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Department of State and partners launch second year of driver's license restoration program
March 07, 2023
Successful public-private partnership helps Michiganders regain driving privileges
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State (MDOS) and partners Michigan Department of Attorney General, DTE Energy, Miller Canfield, the Detroit Justice Center, the Michigan Association of United Ways, and Michigan 2-1-1 are relaunching the successful Road to Restoration program for 2023. The statewide series of clinics helps drivers with suspended licenses complete the required steps to safely get back behind the wheel.
This is the second year of the Road to Restoration program (see the video) that assists Michiganders at locations throughout the state. In 2022, more than 4,000 Michigan residents were served at 18 clinics held in 11 cities, including Alpena, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Traverse City. At each clinic, residents meet one-on-one with expert staff to learn how to get their driving privileges restored and they can complete as many steps as possible on site. While residents may be required to pay past fines, the expertise is provided free of charge.
“Making state government work for the people of Michigan by meeting them where they are has been one of my top priorities as Secretary of State,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This first-of-its-kind public-private partnership has already made a real difference in the lives of many Michiganders. I am grateful to our community partners and volunteers who will help us bring this successful effort to the people who need it most throughout the state this year.”
“I am proud of the work my department has already been able to get done – in conjunction with Secretary Benson, the Department of State, and our other partners – to make Michigan’s Road to Restoration program a success,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “It’s simple: licensed drivers are safer drivers, and improved access to transportation helps families, businesses, and communities thrive. I look forward to seeing what more can be accomplished in the coming year as we continue this work on behalf of Michigan residents.”
In 2021, new state laws lifted suspensions for drivers who failed to pay tickets or court fines, or failed to appear in court, for certain non-moving and other violations. While the new laws removed suspensions for more than 150,000 Michiganders, many must still take further action before their license is restored. Road to Restoration clinics assist residents in navigating any necessary additional steps to safely return to driving.
“DTE is proud of the continued partnership with MDOS on the Road to Restoration initiative that’s providing in-person, community-centric support to Michiganders restoring their full, safe driving privileges,” said Lynette Dowler, DTE vice president of public affairs. “Not having a driver’s license as a result of minor infractions such as unpaid parking tickets creates immense barriers to employment and caring for oneself, children, and family. Assisting people in these circumstances means more than the restoration of their license, it restores their ability to thrive in our communities.”
“We are honored to continue our support of the Road to Restoration clinics throughout the state of Michigan,” said Wendy Richards, Miller Canfield pro bono counsel. “Miller Canfield and our friends in the legal community are committed to using our unique skills as attorneys to give back to the communities where we live and work. The Road to Restoration initiative provides a wonderful opportunity for our lawyers to serve in a personal and meaningful way.”
“The Detroit Justice Center supports this collaboration as the clinics offer solutions for ‘real life’ legal issues with the one-on-one personal review of an attendee’s driving record safely and confidentially,” said Rubina Mustafa, Detroit Justice Center senior staff attorney. “After each discussion, clinic participants learn the steps they must take and what to expect along their journey engaging with government agencies. This work is deeply rewarding as it alleviates the driver’s confusion and frustration, which is well worth the hard work and preparation that the clinics entail.”
“Transportation is often a significant barrier in accessing supports and services and the Road to Restoration clinics are instrumental in helping residents on the path to restore their driver’s license,” said Jennie Pollak, deputy executive director, Michigan 2-1-1. “We’re glad to be a part of this public-private collaboration by helping to connect individuals with these clinics.”
The first Road to Restoration clinic of 2023 will be held March 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at SVRC Marketplace in Saginaw. Additional clinics are scheduled for Grand Rapids, Lansing, Detroit, Downriver, Mt. Pleasant, Alpena, and the Upper Peninsula.
For more information about the program, to find a clinic near you, or to sign up for an upcoming clinic, visit Michigan.gov/RoadtoRestoration or dial 2-1-1.
- Space for clinics may be limited and pre-registration is strongly recommended
- The clinics do not provide DUI expungement services and license reinstatement is not guaranteed
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