Driver Responsibility Fee Changes

The Driver Responsibility Fee (DRF) program is experiencing some major changes which will be implemented in the coming months. Since 2003, driver responsibility fees were assessed as a result of accumulated points on a driver’s license, or certain convictions for traffic or vehicle offenses. The payments were made to the Michigan Department of Treasury, and failure to pay driver responsibility fees on time resulted in an individual’s license being suspended.

Effective March 31, 2018, anyone who entered into a payment plan for driver responsibility fees on or before February 1, 2018 will have any outstanding driver responsibility fees eliminated, so long as they are in good standing. If there are no additional license actions pending, one may be eligible to reinstate his or her license without paying the reinstatement fee beginning March 31st.

Individuals who did not enter into a payment plan on or before February 1st are responsible for making payments until October 1, 2018.  To get their license back, individuals who fit into the category must pay the fees or set up an installment agreement with the Department of Treasury. The installment agreement will be in effect until October 1st. At that time, the remaining balance will be waived. Failure to make the payments according to the installment agreement from now until October 1st may result in further actions against the driver’s license.

Beginning March 31, 2018, the Department of Treasury is implementing a workforce training program which will be offered as an alternative to current assessed driver responsibility fees. The Workforce Development Program will only be available to individuals who qualify. Completion of one of the programs will result in a waiver of driver responsibility fees. A list of qualifying Work Force Development programs and participating agencies, as well as how to apply, should be available at after March 31st.

Regardless of whether an individual entered into a payment plan, if his or her license is suspended for something other than non-payment of driver responsibility fees (such as a failure to appear in court or driving on a suspended license) it must be otherwise cleared before reinstating. The payment of a reinstatement fee is waived through December 31st. However, beginning January 1, 2019, the reinstatement fee will be required.

Beginning on October 1st, the Michigan Driver Responsibility Fee Law will no longer be in effect and the Michigan Department of Treasury will no longer collect on driver responsibility fees. Furthermore, past debt due to driver responsibility fees will be forgiven. However, from now until October 1st, new fees can still be assessed for qualifying convictions. Convictions such as Operating While Intoxicated and Driving While License Suspended will be assessed driver responsibility fees until October 1st.

If you find yourself facing charges and have questions about the possible driver responsibility fees associated with your case, give Blanchard Law a call to discuss your case with a lawyer who can help you.

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