Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees

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MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE DRIVER RESPONSIBILITY FEES

Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees are fines that are assessed by the State in addition to fines and costs that are imposed by the court at the time of sentencing for a traffic related offense.  They can also be imposed when either 1) a person reaches 7 qualifying points on their Michigan driving record or 2) for qualifying offenses.

The ostensible purpose of the Driver Responsibility Law which took effect October 1, 2003 is to encourage traffic safety by deterring potentially dangerous driving behavior. For people facing conviction of a qualifying offense, Michigan Secretary of State driver responsibility fees are often difficult to pay. It is also imperative to note that when responsibility fees are not timely paid, it can result in the loss of driving privileges.

CATEGORIES OF OFFENSES

There are two categories under which an individual is assessed Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees.

Under Category 1, once a driver accumulates and maintains seven or more points on their driving record, they will be assessed a fee. Drivers will be assessed each year in which seven or more points remain, accruing a fee each year. The fees begin at $100 for seven points and increase by $50.00 for each additional point above seven points.

Under Category 2, an individual is assessed Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees independent from the number of points on the driving record. These fees will be assessed for two consecutive years. The amount is determined by the relative seriousness of the offense. For example, a charge of drunk driving (OWI / DUI) would be assessed a $1,000 fine while reckless driving would be assessed a $500 fine. You can visit the Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees website for a complete list of each offense and fine.

LICENSE SUSPENSION

When Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees are assessed, a notice will be sent to the driver giving the driver 30 days to pay the fine. If the fine is not paid in a timely manner, the Michigan Department of State may suspend their driving privileges until the assessment and any other required fees are paid which can include a $125 reinstatement fee.

If you receive a notice that you have been assessed Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees, you can avoid possible suspension of your driving privileges for failure to pay by contacting the Michigan Department of Treasury and entering into an installment agreement. In some cases, the law may allow you up to 24 months to make payments.

PERFORMING COMMUNITY SERVICE COULD WAIVE FEES

The Michigan Secretary of State has announced that they have launched a program that will allow certain eligible drivers to participate in the Michigan Secretary of State driver responsibility fees community service program. Although most fees assessed for qualifying offenses including Category 2 offenses are not eligible to be waived, the following is a list of some of the offenses that entitle a driver to participate in the program:

  • No proof of insurance

  • No insurance

  • Drove without proper license/endorsement/vehicle group designator

  • Drove while license expired

  • Drove while unlicensed or license not valid

To find out if you qualify, visit the Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fee website.

PHASING OUT DRIVER RESPONSIBILITY FEES

Beginning October 1, 2015, the State will gradually phase out Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees. Each year, the percentage of the fee assessed will be lessened until on October 1, 2019, there will no longer be fees assessed at all.

For more information regarding Michigan Secretary of State Driver Responsibility Fees, visit their website.

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