An unpaid ticket cost Riviera Beach resident Torris Thomas his driver’s license. The Clerk & Comptroller’s Operation Green Light helped him get his license back — and get a chance for a better job.
“When you’re trying to catch a ride, it’s kind of hard,” Thomas said. “You can get a better job with your license.”
Thousands of people lined up at the Clerk & Comptroller’s four Palm Beach County courthouse locations on Saturday, Oct. 19 for Operation Green Light, a one-day event when collection agency fees — some as high as 40 percent — were waived on overdue traffic tickets and other outstanding court fines and fees.
So many people showed up for Operation Green Light that customers were provided rainchecks, which were valid for the week following the event, allowing them to return during normal business hours and still save on collection agency fees.
“We created this event to help people with suspended licenses pay their overdue tickets and court fines, to restore their driving privileges. Because of Operation Green Light, hundreds of people are now able to drive legally and no longer fear being pulled over while driving on a suspended license,” Clerk & Comptroller Sharon R. Bock said. “Our team worked well into the night to ensure everyone had the opportunity to get back on the road.”
Florida law requires the clerk’s office to turn over unpaid tickets and criminal court fines to an outside collection agency if the debt is not paid within 90 days of the due date. Those who don’t pay also have their license suspended.
During Operation Green Light, 1,381 people were cleared to reinstate their licenses, 196 licenses were reinstated, 1,020 court cases were paid in full, 3,719 cases were placed on a payment plan, more than $422,000 in fines and fees were collected, and payment plans totaling $2.3 million were established to pay off overdue traffic tickets and court fines.
One happy Operation Green Light customer was Carlis Jones, whose license was suspended 15 years ago. He was among the first in line at the North County Courthouse for Operation Green Light, which he said was a big help to him in getting back on the road to driving legally.
“It’s been a long time,” Jones said. “I wasn’t going to miss this.”
Visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com to learn more information about the clerk’s office.