89.1 WEMU

Michigan House Plan Would Forgive Unpaid Driver Fees

Sep 29, 2017

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A plan to grant amnesty to people who owe sometimes thousands of dollars in unpaid driver responsibility fees is in the works.  A bipartisan group of state lawmakers rolled out the proposal Thursday. 


The bills would not only accelerate the phaseout of the fees, they would forgive $630 million in unpaid fees. 

House Speaker Tom Leonard says it’s unlikely most of that money would ever be collected, but he says hundreds of thousands of people are saddled with the hardship of being unable to legally drive. 

“As soon we eliminate these fees, these 100,000 people will be able to obtain a driver’s license and, hopefully, many of them will obtain a job.” 

The driver fees have long been derided as unfair and a budget-balancing money grab that particularly hurts poor people. 

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— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org