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How to Reinstate Your Driver’s License After It Has Been Suspended for Failing to Pay Child Support

DADvocacy™ | April 28, 2017

Florida states that your driver’s license may (will) be suspended for failing to pay child support. Fifteen days of nonpayment is all it takes to put your driver’s license, amongst other things, at risk.

There are IV-D Cases and non-IV-D Cases. Essentially the type of case will determine whether the Child Support Enforcement Program is on your case or not. Either way, your driver’s license is at risk with no payment after fifteen days.

This piece deals with battling the Child Support Office. However, keep in mind that simply upon the request of the obligee (most likely the Mother); the Depository or the Clerk of the Court can still suspend your driver’s license. The Child Support Office, Depository or Clerk of the Court, may file the required notice with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and request the suspension of the obligor’s drivers’ license and motor vehicle registration as allowed by Florida Statute. Such notice must be done by U.S. Mail.

Upon fifteen days of non-payment, your mailbox will have a not-so-nice piece of paper titled Notice of Intent to Suspend Driver License and Motor Vehicle Registration(s) for Nonpayment of Support. Please always remember to keep your address up to date with the Child Support Office. Your excuse cannot be that you had no idea. It is your obligation and duty to keep your address up to date. Whenever you receive anything from the Child Support Office, make sure you open it immediately and read it carefully.

The Notice informing you that your driver’s license will be suspended will include the period of the delinquency and the total amount of the delinquency as of the date of the notice. It is the Child Support Program’s intention to automatically tell the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to suspend your driver’s license and the registration of ALL motor vehicles you own within twenty days of this Notice.

If you currently have this Notice in your possession please look at the date and see how many days have passed since you received it. Depending on the timeframe you will know what you need to do. Essentially you have twenty days from the Notice to:

  1. Pay the amount owed in full. (depending on your financial situation this is probably not an option)
  2. Enter into a written agreement to pay the amount owed (this requires you to make a trip to the Child Support Office)
  •  A Written agreement is a promise to pay the past-due amount. The Child Support Program will not suspend your driver’s license so long as you pay as agreed. The Child Support Program will consider your current situation and ability to pay. This agreement however does not change your current support order. This amount is still owed in addition to the delinquency amount.
  1. Provide documentation that you:
  • Receive reemployment assistance/unemployment compensation
  • Are disabled and incapable of supporting yourself
  • Receive SSI
  • Receive temporary cash assistance
  • Are paying support under a confirmed bankruptcy plan
  1. Contest the suspension

If you choose to contest the suspension, please do this timely. The clock is ticking and you only have twenty days from the date of the Notice. Once contested, the Court must hear the matter within fifteen days after it is filed. This will also help stay the suspension until you go to Court. It is your duty to make sure this gets heard, with the Court, so follow up if no one from child support has noticed you for a hearing. Technically, the court must enter an order resolving the matter within ten days after the hearing, and a copy of the order must be served on all the parties.

If the twenty days from your Notice have passed and you haven’t taken any action, your driver’s license is likely suspended.  The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles should have, or will, send you a letter putting you on notice of your suspension and will suspend your driver license.

It might seem quick and easy to reinstate your driver’s license, but that isn’t always the case. Not many of us have the money owed sitting in a bank account. If you did you probably would not be in this situation. The quickest, but not always cheapest way to resolve this issue is to head down to the Child Support Office, Clerk of Court, or Depository, and pay your outstanding debt, or enter into an agreement. Although it may be cheaper than hiring an attorney, if paying in person doesn’t work, you might need to seek relief through the Courts and file a Motion to Reinstate Driver’s Licenseor seek the assistance of an attorney.

It may take approximately 3-5 days to get your D-6 clearance from the Child Support Office to reflect in the DMV once your debt is cleared and/or you attended a Court proceeding and prevail. You will likely have to pay a Reinstatement Fee of about $60.00, as well.

There is no exam required to reinstate your driver’s license, but if you have more than one support suspension, a reinstatement fee will be required to clear each suspension.

Paying your child support is a legal duty and you must comply. Life happens and you might lose your job, get your hours cut at work, or you simply refuse to pay child support because you aren’t seeing your child. You must pay your support. If times are tough and you have financial issues, a good faith effort is better than no effort. Pay something, anything, before it gets more expensive and time consuming to fix.

We have many clients who run into these issue and we feel their money is better spent paying their child support over legal fees. However, some client’s despite a perfect payment history still seem to find themselves with a suspended driver’s license.  These clients might need to go to Court and receive a very detailed Order on the enforcement of child support, specifically with regard to client’s driver’s license suspension. 

If you believe your Driver’s License was suspended in error or if you have any questions regarding child support, call our office at 305-371-7640 or visit and speak with a child support attorney today.


Child Support

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