Post Hearing Q&A

 

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza joined partners Jennifer L. Wood, Executive Director, R.I. Center for Justice, Nick Horton, Co-Executive Director, OpenDoors, Elsy Santana, Care Coordinator, OpenDoors & Bret Jacob, Providence Director of Recovery Programs and LGBTQIA+ Liaison from the Providence Driver’s License Restoration Program at a Chief Judge Frank Caprio‘s Providence Municipal Court hearing, as he considers waiving fines and fees for three individuals represented by the RI Center for Justice, Chanel Amos, Noelle Pierce, and Erika Betts. At the conclusion of the hearing, Mayor Elorza and partners discussed the specific cases heard & the program as a whole.

 

The Driver’s License Restoration Program is managed by OpenDoors, along with partners Amos House, the Pro Bono Collaborative at Roger Williams University (RWU) School of Law, the Rhode Island Center for Justice and the Center for Health and Justice Transformation (CHJT) to provide coordinated driver’s license reinstatement services for up to 600 Providence residents over a two-year period. Since the program was launched in September 2022, partners have received over 800 applications for support, 60 licenses have been restored and fines have been reduced by close to $25,000.

 

The program provides case management, legal support and financial aid to Providence residents whose driver’s license was suspended as a result of a missed traffic court hearing, unpaid fines from municipal or state court and other monetary-related suspensions. Through the program, care coordinators at OpenDoors and Amos House work directly with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles to help participants navigate the process of reinstating their license, providing guidance and resources such as financial aid for fines or license reinstatement fees. In some circumstances, legal assistance from licensed attorneys and law students are provided through the RI Center for Justice and the RWU Pro Bono Collaborative.

 

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be Providence residents and have incomes at or below 65% of the area median income. Applicants must also be eligible for identification documents, such as an ID, Social Security card or birth certificate, and provide proof of Providence residency. Unhoused individuals are eligible to apply for the program. In addition, applications are evaluated for factors like financial need and ability to pay related expenses like car insurance. Applicants cannot qualify for this program if their license was suspended for a moving violation that resulted in a felony conviction.

 

The Original Program Announcement!

Program Link Here

 

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