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Frequently Asked Questions

Offenses & Penalties Information

> How are driver responsibility fee assessments determined?
> What offenses qualify for driver responsibility assessment?
> How are 7 or more qualifying points calculated?
> How frequently will qualifying events be assessed?

How are driver responsibility fee assessments determined?
There are two ways a person may be assessed a driver responsibility fee:

Category (1) requires a $100 assessment for persons reaching 7 qualifying points, and $50 for each additional qualifying point above 7.

Category (2) requires assessments of $1,000, $500, $200, or $150 for certain qualifying offenses. (See Category 2 Qualifying Offenses)

What offenses qualify for driver responsibility assessment?
Offenses occurring in Michigan or another state with an incident date on or after October 1, 2003. (See Category 2 Qualifying Offenses)

How are 7 or more qualifying points calculated?
Offenses received in Michigan and out-of-state with an incident date on or after October 2, 2003 that total 7 or more qualifying points within a two-year period will count toward the driver responsibility fee assessment. All points must result from incidents occurring after October 2, 2003.

Points for category (2) offenses do not count toward the 7 or more point assessments. For example: The (4) points for Operating While Impaired are not counted for subsection 1 assessments. The person would be assessed a $500 fee under category (2).

To summarize, qualifying offenses that are assessed a separate fee do not also count toward the 7 qualifying points.

Here are some examples of offenses that count towards the qualifying points: careless driving, drag racing, speeding, improper turn, following to close, disobeyed traffic control device, failed to yield, failed to signal or observe, unauthorized or improper use of lights, prohibited turn, drove wrong way on one-way street, drove left of center, etc.

How frequently will qualifying events be assessed?
Qualifying offenses are assessed weekly. Points are assessed once a year for drivers who incur 7 or more points within a two-year period.


Suspension / Reinstatement Information

> Why is my license suspended?
> Can I make payment arrangements if I have never made a payment on my Driver Responsibility Fee?
> I initially made payment arrangements, but defaulted and my license is now suspended. Can I make another payment arrangement to get my driver's license back?
> If my license is suspended and I enter into a new payment arrangement, do I automatically get my driver's license back?
> What happens if I default on the payment arrangement after I get my driver's license back?
> If I enter into an installment agreement, when will I know if I am eligible to drive?
> I never received a Driver Responsibility fee notice.
> How do I find out if my license is suspended?
> What do I need to do to lift my Driver Responsibility suspension?
> Where do I pay the fees?
> Can I establish an installment agreement even though my license is suspended?
> Once I've paid my fees in full to Treasury, how long until my license is restored?
> Why do I have to pay a $125 reinstatement fee on top of the Driver Responsibility fee?
> If I pay the Driver Responsibility fee, will that also take care of any other outstanding tickets?
> If I am unable to pay the Driver Responsibility fee, can I get a restricted license?
> Can I appeal the suspension?
> The court would not accept my proof of insurance. What can I do?
> I don't believe I should have been ticketed. How do I now get the suspension removed?
> I made payment arrangements but missed a payment (or two). Why am I suspended?
> Can I pay the Driver Responsibility fee and the reinstatement fee at the same time?

Why is my license suspended?
Our records show that you have not paid a driver responsibility fee assessment. Under the Driver Responsibility Law, MCL 257.732a(5), full payment must be received by the Michigan Department of Treasury or an installment agreement must be established within 60 days of the initial assessment. If not, the Michigan Department of State shall suspend the driving privileges until the assessment and any other required fees are paid.

Once a driver's license has been suspended for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees, under certain conditions driving privileges may be reinstated if a driver enters into an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury. The reinstatement fee of $125 may be included in the approved Installment Agreement.

Can I make payment arrangements if I have never made a payment on my Driver Responsibility Fee?
Yes. The law may allow you up to 24 months to make payment arrangements on the amount you currently owe.

I initially made payment arrangements, but defaulted and my license is now suspended. Can I make another payment arrangement to get my driver's license back?
If your license is suspended for non-payment of a driver responsibility fee or you defaulted on a payment arrangement (Installment Agreement), you may be eligible to enter into a new Installment Agreement that would allow your driving privileges to be reinstated. Contact the Michigan Department of Treasury to see if you qualify.

If my license is suspended and I enter into a new payment arrangement, do I automatically get my driver's license back?
No, the reinstatement of your license is not automatic. There are certain conditions in which you may be eligible to drive. The law is intended to restore driving privileges only for those suspended for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees. If the suspension is for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees only, you are still required to pay a $125 reinstatement fee. If your driving privileges are reinstated, the $125 reinstatement fee can be included in your installment agreement. If your license is suspended, revoked or denied for reasons other than nonpayment of driver responsibility fees, you are not eligible to drive.

What happens if I default on the payment arrangement after I get my driver's license back?
If your driving privileges are reinstated after entering into an approved Installment Agreement and you default on the payments, your driving privileges will again be suspended and will not be reinstated until the driver responsibility fees are paid in full. An additional $125 reinstatement fee will be required prior to the reinstatement of your license.

If I enter into an Installment Agreement, when will I know if I am eligible to drive?
Once you enter into an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury, the Michigan Department of State will mail a notification to the address on your driver's license indicating whether you are eligible to drive. You should not drive until you receive this notification.

I never received a Driver Responsibility fee notice.
As required by law, two notices are mailed to the address listed on your driving record. Likewise, the Order of Suspension for nonpayment of the Driver Responsibility fee is also mailed to the last known address on the driving record. You are required by law (MCL 257.315) to ensure your address is updated with the Michigan Department of State. If mail is returned or undeliverable, you are still responsible for the fee and your driving privileges may still be suspended.

How do I find out if my license is suspended?
Contact the Michigan Department of State Information Center at 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424). Or, for only $8, you can purchase your own certified driving record payable by cash or check at any Secretary of State Office. MasterCard or Discover are also accepted at Secretary of State PLUS offices and SUPER!Centers. Visit www.Michigan.gov/sos for a location near you.

What do I need to do to lift my Driver Responsibility suspension?
Any unpaid assessments must be paid in full along with the driver's license reinstatement fee of $125. Once a driver's license has been suspended for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees, under certain conditions driving privileges may be reinstated if a driver enters into an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury. The reinstatement fee of $125 may be included in the approved Installment Agreement. Drivers who have no other suspension, denial or revocation and who have not defaulted after their driver license has been restored may have their driving privileges returned.

Where do I pay the fees?
Driver Responsibility fees are paid to the Michigan Department of Treasury. The $125 reinstatement fee is paid to the Michigan Department of State or may be included in an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury. To find the branch office nearest you, visit the Michigan Department of State Web site at www.Michigan.gov/sos and click on the "Branch Office Locator."

Can I establish an installment agreement even though my license is suspended?
Yes. Once a driver's license has been suspended for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees, under certain conditions driving privileges may be reinstated if a driver enters into an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury. The reinstatement fee of $125 may be included in the approved Installment Agreement.

Once I've paid my fees in full to Treasury, how long until my license is restored?
If paying by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (preferred payment method), processing is within 7-10 days. Please pay the $125 reinstatement fee about 14 days after your EFT is processed.

Why do I have to pay a $125 reinstatement fee on top of the Driver Responsibility fee?
MCL 257.320e(1) states that a person whose operator's or chauffeur's license is suspended for failure to pay the Driver Responsibility fee (257.732a), shall pay a license reinstatement fee of $125 before a license is issued or returned to the person.

If I pay the Driver Responsibility fee, will that also take care of any other outstanding tickets?
No. The Driver Responsibility fee does not satisfy any fines or costs associated with the courts or other driver's licensing actions. Contact the Michigan Department of State Information Center at 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424) for questions regarding other tickets or suspensions.

If I am unable to pay the Driver Responsibility fee, can I get a restricted license?
No. A restricted license is not available for a Driver Responsibility suspension. However, under certain conditions, driving privileges may be reinstated if a driver enters into an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Can I appeal the suspension?
No. In accordance with MCL 257.322 and 257.323, there is no hardship appeal of the Driver Responsibility fee or Driver Responsibility suspension.

The court would not accept my proof of insurance. What can I do?
Disputes with a ticket or conviction should be directed to the court. However, the No Proof of Insurance (MCL 257.328) provision states in part:
An owner or operator of a motor vehicle who fails to produce evidence of insurance when requested to produce that evidence or who fails to have motor vehicle insurance is responsible for a civil infraction. If, before the appearance date on the citation, the person submits proof to the court that the motor vehicle had insurance at the time of the violation, the court shall not assess a fine or costs, the court shall not cause an abstract of the court record to be forwarded to the secretary of state, but, the court may assess a fee of not more than $25.

I don't believe I should have been ticketed. How do I now get the suspension removed?
A Driver Responsibility assessment is triggered by notification from the court. It means that a person was found guilty of or responsible for a certain offense or for receiving qualifying tickets totaling at least seven points. The Michigan Department of State does not have the authority to remove suspensions based on violations without an order from the court. Disputes regarding a ticket or conviction should be directed to the court.

I made payment arrangements but missed a payment (or two). Why am I suspended?
An Installment Agreement is a legally binding understanding that payment will be made as agreed and scheduled. Failure to make payments as established terminates the agreement. Consequently, your driving privileges have been suspended.

Can I pay the Driver Responsibility fee and the reinstatement fee at the same time?
Driver responsibility fees are paid to the Michigan Department of Treasury. Reinstatement fees are paid directly to the Michigan Department of State. However, under some conditions, a reinstatement fee can be included in an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury.


No Proof of Insurance Information

> I had proof of insurance but did not fight the ticket -- I just paid it. Will Treasury accept my proof of insurance now?
> I showed my proof of insurance to the court within the time limit. Why am I receiving a Driver Responsibility Fee?

I had proof of insurance but did not fight the ticket -- I just paid it. Will Treasury accept my proof of insurance now?

No. Neither the departments of Treasury or State can accept proof of insurance to close an open account. Tickets are appealed with the courts and within a specified time frame. Once your right to appeal the ticket has expired, you must pay the Driver Responsibility fee.

I showed my proof of insurance to the court within the time limit. Why am I receiving a Driver Responsibility Fee?
You may have received this fee because you did not have valid insurance at the time you were ticketed. Insurance obtained after you were ticked will not be taken into consideration for the purposes of waiving this fee, even if it was presented within the 10-14 days of receiving the citation.

If you had valid proof of insurance and presented it to the court and you feel that you received this fee in error you will need to re-contact the court for additional information or resolution.


Information on Payment of Fees

> Who is collecting the fee?
> What will happen if the Driver Responsibility Fee is not paid?
> What type of enforcement actions could be taken on delinquent driver responsibility fee?
> How do I pay this fee?
> Can I get an extension on the due date of my Driver Responsibility fee?
> How do I pay this fee for someone else?
> Where do I pay this fee?
> What is an Installment Agreement, and who is eligible to enter into an Installment Agreement?
> Can I pay using my credit card or debit card?
> Am I going to get a receipt or confirmation number when I make a payment or payment in full?
> Why did I receive a letter stating that I need to pay my balance in full within 10 days? I am on an Installment Agreement and I have been making my payments?
> Why was my Income Tax refund offset? I am on an Installment Agreement and have been making timely payments.
> I set up an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) payment and now I don't have enough money in my account to cover the payment. What do I do?
> What happens if I overpay?
> Can I make payment arrangements if I have never made a payment on my Driver Responsibility Fee?
> I initially made payment arrangements but defaulted and my license is now suspended. Can I make another payment arrangement to get my driver's license back?
> If my license is suspended and I make a new payment arrangement, do I automatically get my driver's license back?
> What happens if I default on the payment arrangement after I get my driver's license back?
> If I entered into an installment agreement, when will I know if I am eligible to drive?

Who is collecting the fee?
Driver responsibility fees are being collected by the Department of Treasury. The law allows Michigan Department of State to delegate collection of fees to Treasury, as Michigan Department of State's agent (MCL 257.58).

What will happen if the Driver Responsibility Fee is not paid?
If after 30 days the driver fails to pay, or to enter into an installment agreement, driving privileges will be suspended and Treasury may take immediate collection enforcement action such as placing a levy on wages or bank accounts

Once a driver's license has been suspended for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees, under certain conditions driving privileges may be reinstated if a driver enters into an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury. The reinstatement fee of $125 may be included in the approved Installment Agreement.

What type of enforcement actions could be taken on delinquent driver responsibility fee?
A driver has 30 days to pay the driver responsibility fee in full or enter into an approved Installment Agreement with Treasury. Failure to pay or make payment arrangements within 30 days will result in the suspension of the driver's license. Treasury may take immediate collection enforcement action such as placing a levy on wages or bank accounts.

How do I pay this fee?
You may pay by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or by check or money order. An EFT form is available on this Web site. Drivers may also qualify for payment arrangements (Installment Agreement). You may request payment arrangements by completing an Installment Agreement form and mailing it to the Michigan Department of Treasury, Office of Collections. Installment Agreements are limited to 24 months in duration to avoid suspension of your license. See How to Pay for more information

Driver responsibility fee payments are not accepted at the Secretary of State branch offices.

Can I get an extension on the due date of my Driver Responsibility fee?
No. The law does not allow for an extension on the due date of a Driver Responsibility Fee for any reason. Failure to pay in full or failure to enter into an approved Installment Agreement by the due date given on your notice will result in the suspension of the driver's license.

How do I pay this fee for someone else?
If you would like to make payment for another person (including minors and spouses) please make payment with a check or money order. See Making Your Payments for mailing instructions.

Individuals calling on behalf of another party (including minors and spouses) by law, will not be provided with information, or be permitted to make payment arrangements unless a Power of Attorney (Form 151) is on file with the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Where do I pay this fee?
The Department of Treasury collects Driver Responsibility Fees. Please mail a check, cashiers check or money order payable to "State of Michigan-SAC" for the amount due to:

Office of Collections
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O. Box 30199
Lansing, MI 48909-7699

Include the assessment number on the check. The assessment number can be found in the upper right hand corner of your Notice, and on the Payment Voucher. Depending on mail time, payment through the mail may take approximately four to five days to be posted by Treasury, with notification of the payment reaching Michigan Department of State in five to six days. All forms and payments must be received by the due date on the assessment Notice to avoid possible suspension of your driving privileges (no exceptions). Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and Installment Agreement applications may be faxed to (517) 272-5561.

Driver responsibility fee payments are not accepted at the Secretary of State branch offices.

What is an Installment Agreement, and who is eligible to enter into an Installment Agreement?
An Installment agreement is an agreement between the driver and Treasury for incremental repayment of debt. All drivers may enter into an Installment Agreement with Treasury. Installment Agreements are limited to 24 months in duration to avoid suspension of your license. See Installment Agreement Information.

Failure to make a payment is a default. Under the terms of the installment agreement, a default will result in a suspension of driving privileges. A default of the installment agreement may also result in Treasury taking immediate collection enforcement action such as placing a levy on wages or bank accounts.

Can I pay using my credit card or debit card?
No. The Michigan Department of Treasury does not accept payment by credit or debit card. You may pay by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or by check or money order. See How to Pay for more information.

Am I going to get a receipt or confirmation number when I make a payment or payment in full?
No. Upon receipt of payment in full, the Michigan Department of Treasury will notify the Michigan Department of State the Driver Responsibility Fee(s) were paid in full. You will only be notified if the payment was received late or not at all. The Michigan Department of State will send you a Notice of Proposed Suspension of Driving Privileges.

Installment Agreements: Upon completion of the Installment Agreement, the Michigan Department of Treasury will notify the Michigan Department of State that the Driver Responsibility Fee(s) covered under the Installment Agreement were paid in full.

Why did I receive a letter stating that I need to pay my balance in full within 10 days? I am on an Installment Agreement and I have been making my payments?
You have received a 10-day final demand letter. This letter is sent to anyone who has an account with the Michigan Department of Treasury. The letter outlines the types of enforcement action that Treasury can take if a person fails to pay their balance in full, establish an Installment Agreement, or make their proposed monthly payments under the Installment Agreement. This letter is also issued if an additional assessment was issued for another Driver Responsibility Fee or debt owed to another state agency.

If you are currently on an Installment Agreement and are making your payments as outlined in your Installment Agreement, or have recently made payment in full, you may disregard this letter.

Please contact the Office of Collections at (517) 636-5240 if you have questions regarding the balance on your account.

Why was my Income Tax refund offset? I am on an Installment Agreement and have been making timely payments.
Michigan statute allows offset of an Income Tax refund to any unpaid assessed liability until your account is paid in full even if you are on an approved Installment Agreement. The Installment Agreement form states that any refunds (Income Tax refunds, Lottery winnings, vendor payments) due you from the State of Michigan will be applied as an additional payment on your debt. However your regular monthly payment must still be made to avoid defaulting your Installment Agreement which will lead to the suspension of your driving privileges.

I set up an Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) payment and now I don't have enough money in my account to cover the payment. What do I do?
Any EFT payment that was returned for non-sufficient funds (NSF) would be subject to additional penalty charges. If you are on an Installment Agreement, the agreement will be defaulted and the balance remaining on the account becomes due and payable. Your driving privileges will be suspended for defaulting on your Installment Agreement or for non-payment, which ever is applicable for this fee. The Michigan Department of Treasury will take further collection action, including wage levies, income tax offsets, and levies against bank accounts or other financial assets.

You may resubmit the NSF payment by mailing certified funds or a money order payable to "State of Michigan-SAC". See Where do I pay this fee for mailing instructions. There is no guarantee that making up the missed payment will avoid the default of your Installment Agreement and suspension of your driving privileges.
 

What happens if I overpay?
Any over payments will be applied to any other outstanding debts to the State of Michigan. If no other debts exist, the over payment will be refunded to you.

Can I make payment arrangements if I have never made a payment on my Driver Responsibility Fee?
Yes. The law allows you up to 24 months to payments on the amount you currently owe.

I initially made payment arrangements but defaulted and my license is now suspended. Can I make another payment arrangement to get my driver's license back?
If your license is suspended for non-payment of a driver responsibility fee or you defaulted on a payment arrangement (Installment Agreement), you may be eligible to enter into a new Installment Agreement that may allow your driving privileges to be reinstated. Contact the Michigan Department of Treasury to see if you qualify for an Installment Agreement. Contact the Michigan Department of State to see if your driving privileges will be reinstated.

If my license is suspended and I make a new payment arrangement, do I automatically get my driver's license back?
No, the reinstatement of your license is not automatic. There are certain conditions in which you may be eligible to drive. The law is intended to restore driving privileges only for those suspended for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees. If the suspension is for nonpayment of driver responsibility fees only, you are still required to pay a $125 reinstatement fee. If your driving privileges are reinstated, the $125 reinstatement fee can be included in your installment agreement. If your license is suspended, revoked or denied for reasons other than nonpayment of driver responsibility fees, you are not eligible to drive.

What happens if I default on the payment arrangement after I get my driver's license back?
If your driving privileges are reinstated after entering into an approved Installment Agreement and you default on the payments, your driving privileges will again be suspended and will not be reinstated until the driver responsibility fees are paid in full. An additional $125 reinstatement fee will be required prior to the reinstatement of your license.

If I entered into an installment agreement, when will I know if I am eligible to drive?
Once you enter into an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury, the Michigan Department of State will mail a notification to the address on your driver's license indicating whether you are eligible to drive. You should not drive until you receive this notification.


Second Year Notice Information

> Why am I receiving another bill? I already paid this last year.
>
I set up an Installment Agreement last year for my Driver Responsibility Fee. Do I need to set up another Installment Agreement for the second year Driver Responsibility Fee?
> Can I pay my second year portion of my Category 2 Driver Responsibility Fee before I get the actual bill?

Why am I receiving another bill? I already paid this last year.
Driver Responsibility Category 2 offense fees are assessed for two consecutive years as prescribed by law. Although you paid a portion of your fee last year you must pay the remainder of the fee this year or your driving privileges may be interrupted. This information was provided to you in your Second Year Notice of Driver Responsibility Fee and the Driver Responsibility brochure.

I set up an Installment Agreement last year for my Driver Responsibility Fee. Do I need to set up another Installment Agreement for the second year Driver Responsibility Fee?
Yes. You must either pay the balance in full, or contact the Michigan Department of Treasury to include your second year driver responsibility fee assessment in your Installment Agreement.  If you fail to pay the balance in full, or set up an Installment Agreement by the due date given on your Notice your driving privileges may be interrupted.

Can I pay my second year portion of my Category 2 Driver Responsibility Fee before I get the actual bill?
No. Second year Driver Responsibility Fees should not be paid in advance. Any over payments will be applied to any other outstanding debts to the State of Michigan. If no other debts exist, then the over payment will be refunded to you. Please make your payment at the time your second year notice is received to ensure that your payment is properly credited to your account and that your driving privileges are not interrupted.


Other Useful Information

> Is there a $125 reinstatement fee due when a driver license is suspended for failure to pay the driver responsibility fee?
> Can a driver responsibility fee be assessed to an unlicensed or out-of-state driver?
> Where does the driver responsibility money go?
> What is an incident date?

Is there a $125 reinstatement fee due when a driver license is suspended for failure to pay the driver responsibility fee?
Yes, as with other suspensions, a $125 reinstatement fee is required under MCL 257.320e before the license is restored. The reinstatement fee may be paid at a Secretary of State branch office, or included in an approved Installment Agreement with the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Can a driver responsibility fee be assessed to an unlicensed or out-of-state driver?
Yes, fee assessments apply to licensed and unlicensed drivers. Out-of-state drivers convicted of qualifying offenses or who accumulate 7 or more qualifying points while in Michigan will be assessed a driver responsibility fee.

Where does the driver responsibility money go?
The monies go to the General Fund. A portion of revenue collected will go to the newly created Fire Protection Fund. The Fire Protection Fund supports fire protection grants to local units of governments.

What is an incident date?
The incident date is the date the citation was issued.


Contact Information

> How do I get a copy of my driving record or a copy of a driver responsibility Suspension Order?
> Where can I call to ask a question?

How do I get a copy of my driving record or a copy of a driver responsibility Suspension Order?
Contact the Michigan Department of State Record Lookup Unit at (517) 322-1624, or visit their web site at http://www.michigan.gov/sos to obtain the necessary form to request records.

The cost for a driver record lookup is $7. Certified records are $8. Completed requests may be faxed to (517)-322-1181. Payments for faxed requests must be charged to a credit card account.

Mail your completed request to:

Michigan Department of State
Record Lookup Unit
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, Michigan 48918-1540

For payment, include a check, money order, or credit card information.

Where can I call to ask a question?
Questions related to driving records, driver histories, driver license suspensions or reinstatements, driver responsibility fee determinations or other driver-related legal issues should be referred to the Michigan Department of State at 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424).

Questions related to payment or assessment balances should be referred to the Michigan Department of Treasury Driver Responsibility Fee Information Line at (517) 636-5240.

Individuals who have received an Order of Action (Form DI-174 Suspension Notification) from the Michigan Department of State should contact the Michigan Accounts Receivable Collection System (MARCS) at 1-800-950-6227 to make payment on their account.

Questions related to the court proceedings (i.e., tickets, convictions, court appearance dates, etc.) should be referred to the court with jurisdiction over the ticketed offense.

For more information Contact Us.


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