Group seeks to aid residents with license restorations

ASHEBORO — A driver’s license restoration clinic is being held Saturday in Asheboro to assist Randolph County residents.

Drew Weiner of Gavin & Cox is the president of Randolph County’s chapter of the North Carolina Bar Association. As one of the organizers of the event, which will be held at George Washington Carver Community Center, he said the program is primarily set up to resolve unpaid fines.

Nearly two dozen residents have signed up to go through the process.

“There’s a form now we can fill out to petition the court to clear up the record,” Weiner said.

If that’s the case, drivers generally can restore their eligibility by paying a restoration fee.

The need apparently is extreme in Randolph County. According to data provided by Weiner, estimates show that nearly 14,700 people have a driver’s license suspension due to unpaid traffic court debt in Randolph County.

The Randolph County Bar Association is working in partnership with the Randolph County District Attorney’s Office, the Randolph County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office, the Randolph County NAACP, and the NC Pro Bono Resource Center in this project.

Attorneys, paralegals and notaries were recruited to assist with the clinic.

Attorneys will interview clients, explain the license suspensions and help fill out paperwork.

Weiner said, ideally, word will spread about this process because some residents have issues related to the traffic citations “kind of snowball on them.”

Since 2017, the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center has partnered with the North Carolina Justice Center on the driver’s license restoration project.

As part of the project, which is overseen by senior staff attorney B. Leigh Wicclair, 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 hope is if this one goes well, we can do more in the future,” Weiner said of the clinic.

By Bob Sutton