Topeka Parents behind in their court-ordered child support payments will have their driving privileges severely restricted in Kansas after July 1, when a new law goes into effect.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday signed the legislation, spelling out that those owing more than $500 in child support will find their driving limited to going to and from work or school, or medical emergencies.
The Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services can request the restricted license until the debt is paid or arrangements made to pay what's owed.
Originally, those owing would have lost their licenses, but the Senate changed that to restrict driving. Senators said it made no sense to deny a person the ability to earn money to pay the child support.
Most child support payments in Kansas go through SRS to the parent primarily responsible for the child's care. SRS says the new law will mean an additional $200,000 in child support collections.
About 54 percent of children owed support money receive the full amount, and the average amount owed by deadbeat parents is $7,127. SRS says for the one-year period ending June 30, 2005, child support collections were $156 million. Kansas ranks 36th nationally in enforcing child support orders.
Efforts to restrict hunting and fishing licenses of such parents died last week.