Jerry Hopkins heads the Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Division at Hills Law Office and for 30 years worked at the Michigan Secretary of State office overseeing driver’s license litigation. Jerry answers driver’s license questions in this Q&A series reprinted from the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Q: I had 3 points on my license until a recent ticket brought my points up to 8. I just got notice that I owe a DRF fee of $100. I already paid fees for my ticket. What is this?
A: Enacted in October of 2003 the DRF was touted as a way to convince drivers to driver responsibility by charging them fees for poor driving behaviors. Many see it as a tax. The fee is imposed when you accumulate 7 or more points. Also, no matter how many points you have if you are convicted of a qualifying violation such as, but not limited to: OUIL, OWI or driving while suspended you will owe a DRF fee.
The fees start at $100 up to $1,000 and will be assessed annually for two years. My advice is to not ignore a notice that you owe a DRF. If you don’t have the money to pay it in full you need to contact the Michigan Dept. of Treasury to set up a payment plan.
Beware: If you do not pay the DRF fee, or set up payments, your driving privileges will be suspended and you will be assessed an additional $125 reinstatement fee. Any DRF unpaid fees will be taken out of your State income tax refund and applied to your balance. If you are picked up for DWLS because of a DRF, or any other reason, contact an attorney who may be able to work with the court to mitigate the criminal penalties and get your suspension removed.
If you have any questions about Michigan’s driver’s license laws or how to restore a suspended or revoked Michigan driver’s license, Contact Hills Law Office today.