TOPEKA, Kan. (KAKE) - Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 500 on Friday, cutting red tape for Kansans stuck in a cycle of increasing fines while trying to pay for the reinstatement of their driver's license.

“This bill puts a stop to the cycle of hardship that Kansans face when their driver's license is suspended, and they are subsequently unable to pay off the debt that accumulates,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This piece of legislation brings necessary reform to our court system, so Kansans can obtain a restricted license, allowing them to get to their jobs as they work to pay off their traffic fines.”

Current law requires those who fail to comply with a traffic citation to pay their fees in full within 30 days. If they don’t, their license is suspended.

Senate Bill 500 allows courts to restrict certain individuals’ licenses rather than suspend them so they can continue to be able to drive to school, work, and church as they make payments on the fees they owe. This bill will take effect on January 1, 2025.

“I am proud to have championed this transformative legislation that will remove barriers to help ensure Kansans are able to get to work, school, and home while paying off traffic fines,” said Kansas State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, District 29. “This bill will help those Kansans continue to take care of their responsibilities and contribute to their communities while they work their way through the legal system.”

Kansans who have failed to comply with a traffic citation will be able to petition the court to waive or reduce payment of their court costs. Additionally, fines to reinstate an individual’s license are capped at $100 to prevent further debt.

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