STRATEGIES & KEY INITIATIVES
Michigan’s Drivers Responsibility Fees
Drivers Responsibility fees were implemented in 2003 as a revenue generator for the state on top of traffic ticket fines. Additional fines were added to traffic tickets for certain violations including driving without proof of insurance (#1 reason fined in Detroit). These fees have generated millions in revenue for the state, but have done real harm to motorists, particularly those struggling financially.
If left unpaid, Drivers Licenses are suspended, leaving many job and training opportunities closed to Detroiters seeking a better life for themselves and their families. And it’s not just Detroiters impacted by this onerous law, over 350,000 Michiganders, from every part of the State, owe Drivers Responsibility Fees.
In its work to help employ 40,000 Detroiters, the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board (MWDB) has identified Drivers Responsibility fees as a critical work readiness barrier. Through development of a statewide coalition, testimony in Lansing, and education of community leaders and the media, the MWDB has helped make the issue a top priority in Lansing.
Last October 2017, Bipartisan Legislation developed with MWDB passed in House and Senate. This legislation means that all fees will be removed on October 1, 2018. The MWDB, the City of Detroit and Detroit at Work are committed to helping Detroiters earn fee forgiveness and license restoration before December 31, 2018, while the $125 Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee is waived.
- 1,696 individuals completed 10 hours of workforce development training that removed thousands of dollars in driver responsibility fees early. The city-administered program removed financial barriers for Detroiters who did not have a valid license.
- More than 5,000 people signed up to participate in the program, which unlocked access to a valid drivers licenses.
- The City set up a series of events through Detroit at Work career centers to count towards the required 10 hours of training. In addition to these events, we developed an entirely web-based track for Detroiters to complete at their convenience. More than 50 percent of those who completed the training program chose the online track.