Can I Discharge Michigan Driver’s Responsibility Fees with Bankruptcy?
Yes You Can
Michigan driver’s responsibility fees are generally dischargeable in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Criminal penalties are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, Michigan driver’s responsibility fees are not “criminal penalties.” They are administrative fines levied by the Secretary of State’s office, not as a sentencing judgment or criminal statutory penalty by a criminal court conviction. Therefore, they should not fall under the “criminal penalty” non-dischargeability exception to the list of debts dischargeable under the US Bankruptcy Code as traffic tickets, parking tickets, and other fines may.
Thus, the filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy should discharge a driver’s responsibility fee arrearage, after which the Secretary of State’s office should return a driver’s license.