Va. lawsuit challenges state's right to take driver's licenses for unpaid tickets

Robert Taylor insists he’s a good guy, but says the state of Virginia has treated him like a bad one ever since he got buried under a pile of unpaid traffic tickets, fees and fines.

The 28-year-old Richmond man spends weekends in jail, can't hold a job and does not know how he will ever pay off the nearly $5,000 he owes the state.

“I’m not a criminal in any sense of the word,” Robert Taylor told FoxNews.com.

Without the availability of a payment plan, Taylor had his license suspended, leaving him unable to work. And being unable to work left him unable to make a dent in what he owes the state, he said.

Now, Taylor is part of a class action suit which alleges that drivers have been treated unfairly under the state’s License-for-Payment system. Virginia is one of nine states that automatically suspends a license if they have not received fines of fee payments within 30 days. The state does so without any inquiry into non-payment or consideration for a driver’s financial circumstance.

According to the Legal Aid Justice Center, which filed the suit against Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, hundreds of thousands of low-income residents are trapped in a cycle of debt and poverty. Nearly one in six drivers in Virginia has a suspended license for failure to pay court costs and fines.

Continue reading on FOXNews.com. 

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