By Ed Moffett
When I moved to California in 1996, I admit it; I let my Michigan license expire. Eventually I was pulled over for speeding and ticketed. That day, I went to the DMV in Cali, and began the process of applying for a California license. The following week I showed up in court with my new license, paid my $110 fine, and put the stressful situation behind me. Or so I thought…
When I moved back to Michigan in 2006, I did it again; and of course, I
was eventually pulled over and ticketed. Incidentally, the officer’s
reason for stopping me was, "causing a break." He decided to let me go
on the "causing a break" offense, when he discovered and ticketed me
for my expired license.
Anyway, that day, I went to the Secretary of State office to begin the process of applying for a Michigan license, but was quickly denied as apparently in Michigan, one needs to forfeit one’s previous state’s I.D. in order to be eligible for a new license in the state of Michigan. Unfortunately, in Michigan, when you’re ticketed for driving on an expired license, the cop TAKES YOUR LICENSE! This creates a bit of a catch-22.
The following week I showed up in court, and pled my case to the judge, who, after fining me $110, ordered her clerk to return to me my expired California license. I paid my fine, took my license, went back to the Secretary of State office and again began the process of applying for a Michigan license. I was approved, and relieved as I thought I had just put an extremely stressful situation behind me. I was wrong.
About a week ago, I received a letter from the lovely Mrs. Jennifer Granholm, informing me that I owe an additional $150 due to the newly enacted "Driver Responsibility Act," which states (for unfounded reasons) that certain offenses—such as driving with an expired license—are, for lack of a better term, "re-fined" $150. What’s worse is the fact that the $150 fine is the first of two! That’s correct! There will be an additional $150 fine in approximately one year.
So, in grand total, my "responsibility," for driving on an expired license, amounts to $410!!! That is a LOT of responsibility! I would venture to say that for many, it could be TOO much responsibility, and it begs the question, why is there a mass exodus of businesses and people from Michigan? It’s just baffling.