Driver Responsibility Fee Abolished

Public Wins:  Driver Responsibility Fee Abolished

In 2016, the Driver Responsibility Fee will start phasing out, and will be completely abolished by October 1, 2019.  Proponents of the new law say the fee is a second punishment for the same crime ­­- double jeopardy. It’s expensive and has no connection to driver safety or highway improvements.   The Driver Responsibility fee for an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) conviction is $1000, and for an Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) conviction is $500 as of October 1, 2016.  Other drunk driving penalties remain unchanged.

Phase-Out Schedule

Oct. 1, 2015 To Sept. 30, 2016

First year ‒ Full Driver Responsibility Fee is charged.

Second year ‒ 50 percent of the Driver Responsibility Fee is charged. [A $1,000 fee for OWI will be $500 for the second year]

Oct. 1, 2016 To Sept. 30, 2018

First year ‒ Full Driver Responsibility Fee is charged.

Second year ‒ No Fee is charged.

Oct. 1, 2018 To Sept. 30, 2019

First year ‒ 50 percent of the Driver Responsibility Fee is charged.

Second year ‒ No Fee is charged.

Oct. 1, 2019 No Driver Responsibility Fee is charged for offenses occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2019.

Unfortunately, Driver Responsibility Fees for convictions that occurred before Oct. 1, 2015 do not qualify for a rate reduction and must be paid in full.

Failure to Pay the Driver Responsibility Fee

Failure to pay the Fee on time will cause you driver’s license to be suspended.  If its suspended,  your driving privileges can be reinstated in two ways.   Either pay in full the drivers responsibility fee, and driver’s license reinstatement fee of $125, or  enter  an Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury.  The reinstatement fee of $125 may be included in the approved Installment Agreement.  If the driver fails to complete the Installment Agreement, then the privileges will be suspended again.

How to Get Your Michigan Driving Record

Driving and vehicle records can be purchased through the Record Lookup Unit at the Secondary Complex, 7064 Crowner Drive, Lansing, MI 48918-1502. You must complete a record request form each time you request a record. Each record is $11 and must be paid in advance with a check, money order or credit card (Discover, MasterCard or Visa). A certified copy of a driving or vehicle record is available for an additional $1 fee.  The Secretary of State branch offices can also provide a copy of your Michigan Driving Record.

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Driver Responsibility Fee
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5