Child Support – Driver’s License Suspension

Driver's license suspension is a tool used to collect child support arrears. The child support office can ask the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to suspend a parent's driver’s license because the parent owes arrears.

The child support office can do this if both of the following are true. The parent:

  • • Owes arrears in an amount at least three times their total monthly support obligation
  • • Is not complying with a written payment plan for both current support and arrears approved by:
  • o The court,
  • o A child support magistrate, or
  • o The child support office.
  • Exclusions

    The child support office cannot suspend a driver's license if any of the following are true:

  • • The case does not meet the criteria above.
  • • The parent filed a motion to change the court order, addressing both current and arrears, before the suspension,
  • • A court order prohibits the suspension.
  • Notifications and contesting a suspension

    When driver's license suspension is used, the child support office will send a Notice of Intent to Suspend Driver’s License to the parent who owes arrears at their last known address.

    The parent has 30 days from the date on the notice to contest the suspension. To contest, the parent must send the child support office a written request for a hearing.

    If the parent who owes arrears does not request a hearing within the required time, the parent has 90 days from the date on the notice to do any of the following to stop the suspension:

  • • Pay the arrears in full
  • • Sign and comply with written payment plans for all qualifying cases
  • • Tell the county child support office handing their case if they:
  • • Have a pending bankruptcy action
  • • Are receiving cash-grant public assistance payments
  • • Are not the person owing support (mistaken identity).
  •  

    If the parent does not take any of the above actions to stop the suspension, the child support office will direct the Department of Public Safety to suspend their driver’s license. That department will mail a notice to the parent at their last known address telling them that their driver’s license is suspended..

    Note: Driver's licenses can be suspended or revoked for reasons other than non-payment of child support. The license will remain suspended for those reasons even if the child support suspension is stopped.

    Limited licenses

    If a parent’s driver’s license is suspended for non-payment of child support, the parent can apply to the Department of Public Safety for a one-time 90-Day Limited License for Child Support Suspension.

    The Department of Public Safety decides whether a person qualifies for a limited license. Contact that department with any questions.

    Authority

    Minnesota Statutes can be found on the Minnesota Office of the Revisor website.

  • • 42 United States Code, section 666(a)(16)
  • • Minnesota Statutes, section 484.702
  • • Minnesota Statutes, section 171.12 subdivision 7
  • • Minnesota Statutes, sections 171.186 and 171.30
  • • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.46
  • • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.65
  • • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.69
  • • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.70

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