Claimed Budgetary Closures left more than a third of Alabama’s counties without a license office, including most counties with a majority African-American population
(December 28, 2016) MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Department of Transportation officials say they have reached an agreement with Alabama after determining that Black residents were disproportionately hurt by the state’s closure of rural driver’s license offices.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the agreement Wednesday.
A sample of an Ala. drivers license is seen in Montgomery, Ala. (Photo by Dave Martin/AP)
The department said the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency had agreed, among other things, to expand the hours that the offices are open.
The federal agency launched an investigation last year after the state, citing budgetary concerns, shuttered 31 part-time offices where examiners gave driving tests about once per week. That left more than a third of Alabama’s counties without a license office, including most counties with a majority African-American population
Because of a backlash, the state reversed course and agreed to open the offices once per month.