• License restoration will remove major barrier to employment for thousands
• Detroiters who complete 10 hours of workforce training can waive responsibility fees and get license back before October 1st fee forgiveness date
• Workforce training available online or in person through Detroit at Work
Mayor Mike Duggan was joined today by employers, training partners and members of the faith-based community to announce a free Driver Responsibility Fee forgiveness program for tens of thousands of Detroit residents. The new program gives Detroiters who owe Driver Responsibility Fees the opportunity to get their driver’s license restored months ahead of schedule by participating in workforce development activities.
Earlier this year, Mayor Duggan and a bi-partisan statewide coalition convinced the state legislature to forgive the onerous responsibility fees that prevented as many as 350,000 Michigan residents from having their licenses restored.
In Detroit alone, 76,000 residents owe an average of $1,600 in responsibility fees.
Rather than force its residents to wait for the fee forgiveness to kick in October 1st, the City of Detroit created a program that allows them to complete 10 hours of workforce development training now and get their licenses back months sooner. The program was developed in partnership with the Michigan Department of Treasury, Secretary of State, and the Michigan Works Association. The program helps participants strengthen their job readiness skills and introduces them to the breadth of services offered by the City’s Detroit at Work initiative.
“Along with the need for training, Driver Responsibility Fees have been one of the biggest barriers to connecting Detroiters to jobs and opportunity,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “It’s not just an issue for logistics opportunities like truck driving. We are seeing significant growth in skilled trades opportunities, but these jobs often require a license because workers may need to be at a worksite on the east side in the morning and the west side in the afternoon.”
Mayor Duggan’s Director of Workforce Development, Jeff Donofrio, said that the legislation will mean more Detroiters are job-ready and can help fill many of the in-demand jobs available in the city.
“We would like to thank Legislators for passing the (Drivers Responsibility Fee Elimination) Bi-Partisan Legislation, particularly Senate Bill 614 (S-1), authored by Senator Ken Horn, which allows for the Workforce Development Training program to help drivers get there license back sooner” said Donofrio, who testified before the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee in Lansing last year in favor of eliminating the fees. “Many Detroit residents have had offers of employment but could not accept them because their license was suspended due to these fees, so for many jobseekers waiting until October 1 is not an option.”
Here’s how the program works:
Mayor Duggan’s ‘Detroit at Work’ initiative has coordinated with Michigan Works agencies across the state and departments in Lansing to agree on a program that when complete, will allow Detroiters to apply for fee forgiveness immediately. Additionally, the $125 Driver’s License Reinstatement Fee is waived through the end of the year so eligible drivers can get their license restored for free.
Detroiters who wish to have their fees waived early can complete the required training online or at a events scheduled across the city. Residents can start the fee forgiveness process today by visiting http://www.detroitatwork.com/drf
“Detroit at Work will be hosting events across the city to help Detroiters looking for early fee forgiveness to complete their 10 hours of training,” said Nicole Sherard-Freeman, President and CEO of City of Detroit workforce agency Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation. “Today’s Education and Training Fair is just one example of this activity. Other dates and venues are available on the Detroit at Work website already, and we will continue adding more.”
By Roz Edward