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Road to Restoration clinic gives Marquette-area residents chance to get back behind the wheel

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State (MDOS) joined the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP), 2-1-1 of the Upper Peninsula, and other partners in Marquette on July 10 for a Road to Restoration driver’s license clinic hosted at Northern Michigan University. Monday's clinic was the first of three Road to Restoration driver’s license clinics being held for the first time in the U.P.
Visitors to the clinic had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with MDOS staff to understand the necessary steps to restore their driving privileges. Staff provided individualized advice based on each person's circumstances, and offered services when possible to get them on their way.
“Our Road to Restoration clinics meet a great need in Marquette and in communities around the state," said Secretary of State Jocelyn 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’re making government work for people in the U.P. and across the state.” 

The Road to Restoration program was created after changes to state law in 2021 lifted suspensions for drivers who failed to pay tickets for 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 in 2022, more than 7,000 affected Michiganders have participated in Road to Restoration clinics throughout the state. Each clinic is equipped to provide immediate access to driving records and many Secretary of State office services, including the written driving test. Participants leave Road to Restoration clinics with a plan to return to the road after taking additional steps, including how to navigate the administrative hearing process. In some cases, visitors leave with restored license or driver’s permit in hand.
“It’s just been a rough process to get my license,” said Daniel Schetter of Marquette. "I’ve hired attorneys [but] that gets very frustrating with me and then it discourages me following through, especially when I don’t know the steps to take or the proper way to do it, because the system can be tricky. Today I learned the best steps. So, to focus on the positive, today was great and I’m going to forget about the past right now, focus on the future, and that’s going to be independence.”
Six years ago, Charlie Barna of Houghton attempted to navigate reinstatement on his own. Determining what steps to take without assistance proved to be difficult.
“There was nowhere to really go or anyone to talk to, to find out exactly what I needed to do,” Barna said. “So today here was really helpful in giving me some specific information on the next steps of what I exactly need to do in order to request a hearing, what I need to have at the hearing, to reinstate my license.”
The clinics are a successful public-private partnership that includes the Department of Attorney General, DTE Energy, Miller Canfield, Detroit Justice Center, the Michigan Association of United Ways, and Michigan 2-1-1.
The next Road to Restoration clinics will be held Wed., July 12, at the Delta County Chamber of Commerce Center in Escanaba and Fri., July 14, at Lake Superior State University’s Student Activity Center in Sault Ste. Marie.
The clinics do not provide DUI/OWI expungement services and license reinstatement is not guaranteed.
Residents can learn more about the next Road to Restoration clinics at

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  Marquette area Road to Restoration Clinic participants and staff 01

Daniel Schetter of  visited the Road to Restoration clinic to learn what he needs to do to get back behind the wheel


 Marquette area Road to Restoration Clinic participants and staff 02

Charlie Barna of Houghton appreciated the individualized help he received at the clinic in preparing for a hearing to reinstate his license


 Marquette area Road to Restoration Clinic participants and staff 03

Department of State staff greet customers at the Road to Restoration welcome table


 Marquette area Road to Restoration Clinic participants and staff 04

Secretary of State mobile branch office providing information to customers

 Marquette area Road to Restoration Clinic participants and staff 05

Customers waiting to review their driving records with Secretary of State staff

 Marquette area Road to Restoration Clinic participants and staff 06

Department of State staff reviewing driver records with customers


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