Strong Committee Vote Sends Saylor’s Driver’s License Suspension Bill to Full House
9/23/2014
HARRISBURG – The House Transportation Committee today voted overwhelmingly to advance Rep. Stan Saylor’s (R-York) legislation to fairly address the issue of an individual’s drivers’ license being suspended today for certain drug offenses that were ordered but never carried out years ago.

Testifying before the committee on his legislation, Saylor explained that current law requires the automatic suspension of one’s driver’s license upon being convicted of certain offenses. After final judgment, the clerk of courts has 10 days to properly notify PennDOT of a conviction including adjudication of delinquency or the granting of a consent decree.

But for decades, many of these notices, specifically relating to drug offenses were not sent. Now, clerks of courts across the Commonwealth are realizing the error and are sending these notices to PennDOT for offense that occurred 10 years ago or longer. PennDOT began immediately suspending driver’s licenses.

“It was recently uncovered that in 2012, Philadelphia courts failed to report nearly 55,000 of these eligible offenses to PennDOT, and that was just one year in one court system,” Saylor said. “This is an issue that impacts every county as the unreported notifications were committed by an overwhelming number of clerk of courts both past and present in our cities and our rural communities.”

Saylor told committee members that he is not diminishing the crime that was committed, but many of these people have served all other aspects of their debts to society over a decade ago. Now, married with children and a job, and contributing to their communities, they all of a sudden are facing the prospect of having their livelihoods and families placed in jeopardy for someone else’s error.

Saylor’s legislation, House Bill 2492, would address both sides of this current problem. It would allow clerks of courts a grace period to clear their backlogs and send their notices to PennDOT, and it would provide those affected by the untimely notices to apply for a temporary Occupational Limited License (OLL).

An OLL would allow these people to serve out their suspensions while permitting limited driving privileges only when necessary for the driver’s occupation, medical treatment or study. It also provides for a sunset on the validity of notifications sent by the clerks after the 10 day notification period has ended.

“We should not be in the business of destroying lives and families,” Saylor said. “If you have reformed your life and are now contributing member of society, you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder in fear of something you did 10 years ago and for which you did everything asked of you to pay your debt.”

House Majority Whip Stan Saylor
94th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Charles Lardner
717.260.6443
clardner@pahousegop.com  
RepSaylor.com / Facebook.com/RepSaylor
Twitter.com/PAGOPWhip
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