Wheatley: Driver’s license restoration bill approved by committee

HARRISBURG, Jan. 15 – A measure to create a restoration period to help Pennsylvania drivers with suspended licenses was unanimously approved by the House Transportation Committee, state Rep. Jake Wheatley announced today.

Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said that
H.B. 80 would enact a one-year restoration program, giving affected drivers the opportunity to pay off fines and costs either through a payment plan or by completing community service.

He added PennDOT estimates that over a million suspended driver’s licenses exist in Pennsylvania, and the suspensions and increased fines create significant burdens that can quickly spiral out of control.

“I have heard firsthand of drivers who received a suspension, who then were faced with impossible decisions: how will they get to work, or what will they do if their child gets sick,” Wheatley said. “Do they take a chance and drive to work or to the doctor’s office, risking additional suspension penalties, or do they struggle to find adequate transportation? My bill would provide a solution and real help for these affected drivers.”

Wheatley added that this restoration program, modeled after a similar program in California, would break the vicious cycle of suspensions, fines and penalties, but would still require affected drivers to serve the suspension for the underlying offense. 

The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.