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Know the Law; Driver’s Responsibility Fee

Posted at 8:40 AM, May 05, 2018

Driver Responsibility Fees Are Being Eliminated

“Law Day” was last week across the United States and the theme was “Separation of Powers.” This week’s topic is a great example of how our separation of powers system works.

During the month of March, the Michigan Legislature decided to once again amend the Driver Responsibility Law, which was created in 2003. This fee was created as a way for the state to raise more money, by assessing fees against drivers who practiced the most serious driving violations. Last November, the legislature agreed to phase out all fees and reduce the amount violators had to pay each year, ultimately ending the fee in 2019.

The March amendment eliminates all driver responsibility fees and associated fees on October 1st of this year.

Although Profitable, Driver Responsibility Fees Highly Criticized

Members of our judicial system have said that this fee is not fair. People who commit driving crimes may go to jail or pay for fees and other court costs. After those payments, people are taxed with driver responsibility fees, which go towards helping the state raise money. Following many years of criticism since its inception, the legislature and the Governor have decided that this should no longer be a method used to raise money for the state.

Some People Are Still Responsible For Making Payments

If you were someone who entered into a payment plan for your driver responsibility fees before February 1st of this year, your outstanding fees were eliminated as of March 31st. As long as your license did not have any additional offenses against it, you may request to have your license reinstated for free through December 31st, 2018.

For the people who did not have a payment plan setup before February 1st, you are still responsible for paying the fee up until October 1st, 2018. Starting on October 2nd, driver responsibility fees will be eliminated and the fee can no longer be assessed.