WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A new State Law will make it easier for some drivers to get back on the road legally. It's the second state law to come from a series of KAKE News Investigations into suspended and revoked driver's licenses dating back to 2018.    

“After you and others did stories on how many people are affected with suspended driver's licenses, or revoked driver's licenses, those stories helped with this bill,” said State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau.   

For example, if you can’t pay a traffic fine within 30 days, your license will be restricted instead of suspended. It’s just one of several changes under this law, which goes into effect on January 1.

“It allowed me to turn a negative into a positive. All the negative stuff and just driving on a suspended license, which I thought it was in the process of getting straight, it finally came to fruition,” said Michael who asked to only go by his first name.

Michael is one of many Kansas who could benefit from Senate Bill 500. It’s to help people like him get restricted driver's licenses instead of a suspended license if a traffic ticket is unpaid. 

For him, it started when he tried to get his CDL.

“I went to the DMV, I got a letter saying that I was eligible. However, a ticket in Kansas City made me ineligible,” said Michael.

Michael thought he took care of the ticket in Kansas City, but the DMV told him he was driving with a suspended license. Senate Bill 500 will give him time to still drive and correct things.

“It will retroactively help those with a revoked driver's license. So now, they too, can participate in the restrictive driver's license program while making payments on their fines,” said Faust-Goudeau.

Right now, it would take three chances for someone that is stopped for driving while suspended to have their license revoked.  With this change, they'll get the chance at a restricted license as long as they set up and keep up with a payment plan.

Like Michael, many Kansans only find out they have a suspended license during a traffic stop. This law also makes it cheaper to get your license reinstated. 

"Current law if you have three five traffic violations, if you want to get that right and drive legally you have to pay $100 per reinstatement fee,” said Goudeau.

With the new law in effect on January 1, 2025, there's just a flat rate fee.

"It eliminates that you only have to pay $100 no matter how many traffic violations you have,” said Goudeau.

Senate Bill 500 was a bipartisan bill.