Goodbye Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees for Traffic Tickets
On October 1, 2018, a bill went into effect that essentially puts an end to Michigan’s driver responsibility fees. The bill effectively eliminates the $637 million in debt owed by approximately 350,000 Michigan drivers, and will eventually give every Michigander a $4,900 personal tax exemption.
Driver Responsibility Fees for Traffic Tickets
In 2003, in the face of Michigan’s faltering economy, the legislature imposed driver responsibility fees which ranged from $100 to $2,000, in an attempt to create a revenue stream which would help to alleviate pressure on Michigan’s budget.
Estimates indicate that during the almost 15 years the program has been in place, driver responsibility fees brought between $99 million and $115 million into the budget. These fees were charged in addition to the normal fines for traffic citations.
The unintended consequence of the fees, however, was that many Michigan drivers lost their licenses because they did not have the ability to pay. Not having a driver’s license made it very difficult for these drivers to travel to and from work, or to take and pick up their children from school.
Effect of New Law on Driver Responsibility Fees for Traffic Tickets
The new law immediately eliminated the issuance of any new driver responsibility fees, and as of October 1, 2018, all outstanding debts due to the fees were wiped out. Any driver who had entered into an installment payment plan can have any remaining debt forgiven, and may also apply to have his or her license reinstated.
Suspended licenses for drivers who aren’t on payment plans may be reinstated as of Oct. 1 and if the drivers apply for reinstatement before December 31, 2018, the $125 reinstatement fee will be waived. Those who are part of the Workforce Development programs are also eligible to have fees waived and licenses reinstated upon completion of the program.
The State of Michigan is making a concerted attempt to educate the public as to their options, and to help them figure out how to get driver’s licenses reinstated if it was previously suspended for unpaid driver responsibility fees. A helpline has been set up by the Secretary of State (888-767-6424), and information is also available on the state’s website (www.michigan.gov/sos).
More information is also available through the Treasury Department (helpline: 517-636-5240; website: www.michigan.gov/driverresponsibility).
Livonia Area Attorneys Beats Traffic Tickets
The fastest way to get your driver’s license back, and to be sure any outstanding fees you have are removed with according to the new law, is to contact our Livonia area attorneys.
Our experienced Livonia area traffic ticket attorneys are committed to offering you the most effective representation in your traffic ticket case. We provide the most skilled and aggressive representation at the most affordable prices. And your first consultation is always FREE.
In many situations we can even represent you without the need for you to appear in court – so there is no need for you to return to Livonia or any other District Court!