Starting in October Michigan will eliminate the extremely unpopular Driver Responsibility Fee program.

This is great news for everyone going forward since we won't have to worry about hundreds of dollars being tacked on to a ticket. The fees have been a source of anguish for Michigan drivers since the program was introduced in 2003.

The program was complicated and confusing for drivers once they were in it, and now that it's ending, there will be more complications and confusion. There are a few things that you should know about the ending of Driver Responsibility Fees that may save you some time, money, and headaches.

  • The $125 reinstatement fee could be waived. This is the fee that you pay to get your license back after it has been suspended. If you have a suspended license now, you might be able to have the fee waived. There are a few conditions, and the window to get the fee waived is between October 1st and the end of the year.
  • Driver responsibility fees will be erased on October 1st. This means if you still owe money due to driver responsibility fees only, the debt will be erased. If you owe money due to other driving infractions, that will stay as is. This also applies to payment plans that are already in progress.
  • No refunds will be given on payments already made. While the Secretary of State is trying to work with people who owe money, they definitely not in the business of giving money back. If you've made payments on your fees or paid them in full, you are out of luck.

The DRF program was a bad idea from top to bottom. I'm amazed that it was allowed to go on for so long, but it finally will come to an end in just a few days.

I do have one word of advise for you when it comes to the DRF program ending. If you are currently dealing with any of the consequences of the DRF program, go to the SOS and ask for help. There is a FAQ page on their website that you can access here, but in true SOS fashion, it's a complicated thing to navigate.

Think about the SOS like a casino. They are required by law to play fair, but if you don't understand the rules, they aren't going to go out of their way to help you.