Michigan Driver From Viral Court Hearing Finally Gets His Learner’s Permit


A Michigan man who went viral for appearing behind the wheel during his virtual court hearing on a driving infraction has, at long last, obtained his learner’s permit, according to his lawyer.

Dionne Webster-Cox told People that her infamous client, Corey Harris, took “a step in the right direction” last Friday, when he went to the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, which handles motor vehicle regulation, and passed a theory test.

Harris was filmed by Webster-Cox going into the office, taking the test, and dancing outside afterward. An edited and sped-up compilation of the clips was posted to Instagram by the lawyer on Monday. “Congratulations! Yay!” she appears to say, laughing.

To People, she added, “One day does not make the rest of your life, it can change in a day.”

Harris, 44, went unwittingly viral after footage of his May 15 hearing was circulated online. In the video, Harris sighs as he pulls into a parking lot, much to the amazement of the Michigan state judge overseeing the proceeding.

“Mr Harris,” Judge J. Cedric Simpson said. “Are you driving?”

The judge ordered Harris, who had supposedly been cited for driving with a suspended license the previous October, to turn himself in to police that evening. Weeks after the motorist spent two nights in jail over the infraction, however, the story took a strange twist, with a local ABC affiliate reporting that an apparent clerical error meant that Harris was supposed to have had his suspension lifted back in 2022.

Looking at Saginaw County court records, WXYZ laid out the case that Harris had never been informed of a $125 fee he was supposed to have paid to kickstart the final stage of the process to wipe his record clean. Harris told the station that his 15 minutes of fame, which he described as humiliating, could have easily been avoided if not for bureaucratic incompetence.

“Always double-check behind these workers because they will say that they will do something and they don’t do it,” he said.

But Simpson threw a spanner into the works shortly after. At a hearing last week, The Daily Beast reported at the time, he informed the court that Harris had never had a driver’s license—only a state ID—and in fact had had his driving privileges suspended last year.

“And quite frankly, I just wish he would have said that at the beginning, and all of this hoopla could have been just put all aside,” the judge remarked dryly.

Webster-Cox, who took over Harris’ case after the May 15 hearing, promised Simpson that her client was taking steps to make the matter right. She said that Harris had an appointment to take his learner’s permit test later that week.

With that permit in hand, a copy of which was obtained by People, Harris can take his road test to get fully licensed as soon as July 7. He is scheduled to go before Simpson once again a month later, at which point his misdemeanor charge could be downgraded to a civil infraction, according to Webster-Cox.

“This is going to be a feel-good story,” she told the magazine.

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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