On Tuesday, September 23, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a new law that will essentially make it possible for some motorists to perform community service, rather than paying off old driver responsibility fees. This new law will apply to motorists who were assessed a two-year driver responsibility fee in addition to payment of a traffic ticket for driving without proof of insurance or a valid driver’s license, according to a news article at Mlive.com. The new law was proposed by Senator Bruce Caswell, R-Hillsdale.
In announcing the signing of the bill, Governor Snyder said that “While we are ultimately phasing out driver responsibility fees, this program gives Michiganders the opportunity to give back by volunteering as an alternative way to pay their fines.”
Michigan driver’s license restoration attorneys know that many people have their licenses suspended due to DUI offenses, failure to pay child support, and for other reasons. However, many people drive without a valid license, believing they will not get caught. While many do not, many motorists DO get caught driving on a suspended license. This will result in a $500 fine for a first-time offender, along with a driver responsibility fee of $500 for two consecutive years. Ultimately, this is a cost that many people simply cannot afford.
While driver responsibility fees for driving without a valid license or proof of insurance were eliminated in 2012, some people had their driver’s licenses suspended because they failed to pay off old driver responsibility fees. This new law would allow these individuals to complete community service and get their licenses restored by simply paying the standard $125 fee.
Those who are eligible to participate in the new program will be mailed a notice from the Treasury, and allowed to complete 10 hours of community service which will in effect “pay off” one delinquent assessment.
Established over a decade ago, driver responsibility fees were established to balance the state’s budget, however many have come to see these fees as a “death penalty” for motorists who have a difficult if not impossible time paying court costs, fines, and fees in order to legally drive to work. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson called the new law a “common sense” option.
Motorists who have had their drivers license suspended or revoked due to multiple DUI convictions or for any reason should consult with an experienced Michigan driver’s license reinstatement lawyer immediately. The process of having your driving privilege restored is one that is complex and difficult, involving a hearing with the DLAD. Take action now so that work can begin on your case.