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License Restrictions for Failure to Pay Child Support

License Restrictions for Failure to Pay Child Support

1/30/2014

All 50 states have statutory or administrative provisions that restrict, suspend, or revoke licenses for failure to pay child support. The licenses affected are generally driver's licenses, occupational licenses, professional licenses (such as a law license), and recreational licenses (such as hunting and fishing licenses). Each state imposes its own triggering criteria, meaning the amount of arrears the obligor (the person who owes child support) must owe in order for a license to be suspended; or the amount of time the obligor must be delinquent before suspension occurs. Once the trigger criteria has been met, certain due process procedures are allowed before suspension of a license, including a notice to the obligor that they are delinquent or in arrears, and the opportunity for the obligor to pay the full amount of arrears, come up with a payment plan with the child support enforcement agency, or request a hearing to object the allegations.

A handful of states, including California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming, allow for temporary licenses if suspension would result in undue hardship on the obligor, and in many instances, to allow the obligor to travel to and from work so they can earn money and pay the arrears.

States are continuing to make changes during each legislative session, with a number of states easing up on driver's license restrictions in particular in order to allow the obligor to continue working so they can meet their support obligation in the future. To find out more about what a particular state is doing regarding child support enforcement or licensing restrictions, visit the Child Support and Family Law Legislation Database.

State-by-State License Restrictions

Please type in a state in the box below to be taken directly to the state's statutory information.

State Statute Affected Licenses Trigger Criteria Due Process Procedures
Alabama Ala. Code §§ 30-3-170 through 30-3-179 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 6 months or more 60 days notice before suspension unless obligor: (1) Pays the entire debt stated in the notice; (2) Enters into an approved payment plan; (3) Complies with subpoenas or warranties relating to paternity or child support proceedings; or (4) Requests an administrative hearing within 15 days of receipt of notice.

License may be revoked if obligor has received two suspensions pursuant to this article in the previous 12 months.
Alaska Alaska Stat. § 25.27.246 Driver's
Occupational
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 4 times the monthly support amount Driver’s license statute allows for an administrative and judicial review over a 150-day period before suspension. Occupational statute issues a 150-day temporary license while the administrative and judicial review is being conducted.
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-517 through 25-519; Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-3701 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 6 months or more; or failure to comply with a subpoena or warrant 15 days to request an administrative review after receiving the second notice for a court hearing to deny or suspend license. Board or agency shall suspend or deny the license within 30 days after receiving the notice of noncompliance.
Arkansas Ark. Code Ann. § 9-14-239; Ark. Code Ann. § 16-22-102 Business
Driver's
Professional
Occupational
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 3 months or more; or failure to comply with a subpoena or warrant Child support agency will notify the obligor that a request will be made to the department to suspend the license or permanent license plate 60 days after the notification unless a hearing within the office is requested in writing within 30 days.
California Cal. Wel. & Inst. Code § 11350.6 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional     Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 30 calendar days or more A one-time temporary license will be issued for 150 days. A driver's license, excluding commercial driver's licenses, may be extended an additional 150 days.
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. § 26-13-123; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 26-13-126; Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-2-127.5 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 6 months while paying less than 50% of monthly child support obligation every month; or failure to comply with a subpoena or warrant Obligor has 30 days to request an administrative review in writing.

Obligor may be issued a restricted, probationary driver's license up to a 90-day period.
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46b-220 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
90-day delinquency; or failure to maintain medical insurance; or failure to comply with a subpoena or warrant Obligor has 30 days to comply with the suspension order.
Delaware Del. Code tit. 13, § 2216 Business
Driver's
Professional    Occupational
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of $1,000 or more or retroactive support and is 30 or more days delinquent Obligor has 20 days after receiving final written notice of suspension to request a hearing, pay arrears in full, surrender to bench warrant, or consent to a payment plan. Hearing shall convene 30 days after receiving obligor's written request.
District of Columbia D.C. Code § 46-225.01 Business
Driver's
Professional
Recreational
60-day delinquency Obligor is given 30 days' notice before action occurs and is entitled to an administrative hearing. Within that time, the obligor can pay the arrears in full or agree to and comply with a payment schedule that requires the obligor to make monthly child support payments towards the amount overdue in an amount equal to 25% of the obligor's current monthly child support obligation.
Florida Fla. Stat. § 61.13015; Fla. Stat. § 61.13016; Fla. Stat. § 322.058; Fla. Stat. § 328.42; Fla. Stat. § 455.203; Fla. Stat. § 559.79  Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Vehicle Registration
Vessel Registration
For professional, business licenses, teachers certificates and vessel registration: When all appropriate enforcement remedies have been exhausted

For driver’s licenses and vehicle registration: When obligor is 15 days delinquent in making a payment; or failure to comply with a subpoena or order to appear
Professional, business, teachers and vessels: Obligor has 30 days after the second notice to pay owed child support or reach an agreement to pay delinquency. After failure to comply after the second notice, the IV-D agency may petition with the court for license suspension.

Driver’s License/Vehicle Registration: Obligor has 20 days to pay owed support in full, enter a written agreement to pay delinquency, or file a petition to contest the delinquency filed.
Georgia Ga. Code § 19-11-9.3 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Arrears for 60 days or more; ability to pay and willfulness of nonpayment are factors Obligor has 20 days from the date of the mailing to come into compliance with the order or to reach an agreement to pay the delinquency with the agency. Obligor may also request, in writing, an administrative or judicial review within 20 days.
Hawaii Haw. Rev. Stat. § 576D-13 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
3 months' delinquency for driver's or recreational license; and 6 months' delinquency for professional and vocational licenses Obligor has 30 days to request, in writing, a hearing to contest the notice of the suspension/revocation, or to enter into a payment plan.
Idaho Idaho Code §§ 7-1401 through 7- 1417 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational       Concealed Carry
Arrears in an amount greater than or equal to 90 days or $2,000; or failure to comply with a subpoena Obligor has 21 days after being served with notice to pay the arrears in full, establish a payment plan, or schedule a hearing.
Illinois Ill. Comp. Stat. § 5 100/10-65; Ill. Comp. Stat. §§ 625 5/7-100 through 5/7-102 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
90-day delinquency for driver's licenses; 30-day delinquency for all other licenses Obligor has 60 days from date of notice to pay current support, pay all past support, and meet health care obligations. Obligor may request a hearing to contest the notice within 45 days.
Indiana Ind. Code §§ 12-17-2-33 through 12-17-2-35; Ind. Code § 31-16-12-7 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
3-month delinquency; or $2000 in arrears; or all appropriate enforcement remedies have been exhausted For other licenses, obligor has 20 days to request a hearing; or pay child support arrearage in full or establish an income withholding or payment plan to pay arrears.

Obligor may receive a restricted driver’s permit.
Iowa Iowa Code § 252J.1 through 252J.9 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears for 3 months or more; or failure to comply with a subpoena or warrant Obligor has 20 days after the mailing of the notice to request a conference in writing, to pay the child support arrearage in full, comply with an existing written agreement, or pay the total amount of delinquent support due.
Kansas Kan. Stat. § 74-146, 74-147 Professional Contempt of court in child support proceeding Obligor will be issued 6-month temporary license. Extension will only occur for an additional 30 days to prevent hardship.
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. § 186.570; Ky. Rev. Stat. § 205.712 Commercial driver’s
Driver’s
Professional
Occupational
Recreational
For commercial driver’s license, arrears in the amount of one year’s obligation. Arrears prior to 1/1/94 are exempt

For all other licenses arrears in the amount of 6 months or more
Obligor has 20 days from the date of notice to request informational hearing. Suspension will continue until arrears are eliminated, child support payments are being paid in accordance with a court or administrative order, or obligor complies with a subpoena or warrant relating to paternity or child support.
Louisiana La. Rev. Stat. § 9:315.30 through 9:315.47 Driver’s
Professional
Occupational
Business
Recreational
90-day delinquency Obligor has 20 days after receipt of notice to request an administrative hearing, pay arrears in full, establish payment schedule, or meet health insurance obligations.

If obligor is in partial compliance, the office of motor vehicles may issue the obligor a temporary license valid for a period not to exceed 120 days.
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. 19-A § 65.2101, 19-A § 65.2201,19-A § 65.2603-A Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
At least 60 days in arrears; or obligor has been 30 days delinquent more than 2 times in the last 24 months Obligor has 20 days after receipt of notice to request an administrative hearing, pay arrears in full, establish payment schedule, or meet health insurance obligations.
Maryland Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. 10 § 119; Md. Fam. Law Code Ann. § 10-119.3 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Driver's licenses: 60 days in arrears

Other licenses: 120 days in arrears
Obligor will have reasonable opportunity to request an investigation of their alleged compliance.  Obligor may appeal results of the investigation within 20 days of receiving notice of results or establish a payment schedule. Obligor may be issued a work-restricted license.
Massachusetts Mass. Ann. Laws 119A § 16 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Generally, 8 weeks in arrears; or failure to comply with subpoena or warrant Obligor has 30 days to request a hearing or make payment before final determination. Upon issuance of final determination, IV-D agency notifies licensing authority to suspend license. Licensing authority notifies obligor that he or she has 10 days to resolve the child support debt by making a lump sum payment or entering into a payment agreement. Within 45 days of receipt of final determination letter and upon exhaustion of all administrative remedies, obligor may request judicial review.
Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws §552.628 Driver's
Occupational
    Recreational
Arrears greater than or equal to 2 months Obligor has 21 days after being served with notice to pay the arrears in full or request a hearing.
Minnesota Minn. Stat. Ann. § 171.186; Minn. Stat. Ann. § 518A.66, 518A.67 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Arrears in the amount of 3 months or more Obligor has 90 days to establish a written payment agreement. Obligor has 30 days from the date of mailing of the notice to request, in writing, a hearing to contest suspension. Obligor may appeal to the chancery court within 30 days of the suspension.
Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. § 93-11-157, § 93-11-153 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
30-day delinquency Obligor has 90 days after receipt of notice to pay owed support or agree to a payment schedule. Obligor may request hearing on mistake of fact. Obligor may appeal to the chancery court within 30 days of the suspension.
Missouri Mo. Rev. Stat. § 454.1000 through 454.1025 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 3 months or $2,500, whichever is less Obligor has 60 days from date notice is served to pay arrears in full, enter into or comply with a payment plan, or request a hearing before the court or director.
Montana Mont. Code Ann. § 40-5-701 through 40-5-713 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of greater than or equal to 6 months Obligor has 60 days from date notice is served to pay arrears in full, enter into or comply with a payment plan, comply with a subpoena or warrant, or show cause in a hearing the suspension is inappropriate.
Nebraska Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-3301 through 43-3326 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 3 months or more Obligor has 30 days from the issuance of notice to request a judicial or administrative review.
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. § 425.500 through 425.560 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Owes $1000 and not less than 2 months delinquent. Obligor has 30 days from receipt of notice to pay arrears in full, enter into or comply with a payment plan, provide proof of medical insurance of the child, comply with a subpoena or warrant, or submit a written request for a hearing.
New Hampshire N.H. Rev. Stat. § 161-B Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
60-day delinquency; or failure to maintain health insurance coverage Obligor has 21 days from receipt of notice to request, in writing, a supervisory review.
New Jersey N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:17-56.41 through 2A:17-56.46 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 6 months or more; All methods have been exhausted; and failure to provide health care coverage. Within 30 days of postmark date, the obligor must pay the full amount of arrears, provide proof of health care coverage for the child, respond to a subpoena, or make a written request for a court hearing to the Probate Division.
New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. § 40-5A-1 through § 40-5A-13 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
30-day delinquency Obligor has 30 days from date of notice to provide the board with a certified statement from the department stating compliance with a judgment and order for support, subpoenas, or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings. Obligor has a right to a hearing.
New York N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 13-244; N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law § 6A-111b Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears greater than or equal to 4 months Obligor has 45 days from date of notice to pay arrears in full, establish a payment schedule, or request a review.
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-13.12; N.C. Gen. Stat. § 110-142 through 110-142.2 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 1 month; or failure to comply with a subpoena Obligor has 14 days from the date of the notice to request a review to establish a payment schedule or contest the order.
North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code §14-08.1-06 through §14-08.1-07 Occupational     Professional     Recreational            Driver's Arrears of 3 times the monthly amount. Obligor has 30 days after notice to become current on support obligation or makes a payment plan.
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code § 3123.41 through 3123.63 Driver's
Occupational
Professional     Recreational
Obligor hasn't paid 50% of monthly obligation for 90 days prior to final determination of default. Obligor will be sent notice about suspension. A hearing shall not be held.
Oregon Or. Rev. Stat. § 25.750 through 25.785 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of $2,500 or 3-month delinquency, whichever is greater Obligor has 30 days from the date of the notice to contest in writing, comply with the subpoena, or enter into a written agreement.
Pennsylvania 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4355 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 3 months or more Obligor has 30 days after the date of mailing the notice to pay arrears in full, establish a periodic payment schedule, or be excused from failure to comply with the warrant or subpoena.
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-11.1-1 through 15-11.1-12 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 90 days or more; or failure to maintain health insurance coverage Obligor has 30 days from the date of the notice to request, in writing, a family court hearing.
South Carolina SC ST SEC 56-1-171; South Carolina Department of Social Services Driver's           Occupational    Professional         Business          Commercial Arrearage of $500 and has not paid in 60 days. Obligor may obtain a route-restricted driver's license so they can travel from work to home. Noncustodial parent has 45 days to contact ICSSD and enter into a payment agreement.
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws §25-7A-56; S.D. Codified Laws § 32-12-116 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of $1,000 or more Obligor has 10 days following the service of notice to request a hearing.

Obligor may be issued temporary driver’s license.
Tennessee Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-5-701 through 36-5-713 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of $500 or more; or 90-day delinquency Obligor has 20 days following the service of the notice to request an administrative hearing, pay arrears in full, or establish a payment schedule.
Texas Tex. Fam. Code § 232 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 3 months or more Obligor has 20 days from the date of the mailing or notice to request a hearing.
Utah Utah Code § 78B-6-314; Utah Code § 62A-11-107 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
60-day delinquency Due process not specified in statute.  Obligor may request an administrative or judicial review.
Vermont Vt. Stat. Ann. Tit. 15, § 798 Driver's            Recreational         Business         Professional    Occupational One-quarter of annual support obligation or noncompliance with an order. Obligor has 21 days after notification to  either contest the claimed delinquency or request an opportunity to present evidence relating to the noncompliance. 
Virginia Va. Code Ann. § 20-60.3(6); Va. Code § 46.2-320; Va. Code § 63.2-1937 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
90-day delinquency or arrears in the amount of $5,000 or more; or failure to comply with a subpoena, summons or warrant Obligor has 30 days from the date of service of the notice to request, in writing, and judicial hearing.
Washington Wash. Rev. Code § 74.20A.020; Wash. Rev. Code §74.20A.320-330 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears in the amount of 6 months or more Obligor has 20 days from date of service of the notice to enter into a payment schedule; or request in writing an adjudicative proceeding
West Virginia W. Va. Code § 48-15 Business
Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Arrears equal to or exceeding 6 months; or non-compliance with medical order; or failure to comply with a warrant or subpoena Obligor has 30 days from the date of the notice to pay arrears in full, make a request for a meeting with a representative of the child support agency to arrange a payment plan or otherwise arrange compliance with existing support orders, or make a request for a court hearing.

If the suspension of a license will create significant hardship the obligor may enter a payment plan to pay arrears within one year while maintaining a license.
Wisconsin Admin. Code DCF 152.10; Wis. Stat. § 49.857 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
90-day delinquency; or failure to comply with a subpoena Obligor has 20 days from the date of the mailing of notice to request an administrative hearing. Suspension period may not exceed 5 years.
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. §§ 20-6-111, 20-6-112 Driver's
Occupational
Professional
Recreational
Administrative suspension possible if more than $5,000 in arrears or delinquent for 90 days or more.  Obligor has 60 days from date of a notice to request a hearing.

A temporary license may be issued for no more than 120 days.

About This Project

NCSL staff in D.C. and Denver can provide comprehensive, thorough, and timely information on critical child support policy issues. We provide services to legislators and staff working to improve state policies affecting children and their families. NCSL's online clearinghouse for state legislators includes resources on child support police, financing, laws, research and promicing practices. Technical assistance visits to states are available to any state legisalture that would like training or assistance related to this topic.  

The Denver-based child support project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or cyf-info@ncsl.org.

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child support issues before Congress and the Administration. In D.C., Joy Johnson Wilson (joy.wilson@ncsl.org) and Rachel Morgan (rachel.morgan@ncsl.org) can be reached at (202) 624-5400.

The child support project and D.C. human services staff receive guidance and support from NCSL's Standing Committee on Health & Human Services.

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