This Morning: Elimination of driver responsibility fees takes effect today

News

Nearly 300,000 Michigan drivers can breathe a sigh of relief today.

The state’s Driver Responsibility Fees are being wiped off the books.

If you’re headed to a Secretary of State Office you’ll most likely see longer lines than usual.

That’s because earlier this year, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill eliminating extra fees charged for various traffic violations on top of regular traffic citation fines and court costs.

The fees could be higher than the ticket that caused it.

This now allows hundreds of thousands of Michigan drivers the opportunity to get their licenses re-instated.

However, if a person also has a suspension, for example a ticket owed to a local court, on their record they’ll still need to get that taken care of before trying to get a valid license.

Officials mailed out letters ahead of Oct. 1 to advise affected motorists of the status of their driving record.

The letters inform affected residents if they are eligible for license reinstatement or if there are other issues that must be taken care of before they visit.

“It’s a great thing to see. We’re very pleased that the legislature stepped up, ripped off the Band-Aid, took care of this last vestige of Michigan’s lost decade. This will help Michigan residents get back to work and be more productive members of society,” says Fred Woodhams, Spokesperson for the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

To find out the status of your driving record, you can call the Secretary of State’s Customer Care line at 1-888-767-6424.

Officials say re-instatement fees will be waived through the end of the year.

The Secretary of State’s Office was approved $1-million to hire more customer-service employees through the next year.

It has has so far hired more staff in preparation for the influx of people who are now eligible to get their licenses back.

“We are aware that many people will be coming into a Secretary of State’s Office across the state so with help from the legislature and governor Snyder we have additional money, we’re hiring more staff. We’ll have a number of new positions across mid-Michigan. We’ll be as ready as we can be to serve Michigan residents, accommodate the people that’ll be coming into the offices and help ensure that the lines are moving as swiftly as possible,” says Woodhams.

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