couldn't do it without an ID.

She worked with us on getting her state ID first, it had been a complicated process for her after relocating from Georgia to Florida for a job opportunity. In less than a week she got her ID. Following that victory, she sought out getting her driver license. She was hopeful, but that one ticket issued prior to her transition held her back , that is until she was enrolled in FineFree. It could be a complicated process, but Alice was persistent in working with us from start to finish and now she's FineFree. She's grateful that now she'll, not only be able to register her children in classes for school, but now she's also able provide them with consistent transportation to-and-from school, extracurricular activities, and after-school events. 

Many thanks to those who continue to support our efforts as a part of the Fund4Fines! Your generosity is the holiday cheer this family needed in the perfect way.  

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