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Past-due court fines could cost you your driver’s license

October 17th, 2013 11:01 pm by J. H. Osborne

Past-due court fines could cost you your driver’s license

BLOUNTVILLE — Hundreds of Sullivan County residents who are more than a year past due on fines and fees from criminal court are about to have their driver’s licenses revoked.

Under a state law that went into effect two years ago, once court costs, fines and litigation taxes are not paid within one year of the disposition of a criminal case, the Tennessee Department of Safety will revoke the driver’s license of the defendant until such court cost, fines and litigation taxes are paid.

The law became effective July 2, 2011, and makes it the responsibility of each county’s circuit court clerk to notify the state once a defendant is a year overdue.

Sullivan County Circuit Court Clerk Tommy Kerns said last week that he is about to send 750 names to the state.

Kerns said he’s sent some names already, but this is the biggest batch to date since the law was enacted.

Before this law, only traffic-related convictions could lead to license revocation due to nonpayment of costs and fines, Kerns said.

Once he submits names to the state, the Tennessee Department of Safety will in turn notify the 750 defendants that their license has been revoked.

That means they will not only have to  pay their past due fines in order to legally drive again, but also pay the Department of Safety a reinstatement fee, Kerns said.

Read more in the Friday print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition. 

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