Wisconsin DVR Policy Q & A


Is it appropriate under state and federal VR laws and regulations, to use VR funds to pay a consumer's traffic fines so that the consumer will regain his or her driverís license.


Response from Howard Bernstein (2011), DWD Legal Council


There are clearly many situations in which a VR consumer's earning and employment prospects will be greatly improved by having a valid driverís license.  However, the overall intent of the VR law is that the funds spent on behalf of VR consumers are expected to be spent on education, training, and specialized equipment that relate directly to the consumer's DVR status and plan for employment.


The use of VR funds as "general assistance," so that a consumer can clear up a debt that is impeding his or her employment prospects, could easily be expanded beyond this single instance.  There will be other consumers whose drivers licenses are suspended due to nonpayment of traffic fines.  Would they all now be eligible for the payment of traffic fines with VR funds?  The same rationale could also be applied to a consumer whose business property has been seized or attached due to nonpayment of a debt or judgment.


I believe that the correct analysis is to stay with the expressly authorized purpose of VR funds as intended for education/training or specialized equipment for the consumer.  Therefore, it is my conclusion and recommendation that VR funds should not be used to pay a consumer's traffic fines.


(Posted: 02/2012)