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Can failing to pay child support result in license suspension?

There are many circumstances in which a person could have a driver's license revoked. Rhode Island residents may know that reckless or drunk driving could result in the revocation of a driver's license. However, they may not know that the failure to pay child support could also result in license revocation.

In Rhode Island, the paying parent could face license revocation if that parent is 90 days delinquent in paying child support. The paying parent will receive notice from the Rhode Island Office of Child Support Service of the delinquency that the driver's license may be suspended or revoked. After this, the paying parent has 20 days to ask for a Family Court hearing. The court has the discretion to issue a stay to prevent the paying parent's license from being suspended. The paying parent is still required, however, to pay all the support that is owed or to agree to a payment plan in writing in order to keep the driver's license from being suspended. If the paying parent does not do so within the aforementioned 20 days, the driver's license may be suspended.

It is not a requirement for the parent receiving child support in Rhode Island to ask the office to suspend or revoke the paying parent's license in order for this enforcement measure to take place. Not only may the paying parent's driver's license be revoked, but business and professional licenses may also be revoked.

Most people in Rhode Island depend on having a valid driver's license to get through their day-to-day tasks. However, paying child support is very important as well. If child support is not paid on time and in the full amount, the parent receiving child support may not have the financial resources necessary to meet the child's everyday expenses. License suspension is one way to have delinquent payments addressed, so that the child's quality of life does not suffer.

Source:, "Enforcement," accessed Sept. 13, 2015

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