Tens of thousands of Mississippi motorist who have a suspended driver’s license due to unpaid fines could soon be back on the roads, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Marshall Fisher, on Tuesday, announced in conjunction with lawyers from the MacArthur Justice Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center after advocate’s complaints, Mississippi will stop suspending driver’s licenses for failure to pay your fines and court fees. Come the New Year, Fisher says the state will begin reinstating licenses and waive the $100 fee associated with the reinstatement.

The decision comes after several lawsuits were filed by the two state advocacy groups.

“Being poor in Mississippi is hard enough without having your license suspended just because you can’t afford to pay off outstanding fines,” Director Cliff Johnson of the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi School of Law said.

“We don’t have subways or other reliable public transportation in Mississippi, and a suspended license makes it impossible to legally drive to job interviews, take loved ones to the hospital, pick your kids up from school, or even go to

The department has hired staff to handle restoring licenses. They said letters will be issued to those who qualify. Instructions will be sent for those whose licenses have expired during a suspension.

Fisher said drivers with an already suspended license will not be able to get back behind the wheel until their licenses have been restored. He also noted the relief will not relieve anyone of their legal obligations to pay their fines.

For more information or answers to any questions you can call the DPS Driver Records Division at 601-987-1224.

Story By Stacey Cato