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Road to Restoration driver’s license clinic helps residents in Alpena
August 14, 2023
ALPENA, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State and partners held a free Road to Restoration clinic Saturday at the Alpena Events Complex to help residents learn how to get their driver’s license restored. These clinics, which have been offered across the state over the past two years, have made a life-changing difference for many people. More than 75 residents attended the Alpena clinic.
Expert staff and a team of volunteer attorneys met with visitors to the clinic, reviewed their case, and advised them on their next steps to get back safely behind the wheel. Staff also assisted in taking payments to clear outstanding fines when applicable and provided Secretary of State office services, including written driving tests, at the clinic.
“The Road to Restoration program meets Michiganders where they are, giving them the one-on-one support they need and a plan of action to get their driver’s license back, said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This was our second clinic in Alpena since the program began last year. It’s inspiring to see how our dedicated staff, volunteers, and partners are making a difference in people’s lives in Northeast Michigan and throughout 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.
Each clinic is equipped to provide immediate access to driving records and many Secretary of State office services, including the written driving test, to help people get back safely behind the wheel as quickly as possible. Participants leave Road to Restoration clinics with a plan to return to the road after taking additional steps based on their personal circumstances, or in many cases, with their restored driver’s permit in hand.
Ja’nae Marotta of Alpena hadn't been behind the wheel in 7 years and was able to walk out of the clinic with her license reinstated.
“I haven't had a license for years because I got into an accident in Traverse City and I never got it fully handled,” Marotta said. “When I looked into getting my license back, I assumed I just had fines to pay, but I found out I had a warrant for my arrest for missing a court hearing. When I saw what I was up against, I looked you guys up, made an appointment online, and came to the clinic.”
Andrea Frost of Evart said she was excited to learn about the Road to Restoration program and that it was so easy for her to get her license reinstated. “I just had to give her my driver’s license number and found that it was just expired so I just had to pay the $25 fee to reinstate it today. So then, I got a paper license that I can start driving right now,” Frost said. “I think it's really cool that they do this because for some people it's not that simple – they don't know what steps to take or how you know to get it back. So it's a really cool program if you ask me.”
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 clinic will be held on Aug. 24 in Mt. Pleasant, at Mid Michigan College, 2600 S. Summerton Rd.
The clinics do not provide DUI/OWI expungement services and license reinstatement is not guaranteed.
Michiganders can learn more about the Road to Restoration program or sign up for a future clinic at Michigan.gov/R2R.
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Road to Restoration clinic participant Ja'nae Marotta rings the bell to celebrate the reinstatement of her driver’s license.
Road to Restoration clinics provide access to numerous Secretary of State office services, including the written driving test.
Road to Restoration clinic participant Andrea Frost of Evart rings the bell to celebrate the reinstatement of her driver’s license.
Road to Restoration clinic attendees wait their turn to be helped by staff.