Christmas is coming early in Kansas this year.
The state will kick off an amnesty program next month for residents whose licenses have been suspended due to the failure to pay a traffic ticket.
From December 4-30, the Wichita Municipal Court will offer the chance for those affected to obtain a restricted license, which will allow them to legally drive to:
- Medical appointments or emergencies.
- Probation and parole meetings.
- Required court-related appearances.
Participants will have a year with the restricted license to pay off the rest of the fines pertaining to their case. Once the fees are paid, they can apply to have their full license reinstated.
The program is intended to provide a route to circumnavigate the Catch-22 situation in which many with suspended licenses find themselves: The need of money to pay off their fines; the need of a job to get the money; and the need of a license to maintain the job.
In Kansas, this conundrum is widespread. The Wichita Municipal Court alone oversees the suspension of nearly 8,000 licenses due to failure to pay a traffic ticket every year, according to numbers provided by the court.
The amnesty program officially kicks off at 9 a.m. on December 4. State authorities in Kansas recommend visiting the municipal court clerk’s office at 455 N. Main St. on the second floor, or calling the court directly at (316) 268-4120.