DHS reinstates driver's licenses to parents affected by mailroom interruption

October 18, 2016

ATLANTA - Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden on Tuesday announced the Department has reinstated driver’s licenses to approximately 6,300 parents whose licenses were suspended for nonpayment of child support.

Department officials discovered an interruption in mail service late last week that could have prevented parents ordered to pay child support from receiving proper notice of the Department’s intent to suspend their license.

The mail service interruption likely affected notifications to parents who had been eligible for driver’s license suspension between July and October.

Crittenden asked the Department of Driver Services (DDS) to reinstate the licenses once the Department determined it could not confirm whether all parents received letters notifying them of the potential for a suspended driver’s license.

“Our No. 1 priority in the Division of Child Support Services is making sure children are supported by both their parents,” Crittenden said. “The process that supports the program must be fair, and out of an abundance of caution, we asked DDS to reinstate these licenses so we can be sure parents receive the proper notice. I am grateful to DDS Commissioner Bert Brantley and his staff for their partnership and quick action in assisting DHS in correcting this issue.”

Parents affected by the issue should be aware of the following:

  • They will not be charged a reinstatement fee.
  • While the licenses affected by the mail interruption have been reinstated, parents who are not paying child support are still subject to suspension unless they make a payment or make arrangements to pay with an agent.
  • Parents who are unable to pay due to underemployment or unemployment should contact the Department to see if they are eligible for programs that will allow them to keep their license while they look for work.
  • For more information on the Department’s outreach programs for parents unable to pay their child support, visit dcss.dhs.ga.gov or call 1.844.MYGADHS to speak to an agent. Georgians can also call 404-657-9300 to check the status of their driver’s licenses.

About the notification process:
Prior to suspending a driver’s license for nonpayment of child support, the Department sends two letters notifying a parent of his or her noncompliance with a child support order and of the potential for suspension. DDS sends a final notice to the parent via certified mail. DDS notices are distributed through a separate process and were not affected by the mailroom interruption.

Each DHS letter offers the parent several options for avoiding license suspension, including payment in full, an approved payment arrangement or enrollment in an outreach program geared toward helping unemployed or underemployed parents find jobs paying above minimum wage.