Hundreds Line Up for Driver License Restoration

Oct 13, 2017

A Leon County judge is continuing his campaign to restore the driver licenses of people whose driving privileges have been suspended or revoked.  Some 250 people were signed up for Friday's (10/13) license restoration event at the Courthouse Annex on Thomasville Road.

Unlicensed drivers gathered at the Leon County Courthouse Annex on Thomasville Road to await their turn before the judge.
Credit Tom Flanigan

County Judge Layne Smith explained it’s the number one traffic crime in Florida.

“Driving while license suspended/revoked and no valid drivers license are by far the largest criminal traffic offenses in the state and tends to tie up a lot of arraignment time and plea time in the county courts.”

Then there’s the impact on the illegal drivers who can find themselves subject to constant arrest, deeply in debt from escalating fines, job loss and a host of other horrors. Friday was the second time Leon County has held a mass license restoration event. And Judge Smith thinks it will help cut the number of future license loss for those who’ve had their permit restored.

“I don’t yet know if we’re going to hit 50% as far as a fall-out rate. I do have good belief that we’ll be somewhere in that neighborhood of success rate.”

And now Judge Smith says other Florida counties, specifically Broward, Duval, Escambia, Orange, Pinellas, Baker and Gadsden counties are interested in adopting this approach to unlicensed drivers.