Thank you to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the American Bar Endowment for their support of Driver’s License Restoration efforts.


Under North Carolina law, a person who fails to appear in court to resolve a traffic ticket or fails to pay traffic or criminal court debt is subjected to an indefinite suspension of his or her driver’s license, regardless of whether it is the person’s first ticket or first time failing to resolve a ticket.

The inability to pay traffic court fines and fees can have dire consequences for drivers and their families. This is particularly true for North Carolinians who are already economically vulnerable and those who live in rural areas without reliable public transportation.

For more information about how Driver’s License Restoration efforts are needed, view When Debt Takes the Wheel here.

Strategy for Relief:

Since 2017, the Pro Bono Resource Center has partnered with the North Carolina Justice Center on the Driver’s License Restoration Project.

The Pro Bono Resource Center was awarded a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to build on these efforts and to create and coordinate a statewide network of driver’s license restoration mass relief debt remittance.

As part of the Driver’s License Restoration Project, advocates coordinate with district attorney partners to motion the court to remit traffic court costs and fees for people with long-term license suspensions stemming from low-level traffic offenses. The Pro Bono Resource Center also coordinates volunteer attorneys to draft license restoration advice letters for people who have requested help through

Get Help:

For more information or to see if you have received relief as part of the Driver’s License Restoration Project, click here.


There is a significant need for pro bono attorneys willing to volunteer on an ongoing basis to draft advice letters to people who have requested help.

Volunteer attorneys will work remotely and on their own time with access to on-demand training that will instruct them how to read driving records so they can identify the cause(s) of the client’s license suspension.

Volunteer attorneys will create advice letters using the template provided. Training and malpractice insurance will be provided.

A supervising attorney will be available to answer questions and will review, sign and send the letters.

To volunteer, sign up here.


Contact Leigh Wicclair at

Thank you to Donn Young for providing photos from driver’s license restoration clinics.