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Road to Restoration driver's license clinic serves more than 200 in Grand Rapids
March 23, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State (MDOS) along with state and community partners hosted a Road to Restoration driver’s license clinic in Grand Rapids yesterday. More than 200 West Michigan residents attended the clinic to get information on the restoration process and to take steps toward restoring their driving privileges. The Grand Rapids clinic was hosted by LifeQuest Urban Outreach with local partners Heart of West Michigan United Way, 61st District Court, 63rd District Court, and 17th Circuit Court.
In 2021, changes to state law 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 to get their license restored. At each clinic, residents meet one-on-one with expert staff to learn what they need to do to get back behind the wheel and complete as many steps as possible on site. Road to Restoration clinics were previously held in Grand Rapids in early 2022.
“One of our very first Road to Restoration clinics was here in Grand Rapids last year and we’re proud to be back again with our dedicated staff, partners, and volunteers,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “Michigan residents eligible to regain their license under the new laws can come to our clinics for personalized guidance and a plan of action for safely returning to the road. We are making government work for the people of Michigan by bringing services directly to communities all over the state and it has made a meaningful difference in thousands of lives so far.”
“We are honored to open our doors to host today’s Road to Restoration clinic at LifeQuest, which many in our Grand Rapids community know as a safe space,” said Rev. Jerry Bishop, LifeQuest Urban Outreach founder and pastor. “Knowing our fellow residents will be supported in getting their driving licenses restored by attending this clinic is deeply rewarding to myself and our team, volunteering alongside MDOS and DTE.”
Amanda from Grand Rapids said her mom sent her a news article about today's clinic but wasn't expecting much when she came. "But I spoke with someone here who works for the Secretary of State – she was super helpful," Amanda said. "She just totally instilled confidence in me and she listened to me without judgment. I felt really encouraged by that and now I feel like there are steps that I can take that will actually make a difference. So, I'm really happy that I came. It was really nice to have a human (to) human connection to kind of cheer me on. She was a cheerleader for me."
“I came down because I’ve had issues with a restricted driving license,” said Marques Wooten of Grand Rapids. “I’ve been carrying a restricted license for about 20 years almost and I’ve been having trouble online trying to figure it out. So, they were very helpful when I came down because they gave me documentation, they explained it to me. They also updated my paper restricted license to a regular card now, which is much better so I can feel a little safer traveling and not have to worry about issues and problems. Now I’ve got documentation and paperwork to where I can go further to get those restrictions lifted so I can move on in life. So, it’s been very helpful.”
William from Ionia said he has not had a driver’s license for 21 years and the clinic volunteers helped him a lot. “I was able to take my driving test, which I passed,” William said. "It was able to tell me exactly what I have to do and who to call, numbers to call – the very things I couldn’t get anywhere else. I am ecstatic. I have a little girl now to worry about, not just myself. She has appointments, school of course, all of those things. I don’t want to be driving around illegally. It will help me have a lot less stress in my life.”
Now in its second year, the Road to Restoration program is a successful public-private partnership that has served more than 4,500 Michiganders at 20 clinics in 11 cities. The clinics are made possible by numerous statewide partner organizations including the Michigan Department of Attorney General, DTE Energy, Miller Canfield, the Detroit Justice Center, the Michigan Association of United Ways, and Michigan 2-1-1.
The next Road to Restoration clinic will be April 12 in Lansing. Additional clinics are scheduled this year in Kalamazoo, Detroit, Downriver, Mt. Pleasant, Alpena, Traverse City, 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 may be limited and pre-registration is strongly recommended.
- The clinics do not provide DUI/OWI expungement services and license reinstatement is not guaranteed.
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Amanda from Grand Rapids
Marques Wooten of Grand Rapids
William from Ionia
Grand Rapids clinic attendees and volunteers