State Rep. Joe Bellino’s law eliminating punitive driver responsibility fees in Michigan took effect this week.
Bellino, of Monroe, introduced the measure, which was signed into law in March as part of a multi-bill package ending the fees and offering full forgiveness of outstanding debt.
“Driver responsibility fees did nothing but fill a budget hole nearly 15 years ago while putting hundreds of thousands of Michigan families into a state of financial hardship,” Bellino said. “Eliminating the fees gives struggling people a chance to regain their driving privileges and maximize their employment opportunities.”
With the elimination of the fees, about 305,000 motorists will be relieved of driver responsibility fee debt that caused hardship. Changes to the law also permitted about 27,000 motorists to have their fees immediately waived this year because they had enrolled in a qualifying payment plan before Feb. 1.
Another 13,500 were granted relief because they had participated in a workforce development program.
As of this week:
- If you have an unexpired Michigan license and do not have any open actions – such as a license suspension, denial or revocation – your driving privileges are restored. The $125 standard reinstatement fee will be waived and there is no need to visit a Secretary of State office.
- If your Michigan driver’s license is expired and it has been less than four years since you had a valid driver’s license, you must renew your license either online or at a Secretary of State office before you may drive. The $125 standard reinstatement fee is waived through Dec. 31.
- If your license has been expired more than four years, you must renew your license at a Secretary of State office. You will need to repeat the driver’s license application process that includes a vision and written test as well as a third-party driving skills test. You will also be required to provide documents to prove your identity, residency and legal presence.
To learn more about eliminated driver responsibility fees, visit www.Michigan.gov/DriverResponsibility or contact the Department of State Information Center at (888) 767-6424.