When does a singular possessive not become a plural, even though you are talking about more than one? When that possessive form actually is an attributive. From the CSJ files:
Under the program, insurers must immediately report the names of drivers who have canceled policies. Drivers have a 20-day window to get new insurance before fines are imposed, and their vehicle registrations and drivers' licenses are suspended.
"Suspending registrations didn't get a lot of people's attention," Kitzman said. "Suspending drivers' licenses gave it more teeth."
That first graf has multiple problems, but let's focus first on one common to both grafs: drivers' licenses.
The normal singular is driver's license. When two or more people have them, they don't have drivers' licenses, but driver's licenses. In this case, driver's is the attributive as part of the noun form and does not get pluralized.
In the first graf, it might seem the problem is easily solved by deleting drivers' since Drivers leads the sentence. That works if you flip the structure to put license before vehicle. Otherwise, it becomes a bit muddied as to whether license refers to the driver or the vehicle (which in most states is redundant because a registration is a vehicle license).
In the quote, some judgment is involved. Is he saying suspending the the driver's licenses themselves, or is he saying suspending the licenses of drivers. In the former, driver's licenses is correct. In the latter, "licenses" would be the sole noun and drivers' would be correct. However, for consistency and common usage, unless it were truly clear he meant the latter, I would stick with driver's licenses.
Now, back to the first graf, following John Russial's "two-error" rule -- if you find one, you're likely to find at least one more:
- Ditch a 20-day window, an overwrought way of saying 20 days.
- That comma is out of place. Before acts on both sides of the conjuction -- before the fines and the suspensions.
Under the program, insurers must immediately report the names of drivers who have canceled policies. Drivers have 20 days to get new insurance before fines are imposed and their licenses and vehicle registrations are suspended.