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First Coast

Clay County 'Operation Green Light' Event Earns $34K In 5 Hours

Florida 511
Florida Department of Transportation
Drivers make their way across the Buckman Bridge Monday afternoon.

COVID-19 stimulus checks are being cited as one of the reasons for a high turnout this year for Clay County’s version of “Operation Green Light,” a statewide driver license reinstatement program.

On Saturday, February 27, the county held its event, allowing drivers with suspended licenses the chance to save on certain fees as part of a state mandated program, resulting in:

  •  $34,000 in unpaid, past-due court costs, fines and fees being collected in five hours.
  • 89 cases were paid in full (and those people’s names/cases taken off the collection agency lists).
  • 42 Payment Plans were written covering 165 cases representing $91,000 in court costs, fines and fees now on track to be paid.
  • 60 defendants were made eligible for reinstatement of their driver license.

The county said several drivers expressed relief that they could use funds from their federal COVID-19 stimulus checks to pay off their court debt and finally get their license back.
“With many Floridians struggling financially, events like Operation Green Light are as important as ever,” said Chris Hart IV, Chief Executive Officer of Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers in an email to WJCT News. “This Clerk of Court initiative reduces the burden on Floridians who are simply trying to do the right thing by paying back their obligations to the courts. More importantly, it helps those people regain driving privileges, so they can begin to move on with their lives.”

More than 18,000 Floridians have been made eligible for driver license reinstatement due to Operation Green Light in the last two years on a statewide level, according to Clay County.