Measures modifying driver’s license requirements, child support payments take effect Oct. 1
by Sarah Breitenbach
New Maryland adult drivers no longer need to complete a cumbersome amount of driver training and child support orders will be automatically suspended for people who are incarcerated.
The measures, championed by JOTF and several lawmakers during the 2012 General Assembly Session, are among dozens of new Maryland laws taking effect today.
The driver’s license policy now allows adult drivers over 25 to log 14 hours of road time prior to testing for their license, instead of the 60 hours required of younger new drives. It also mandates that older drivers hold a provisional license for 45 days instead of nine months.
JOTF fought for this law because existing measures presented significant barriers to mobility and employment for low-income adults. Shortening the process by which adults can apply for and earn a driver’s license means more people will be able to qualify for better jobs transport themselves to higher-paying work sites.
The hard-fought child support victory makes Maryland one a few states that automatically waive child support payments for prisoners.
Prisoners were already eligible to suspend child support payments due to lack of income, but were required to initiate the process themselves. Mounting debt from payments while incarcerated can make it difficult and less likely for a former prisoner to resume regular payments after they are released.