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Tue December 2, 2008
Deadbeat parents could lose right to drive
By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, Wyo. – A state agency is trying to suspend the driving privileges of parents who don't pay child support.
The Department of Family Services' Brenda Lyttle (Little) will discuss a bill on Thursday with the legislature's joint judiciary committee in Casper. The bill would target more parents who are behind on payments.
"What we are doing is narrowing the scope to the non-payers who owe 5,000 dollars or more and haven't made a payment in 90 days," she says.
Lyttle says about 16-hundred people in Wyoming could have their licenses taken away under those restrictions. She predicts about half would make an effort to comply once they received notice.
Lyttle says the department has the authority to suspend driving privileges now, but the law is weighed down with complex language and red tape.
Meanwhie, Wyoming parents who owe child support are among the most reliable in the nation for paying on time, but that could change during an economic downturn.
Lyttle says 68 percent of all state-managed accounts are in compliance. She says that's the fourth best rate in the country. But Lyttle says that rate depends on the state's economy.
"As the economy changes in Wyoming, what we will see is those numbers will go down, because the money and the income is not there to support a child-support order."