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Michigan’s Driver Responsibility Fees Are Changing

Getting ‘driver’s responsibility’ fees assessed against you is as easy as committing specific traffic offenses — or reaching the seven-point mark on your driving record. The specific laws governing this process are located in section 257.732a of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

The laws has been enacted several times since it was amended — and it’s on the way into the recycle bin because of Public Act 520, signed into law on June 21st. The net result: over the next five years, the ‘driver’s responsibility’ fees are being entirely phased out.

Every October 1st for four years, starting in 2015, the driver’s responsibility fees for having excessive points on your record are being reduced by 25%. So by 10/1/2019, they’ll be 100% less than they are now — in other words, zero.

Meanwhile, there are different rules for the specific-offense penalties, which are currently assessed at $1000 per year for two years for:

  • Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or any felony resulting from the operation of motor vehicle,
  • Failing to stop at the scene of an accident, or failing to disclose your proper identity at the scene of an accident,
  • Fleeing or eluding an officer,
  • Committing a moving violation in a work zone or school bus zone, for which at least 3 points would normally be assigned,
  • Committing a moving violation that causes death or serious impairment of bodily function,
  • Or causing injury to an emergency responder by failing to slow down and/or move over when that responder and/or their vehicle is on the road.

And $500 per year for two years for:

  • Using a vehicle while intoxicated, or with any amount of a controlled substance in their body,
  • Using a vehicle with any detectable blood alcohol while under 21,
  • Using a vehicle in violation of either of the above two points with a passenger of 16 or younger in the vehicle. (Yes, this is a separate fee from either of the above two.)

These two sets of fees are also being reduced every year for four years. October 1st, 2015, any such fees assessed will be reduced by 0% for the first year and 50% the second year. In 10/2016, fees will be reduced by 0% for the first year and 100% the second year. In 10/2018, fees will be reduced by 50% for the first year and 100% the second year. Finally, 10/2019, fees are reduced by 100% for both years — in other words, is entirely eliminated.

This change is good news for people who have suffered enormously from Michigan laws that fine people multiple times through multiple different sections of law. Hopefully, things will be more fair for Michigan drivers as we move forward.