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Michigan Road to Restoration program returns to help restore driver's licenses

WKAR file photo

A program designed to help Michigan drivers with suspended licenses safely get back on the road is returning this year. The license restoration clinics will be available around the state.

The Road to Restoration program started last year after a pilot project in 2021. It’s meant to help residents who need help getting their driver’s licenses reinstated.

That includes people who still need to take further action after new state laws in 2021 lifted more than 150,000 suspensions for certain violations.

The free clinics offer individuals a chance to meet one-on-one with expert staff from the Michigan Department of State (MDOS) and volunteer attorneys.

Khyla Craine is the MDOS deputy legal director and coordinates the program.

She said individuals will be able to print a copy of their driving record and determine steps needed to restore their licenses.

“Do they need to pay fines or fees to the court, do they need to go through the administrative hearing process, or do they just simply need to renew their license or start their process again because their license has been expired for more than four years,” she said.

Craine said in some cases, people will be able to complete necessary transactions on-site because the department is partnering with local courts in the area.

“So, if they simply need to take the operator driver’s written test in order to renew their license they’ll be able to test and if they’re able to pass they’ll be able to get their permit right here on-site,” said.

The clinic’s don’t provide DUI expungement services and license reinstatement isn’t guaranteed.

This year, the clinics will also provide additional resources on-site for people who are waiting to be seen.

“We understand that while they may initially be coming to us for driving related issues they may also have housing or employment, or other related issues that we can’t service but some of our community partners can,” Craine said.

The department is partnering with the state Attorney General's office, DTE Energy, Miller Canfield, the Detroit Justice Center, the Michigan Association of United Ways and Michigan 2-1-1.

East Lansing's 54B District Court is participating in a Road to Restoration clinic on April 12. The event will be held at the Union Missionary Baptist Church in Lansing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

More info can be found at Michigan.gov/RoadtoRestoration or by calling 2-1-1. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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