Snyder signs bills banning certain driver fees

Driver Responsibility Fees will be eliminated sooner and a new program will help those who have entered into payment plans as well as provide for possible license reinstatement under legislation signed recently by  Gov. Rick Snyder.

The Driver Responsibility Fee Program was instituted in 2003 by the state Legislature and former Gov. Jennifer Granholm to assess fees for driving offenses of varying levels of severity.
The new legislation will eliminate the fees on Oct. 1, 2018 instead of Oct. 1, 2019, when they were originally slated to end.

“I have long opposed these fees and worked with the Legislature since taking office to phase them out,” Snyder said. “I’m pleased we found a solution that eliminates them without creating new state debt and helps remove barriers to work for more Michiganders.”

The legislation will amend the same section of the Vehicle Code to make the following changes:

• Specify that after Sept. 30, 2018 Department of Treasury can no longer collect outstanding fees. In addition, it specifies that drivers are no longer liable for any fees that remain outstanding and can have their license reinstated.

• End responsibility for the balance of fees for drivers who had entered into an installment agreement to pay their fees on or before Feb. 1, 2018 and make drivers eligible to have their license reinstated if they were otherwise in compliance with the act.

• Accelerate the existing phase out so that no new assessments would be issued beginning Oct. 1, 2018.

• Make an individual enrolled in a workforce training payment program eligible to have their license reinstated and fees waived upon completion of the program.

• Eliminate the separate reinstatement fee of $125 charged by the Secretary of State to reinstate a license that was suspended due to unpaid DRFs from the date the bill is signed (March
1, 2018) until December 31, 2018.

• Designate $250,000 to the Department of Treasury for purpose of implementing and administering changes to the act and the workforce training program.

The 8-bill package also includes a measnre that would task the Department of Treasury, Department of Health and Human Services, the Unemployment Insurance Agency, Michigan Works! Agencies and the Department of Corrections with providing information and outreach to individuals impacted by changes relative to DRFs.

At the same time, the legislation amends the Vehicle Code so that if an individual completes their DWI/Sobriety Court Program after Oct. 1, 2018, the associated DRF will be waived and not collected.


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