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Durham Second Chance Driving Project: Getting you safely back on the road and back to work!

The Durham Expunction & Restoration Program is supporting the transformational initiative of the Durham District Attorney’s Office to resolve old traffic charges that are causing long-term driver’s license suspensions for Durham residents. Please search this website to determine if you have received relief—either the dismissal of an old pending traffic case or the elimination of old unpaid traffic court debt, or both.

Search to see if you received relief:

Please note: If you have upcoming traffic court cases, you should attend them. This project assists people who have had a suspended driver’s license for more than 2 years due to traffic charges in Durham County that do not involve DWIs or other “high risk” traffic offenses.


Durham Mayor Steve Schewel
Steve Schewel
Mayor, City of Durham

“Making the city we love, a city for all, means making the city we love a city of second chance. Everyone who is benefiting from this program has paid a very steep price. They have lost their license for at least two years. To be a city of second chances, there must be an expiration date on what it means to hold someone accountable.”

Durham District Attorney Satana Deberry
Satana Deberry
Durham County District Attorney

“With their debts forgiven, these individuals can now get a driver’s license. They can get insurance. They can go to work and to school. They can participate fully in the economic and social vitality of our community.”

Learn more about the project


Between December 2018 and February 2019, the Durham District Attorney’s Office — as part of a one-time effort to help people restore their driving privileges — dismissed over 50,000 traffic cases for more than 30,000 people. Many of these pending traffic cases were over ten years old and none of them involved a DWI or other high-risk traffic offense. The dismissal of a pending traffic case eliminates any driver’s license suspension that was being triggered because the traffic case was unresolved.

During the same period, the Durham District Attorney’s Office and DEAR partnered to begin the process of asking the Durham District Court to eliminate all unpaid fines and fees for 15,000 traffic cases for over 11,000 people. Approximately 1,500 cases have been brought before the courts so far, and an additional 13,500 additional cases that are at least 2 years old and do not involve a DWI or other high-risk traffic offense have been pre-identified for debt relief. Over the next 12-18 months, the Durham District Attorney’s Office will motion the Durham District Court to eliminate all unpaid fines and fees for these cases. The elimination of unpaid traffic court debt eliminates any driver’s license suspension that was being triggered because the traffic case was unresolved.

Please search this website to determine if you have received relief—either the dismissal of an old pending traffic case or the elimination of old unpaid traffic court debt, or both. Searching this website will also inform you whether or not you have an old unpaid traffic court debt that has been pre-identified for the Durham District Attorney’s Office to ask the Durham District Court to eliminate the debt over the next 12-18 months.

Individuals who have received relief through the Durham Driver’s License Restoration Initiative will also be provided an opportunity to attend a free legal clinic sponsored by DEAR. Clinic participants will meet with an attorney to review their statewide driving record and identify any other reasons their license is suspended.

If you have received relief through the program or would otherwise like to share your perspective, we welcome you to send us a comment at dear@durhamnc.gov.


This project is supported by the following partners:

  • Durham County District Attorney's Office