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Michigan Makes it Easier to Restore Your Driver’s License

Why are so many people in Michigan driving without a driver’s license or no-fault insurance? One reason is the cost of reinstating a driver’s license once it is lost. But now the Legislature is making it easier by allowing low-income residents to do community service instead of paying the fee.

As police and public officials are quick to reiterate, driving in Michigan is a privilege and not a right. Before a driver can legally get behind the wheel, he or she has to have a state-issued license, or at least a learner’s permit. The license may be relatively easy to get from the Secretary of State, but for some drivers it can be hard to keep.

That’s because every significant traffic violation, and several crimes, come with points on the driving record. The more severe the violation, the more points get assigned. For example, a basic speeding ticket is 2 points, while reckless driving will cost 6 points.

When a person hit 7 points, his or her driver’s license is suspended and a “driver responsibility fee” is charged of at least $100.00 each year the driver is above the limit. For each extra point over 7, there’s another $50.00 added to the fee.

The points drop off of a driving record over time, but if the person is unable to pay, it can quickly rack up hundreds of dollars of fees. Until those fees are paid the driver can’t get his or her license back.

Recently the Michigan legislature decided to give drivers another option. They can now make arrangements with the Secretary of State to make installment payments over the course of up to 24 months (2 years), or complete community service to work off the fees owed.

But the option is a one time deal. If the driver misses a payment or doesn’t complete community service within 45 days he or she will be out a driver’s license and out of luck. The only way to get the license back then is to pay the full driver’s responsibility fee.

No-fault insurers only cover licensed drivers. So while these people are driving without a license there is a good chance they are also driving without insurance. That can cause havoc when one of these drivers gets into an accident. As uninsured motorists, they will have to pay out-of-pocket for the serious injuries and property damage caused by the accident, and often they will be facing criminal charges, fines and costs at the same time.

That’s why it is so important to add on uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to your no-fault auto insurance. That coverage will make sure that you are covered by your own insurance if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have any. If you know someone who has been in an accident with an uninsured driver, contact the no-fault experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. David Christensen and his team will sit down with you and help you figure out what to do in a free consultation.