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Department of State, partners assist nearly 300 local residents at Downriver Road to Restoration Clinic
April 27, 2023
TAYLOR, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State (MDOS) and community partners served nearly 300 area residents at a free Road to Restoration clinic in Taylor on Wednesday. The Downriver Campus of the Wayne County Community College District hosted the event where people with suspended driver's licenses met with expert staff and learned what steps they must take to regain their driving privileges. This was the 22nd clinic held in the state and the first in the Downriver area.
“Our Road to Restoration clinics are meeting a great need Downriver and in communities around the state,” said Secretary Benson. “If someone can't drive, it's hard for them to get to work, go to school, and take care of their families. With the help of our valued partners, we are making government work for the people of Michigan.”
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 driver’s license restored. Since the program's launch last year, more than 5,000 Michiganders have been assisted at a Road to Restoration clinic in their community.
Delonte Lewis of Detroit said his driver's license was suspended in 2014 due to unpaid tickets but he was able to get it restored at yesterday's clinic. "After a while I got more tickets and that just added up," Lewis said. "It was just too much to deal with. My sister called me and told me 'It's time to get your license' and she told me about the clinic. I didn't really believe that I would be able to get it. It sounded too good to be true. I came and it was smooth, it took 15 minutes."
Lewis's sister Shantoya Moy, also of Detroit, completed and passed the written driver exam on site at the clinic and is now eligible for license reinstatement.
"I didn't think the no-proof-of-insurance tickets would affect my driving record as it did," said Taylor resident Ashley Blakey. "Yeah, those were the ones to take me out and suspend my license. I'm glad I finally got those handled." Blakey was able to complete the necessary steps at yesterday's clinic and now has her license back.
Mother and son Nathaniel and Jyida Davis of Detroit dropped into the Taylor clinic yesterday. Jyida attended a previous Road to Restoration clinic in southwest Detroit and told her son about the help she received there. Unpaid tickets and fines for unlicensed driving in his teens meant that the 32-year-old Nathaniel had never had a driver’s license. Working with clinic staff, he passed an initial driver's test on site yesterday and has scheduled his road test. He said he's looking forward to getting a job where he can drive.
"I heard about the clinic from my mother," said Nathaniel Davis. "She had a whole lot of tickets, and she told me to come up here and they can take care of you. They took real good care of her, and they took real good care of me.”
Road to Restoration clinics are supported through partnerships with 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 May 12 in Kalamazoo. Additional clinics are scheduled this year in Detroit, Mt. Pleasant, Alpena, Traverse City, Marquette, and Sault Ste. Marie.
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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Detroit resident Delonte Lewis had his driver's license restored Wednesday. He learned about the clinic from his sister Shantoya Moy.
Shantoya Moy of Detroit needed to complete the written driver's exam to restore her license and she was able to take the test at the Downriver clinic. Moy passed her exam and is now eligible for reinstatement.
Ashley Blakely of Taylor rang the bell to celebrate regaining her driver's license.
Detroit resident Nathaniel Davis learned about the Road to Restoration program from his mother Jyida Davis, who attended a previous clinic held in Southwest Detroit. Once he passes his road test, he will have a driver's license for the first time in over 15 years.
Gary of Lincoln Park will have his license restored after 14 years, after he passes a final road test.