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Department of State, community partners host first driver’s license restoration clinic in Battle Creek
October 19, 2023
Approximately 200 area residents learn how they can safely regain their driver’s license
BATTLE CREEK, Mich.- The Michigan Department of State joined partners in Battle Creek on Wednesday for a Road to Restoration driver’s license clinic held at Second Missionary Baptist Church. Expert staff and volunteer attorneys met one-on-one with around 200 visitors to the clinic, reviewed their driving record, and advised them on their next steps to get back behind the wheel. Several residents were able to leave the clinic with a full driver's license or permit.
“Our Road to Restoration clinics break down barriers, eliminate confusion, and equip participants with a plan of action to safely return to the road,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “Thanks to our strong community partners, the first Battle Creek clinic was a success and we’re working hard to bring this innovative program to more communities around the state.”
“Second Baptist is always interested and open to collaborating with entities that improve or enhance the citizens and community in a positive way,” said Rev. William J. Wyne, Senior Pastor of Second Missionary Baptist Church.
The Road to Restoration program was created after changes to state law in 2021 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 new laws removed suspensions for more than 150,000 Michiganders, many must still take further action to get their driver’s license restored.
Tasha Roberts of Three Rivers was referred to the clinic after working with the Secretary of State office in Portage to regain her driver’s license. Wednesday, Roberts was able to take two exams and is now ready to take a road test. She said she is grateful for everyone’s help at the Road to Restoration clinic and is looking forward to being able drive herself again.
Jeremey Eacke of Battle Creek was once homeless before getting connected with the Woman’s Co-op, which helped him get back on his feet. After saving enough for a vehicle, he is now ready to regain his license. Standing in his way were fines and reinstatement fees. Those were taken care of Wednesday by Road to Restoration community partners.
Road to Restoration is a collaborative program 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. Community partners for today’s clinic included: the City of Battle Creek, Kellogg Community College, Legal Services of South Central Michigan, Woman’s Co-Op, Michigan Works! Southwest and United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.
"This collaborative effort is a testament to what can be achieved when dedicated organizations and individuals come together to make a meaningful impact in our community," said Jennifer Klempnow, Director of Innovative Solutions for Michigan Works! Southwest. "We are proud of the progress we've made so far and are excited about the future forward."
The clinics do not provide DUI/OWI expungement services and license reinstatement is not guaranteed.
The next Road to Restoration clinic will be held at Hype Athletics in Dearborn Heights on Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Residents can learn more about the Road to Restoration program and sign up for future clinics at Michigan.gov/R2R.
Photos from the event
Tasha Roberts of Three Rivers received help at the clinic and is now a successful road test away from gaining her license
Jeremey Eacke attended the Road to Restoration clinic in Battle Creek and received assistance in getting on a path back to having a driver's license.
Secretary of State Mobile Office staff help residents onsite at the Road to Restoration clinic.
Two Michigan Department of State staff members wait to help the next residents at the Road to Restoration clinic in Battle Creek on Oct. 18, 2023.
An attorney works with attendees at the Road to Restoration clinic in Battle Creek.