Diana*, age 22, is a single mother. She entered foster care in 2011 because of an abusive relationship with her mother. Diana is determined to keep her own daughter out of the foster care system. Diana has lived independently since age 18. She relies on her job at a call center to support herself and her daughter, who attends daycare.
Diana reached out for help after her driver’s license was suspended. Without being able to drive to work, Diana could not afford her rent or to pay for her daughter’s child care.
Diana had accumulated a number of traffic tickets, which she did not have the means to pay. Eventually, the mounting number of tickets and fines resulted in suspension of her driver’s license. Diana’s KidsVoice attorney understood what was at stake: for low-income individuals who cannot pay the fines and fees, license suspension can be effectively indefinite, creating a situation where employment and stable housing become impossible to obtain or maintain.
Knowing that Diana’s livelihood depended on being able to drive, her KidsVoice attorney reached out to PennDOT to assess the scope of the situation and to determine the necessary steps to resolving Diana’s suspension. With that information in hand, KidsVoice filed appeals for each of the tickets—and successfully arranged to have all filing and court costs waived. After making six court appearances on Diana’s behalf, most of the tickets were overturned on appeal. KidsVoice advised Diana about which fines and tickets were not eligible to be appealed, and she was able to make these payments over time.
The process of identifying and pursuing a path forward was complex, time-consuming, and required the removal of a number of different legal and administrative barriers. The good news is that Diana now is in a position to have her license reinstated.
Given Diana’s age and lack of financial and family support, without the advocacy of KidsVoice, she would not have anyone in her corner to support the strides that she has made towards living independently—both as an adult and as a parent.
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