Driver responsibility fees end in Michigan Oct. 1

Secretary of State offices around the Michigan are bracing for long lines this week.
That’s because, beginning today, all existing Driver Responsibility fees (DRF) are ending.
Those fees, tacked on top of the price of traffic tickets, were costing many drivers their licenses when they couldn’t afford to pay.
But the repeal of the DRF law allows a driver to apply for reinstatement of their driving privileges provided they are otherwise entitled to reinstatement.

  • If you have an unexpired Michigan license and do not have any open action(s), such as a license suspension, denial, or revocation on or after October 1, 2018, your driving privileges are restored as of October 1. The $125 standard reinstatement fee is waived and there is no need to visit a Secretary of State office.


  • If your Michigan driver’s license is expired and it has been less than four years since you had a valid driver’s license, you must renew your license either online or at a Secretary of State office before you may drive. The $125 standard reinstatement fee is waived for DRF suspensions through December 31, 2018. As noted above, if you have an open suspension or revocation, do not attempt to renew your license as it will be denied. Additional driver’s license information may be found at the Renewing Driver’s License page.


  • If your license has been expired more than four years, you must renew your license at a Secretary of State office. Because your license has been expired for a long period of time, you will need to repeat the driver’s license application process that includes a vision and written knowledge test as well as a third-party driving skills test. You will also be required to provide documents to prove your identity, residency, and legal presence. Make sure that you bring these documents with you to the Secretary of State office.


  • If you have any open actions, these must be cleared before you apply. The $125 standard reinstatement fee is waived through December 31, 2018. If you renew your license after December 31, the $125 will be due. Please note that you may be responsible for some other reinstatement fee(s) and that some fees, such as those for a Failure to Appear in Court or Failure to Comply with Judgment, are paid directly to a court or other agency.

For more information about getting your license back, click here.
A law signed in March forgave almost $650 million in debt owed by nearly 350,000 drivers.


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