SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – No one will be prohibited from driving to work because of parking tickets under a new law backed by state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, reforming a discriminatory practice that punished those who can least afford it.

“A drivers’ license is crucial for many people in our community who commute to work, and we should not be making harder for people to provide for their families with unnecessary and discriminatory policies,” Hernandez said. “Suspending a driver’s license over something as small as parking tickets is an added penalty on those who are already least able to pay. We can’t afford policies that criminalize poverty. Instead, we need to help people pay their debts by allowing them to get to work.”

Hernandez joined a bipartisan coalition in supporting Senate Bill 1786, a new law which is now in effect, limiting the secretary of state’s authority to suspend or revoke a driver’s license. While previously a license can be suspended for something as minor as unpaid parking tickets, Hernandez’s new law clarifies that a license may only be suspended for moving violations such as reckless driving or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Currently, 7 million Americans have no license because of unpaid fines, often preventing them from working, and making it nearly impossible to pay what they owe and regain their license.

“We can’t build a thriving economy for our state if thousands of Illinoisans aren’t working. Creating new employment opportunities is a priority for me, and we also need to make sure people can go to jobs they already have,” Hernandez said. “This law will help put people back to work, and bring in new revenue with money from repaid fines, and it’s a step toward a stronger Illinois.”

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

83rd District

Springfield Office:
233-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002
District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848