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Cass County Board: New program aims to help drivers who have lost their licenses

WALKER—Cass County Board Tuesday, Nov. 6, approved a new program to help drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked to get a new driving license.

The program does not accept those whose licenses have been canceled.

Scott Atkinson of Diversion Solutions explained the program to the board, noting it already is being used in Crow Wing County and its cities.

Thirteen percent of Minnesota drivers have a suspended or revoked license, Atkinson said.

Cass will contract with Diversion Solutions, which in turn will meet with eligible people to help them set up a payment program for their fines, fees or other financial obligations that have prevented them from getting their license reinstated.

Diversion Solutions also helps participants to obtain auto insurance. Atkinson said many insurers decline to insure those with a revoked or suspended license, because they are considered high risk.

Those accepted into the program will receive a diversion license while they make their payments over time. Atkinson said many can complete the program in 18 months.

So far in the pilot counties and cities where this has been available, the success rate was 80 percent until Minneapolis was added, Atkinson said. That dropped the success rate to 64 percent, he said.

Anyone with a new driving violation will be dropped from the program, he added.

County Attorney Ben Lindstrom voiced his support for the program and said, because there will be no cost to the county, he recommended it and the board agreed to apply the $100 registration fee to the participant's fines rather than having it paid to the county.

Participants pay all the program costs.