Agency Probing Alabama License Office Reductions
The U.S. Department of Transportation will investigate whether Alabama violated civil rights law with closures and service reductions at rural driver's license offices. The federal agency made the announcement this morning. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in programs that receive federal funds. US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement that it is critical that license services be free from discrimination. The department said it has not reached any conclusions. Alabama, citing budgetary concerns, in October shuttered 31 part-time offices where examiners gave driving tests once per week. The decision left more than a third of Alabama counties without a license office, including eight of the state's 11 counties with a majority African-American population. After a backlash, Alabama agreed to reopen the offices once per month.