A couple of happenings this spring may make it easier to restore suspended driver’s licenses for clients. First, the legislature passed amendments to eliminate driver responsibility fees by September 30, 2018. See 2018 PA 50. The Secretary of State (SOS) assesses these fees against drivers who commit certain offenses, including operating while impaired. Driver responsibility fees are levied in addition to the statutory penalties prescribed for the offense and can range from $100 to $2,000. The additional financial burden has led to license suspensions for thousands of Michigan drivers, and the suspensions are indefinite, irrespective of the individual’s ability to pay. According to the legislative analysis of PA 50, Michigan has one of the five harshest driver’s license suspension programs in the United States. The amendments may help temper it by eliminating future fees and providing debt forgiveness for those who still owe outstanding fines.
Second, the SOS has a new online application process for driver’s license appeal hearings called the Driver Appeal Integrated System (DAIS). Attorneys can submit hearing requests, payments, required documents, and transcripts through DAIS. In addition, all hearing notifications from the SOS are sent via e-mail through DAIS. There are separate logins for petitioners and attorneys. I’m not representing anyone seeking an appeal, so I couldn’t preview the entire system. I did set up an account and noticed that it took about an hour for the login to work after I established it. Something to keep in mind if you’re in a rush.
For more information on driver’s license appeal hearings, see Dan Geherin
talk to appeal officer Christopher Johnson
in Demonstration: Driver License Revocation Appeal Hearing