Workshop offers assistance to those with suspended driver’s licenses

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:48 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update 9/16/2023: Brady Smith says he had his driver’s license revoked and will not be able to get it reinstated until 2026.

“I’ve got a family and kids, I have three jobs you know, it’s hard to get around,” said Smith. “I fight for rides to get to work, to go to the grocery store, to do anything.”

Smith is not the only person struggling to get their license reinstated. The Racial Profiling Advisory Board of Wichita says in Wichita there are more than 40 thousand people who cannot legally drive because of a revoked or suspended license. Statewide there are more than 200 thousand people looking to get their driver’s license reinstated.

“We truly, we’re trying to bring back dignity and that quality of life,” said Racial Profiling Advisory Board Member Lawanda DeShazer, “so at least 144 people today at some level have received a measure of quality of life.”

Six attorneys, the Kansas Department of Revenue and area law enforcement all joined the board at the Atwater Neighborhood Resource Center on Saturday to help people figure out the status of their license and walk them through how they can get work to get it reinstated. The entire workshop was free.

“A lot of people just don’t know where to go, what the resources are,” said Racial Profiling Advisory Board Vice President Faith Martin, “so at least having somewhere to come and find information, someone to talk to, someone to listen, a lot of times people don’t even know who to talk to.”

J. Medlock-El says he is optimistic about getting his license reinstated after attending the workshop.

“They really gave me some good information,” said Medlock-El, “I’ve got great hope that it’s not going to take me an arm and a leg to get it back and I’m happy about that.”

If you missed the workshop, you can get information about how to get back on the road here.

The Wichita Racial Profiling Board is holding its annual Driver’s License Suspension & Revocation Workshop on Saturday.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Atwater Neighborhood Resource Center, 2755 E 19th Street North in Wichita.

The workshop is designed to inform people how the 2021 Senate Bill 127 can work for them. Six attorneys will be on-site to help people with suspended licenses get them reinstated.

“If you come you can file a hardship application, find out if you qualify. You can find out the status of your license. Usually, the line is quite long to sit with an attorney, but that attorney will help you look up those things. And, while you’re waiting to see an attorney, you can hear from our wonderful panelists to learn all different sorts of things,” said Faith Martion with the Racial Profiling Board.

Roughly, 50,000 Wichitans had a suspended license as of December 2022.