In the beginning of the 20th century, only 25 percent of families lived in a suburb. Today, two out of three residents live outside of metropolitan areas. As a result, access to driving has become an important factor in economic security.
In the last legislative session it was brought to our attention that many drivers were finding it difficult to pay for multiple fines accumulated for driving on a suspended license. In testimony on the House floor we heard about one individual who had completed every program required by the judge but did not have the means to re-instate his driver's license because additional fees had accumulated to over $6,500. As a result that individual was having a difficult time finding transportation to his job.
Stories like this are what prompted Act 1193. This legislation permits a person who has been assessed multiple driver's license reinstatement fees to pay only one fee of $100. This requires the district court or circuit court that handled the criminal conviction to verify to the Office of Driver Services that the person has paid all court costs and fines. The court is the only one that can verify that an individual successfully completed a drug court program or any other court-ordered program designed to rehabilitate the person. A person is not eligible for the lowered reinstatement fee if the criminal conviction leading to the suspension was a related to driving while intoxicated or a refusal to submit to a breath test.
We want to bring this to your attention now since this legislation will expire at the end of June of this year. This will allow us time to then re-evaluate its impact on our state before the next round of budget hearings. We also want to remind everyone that driver's licenses are now issued for an 8 year period. The fee for renewal is now $40.