OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, has filed legislation to remove one of the roadblocks for recently released inmates to enter the workforce and become productive members of society. Senate Bill 1107 says if an inmate had a valid, unexpired driver license when they were incarcerated, that license would still be valid for up to 180 days after they are released from prison, even if their license technically expired during the time they were in Department of Corrections’ (DOC) custody.
“Society expects that when an individual is released from prison, they should get a job and strive to be a productive member of their community,” Bergstrom said. “But a major obstacle to getting and keeping a job is not having a driver license. SB 1107 simply says that if someone had a valid license when they entered prison, it will still be good upon release for six months. I want to stress that this bill would not apply to anyone convicted of an offense that requires mandatory revocation of their driver license.”
Under Bergstrom’s legislation, prior to the expiration of the 180 day license, the person would be eligible to enter into an agreement with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to receive a provisional license, provided they pay a minimum of $5 a month toward the satisfaction of outstanding fees and fines. DPS would have the authority to suspend or revoke a provisional license if the person fails to honor the payment plan.
“By removing barriers to obtaining employment, we can reduce recidivism and help those who have served their time to become contributing members of society,” Bergstrom said. “It’s a commonsense criminal justice measure, and I hope my fellow members will join me in supporting SB 1107.”
Bergstrom’s legislation will be considered when the 2022 regular legislative session convenes in February.
For more information, contact Sen. Micheal Bergstrom at 405-521-5561 or email Micheal.Bergstrom@oksenate.gov.