Unlawful Driver's License Suspensions in the Sunshine State

The ACLU of Florida and Southern Legal Counsel launched FLDLcheck.com to help Floridians whose driver's licenses were previously suspended for municipal and county ordinance violations. 


In 2012 and 2016, Anthony Cummings was experiencing homelessness like so many of our neighbors. Police arrested him three times for violating Ocala's open lodging ordinance, an ordinance that a federal court later ruled to be unconstitutional as enforced. In 2012 and 2016, the court found him guilty of these three violations and assessed $824 total in court costs, an amount Anthony could not afford. (These violations have since been ruled unconstitutional in McArdle v. City of Ocala, argued by the ACLU of Florida and Southern Legal Counsel.)

The Marion County Clerk alerted the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLDHSMV) about Anthony's failure to pay these costs, and the DHSMV suspended Anthony's license. Anthony, like many others, was then left without an important means of legal transportation.

Anthony fought the suspension, along with the ACLU of Florida and Southern Legal Counsel, and won. A court ruled that his license could only be suspended for committing a criminal act, not violating a municipal or county ordinance. But Anthony didn't just fight for himself.

After Anthony fought his suspension and won, the ACLU of Florida and Southern Legal Counsel worked with DHSMV and identified more than 16,000 potentially improper driver's license suspensions in 30 of Florida's counties. As a result of our advocacy, DHSMV lifted more than 13,500 of these suspensions. That means that more than 13,500 people who unlawfully had their driver's licenses suspended, who could not legally drive their children to school or get to and from work, can get their licenses back.

While their action is commendable, unfortunately, neither DHSMV nor the counties involved have informed these drivers of their lifted suspensions. And some counties are still suspending licenses over ordinance violations.

Check out our website 

We created FLDLcheck.com to help Floridians get back to their daily lives without the weight of an unlawful suspension.

Do you think your driver's license might be impacted? Check your status now.